Results for Exam 1 are in!

Exam 1 is now closed! Everyone completed the exam, and you guys did really well!! Before making adjustments (see below), the mean was 91%. Nice job!!

When I went through the question metrics, I found a couple questions that didn’t perform too well – so I’d like to show you those questions, explain what went wrong, and tell you what I’m going to do to adjust the scores.

The first one is question 25:

Which of the following best describes the morphology of cardiac muscle cells?
A. Long, unbranched cells with multiple peripheral nuclei
B. Short, branched, striated cells
C. Spindle-shaped, branched, striated cells
D. Long, branched, striated cells
E. Spindle-shaped, unbranched, non-striated cells

The correct answer is B. 60% of the class answered the question correctly, but over 30% chose D. This was a new question that I just wrote this year, and new questions sometimes don’t perform well. Although I check and double check the stem and distractors, I don’t always see the question the way you guys do. That seems to be the case this time; enough of you chose D to make me think that this was not a very good question.

I don’t want to throw the question out (that would punish the people that got it right), and I also don’t want to accept D as correct (because it’s not correct). So in these cases, I feel the fairest thing is to give everyone one extra point. That way, the people who answered incorrectly get that point back, and the people who answered correctly get an extra point (so they get recognized for answering the question correctly). There are so many different ways to handle this type of question – but to me, this way seems the most fair, so that’s what I tend to do most of the time.

The second one is question 37:

Proteoglycans are composed of a ___ core with a bunch of attached ___.
A. Carbohydrate/proteins
B. Glycosaminoglycans/carbohydrates
C. Glycosaminoglycans/proteins
D. Protein/carbohydrates
E. Protein/glycosaminoglycans

The correct answer is E. Only 50% of the class answered correctly (which right there is enough to make me think I didn’t explain this concept well enough in class/on the powerpoint). Most of the rest of the class answered D. So while E is still the correct answer, something about the way I explained this concept didn’t land for many of you, and as a result, you answered incorrectly. So I’m going to do the same thing for this question: add an extra point to everyone’s score.

I’ve released everyone’s results to your Examsoft student portals. That way you can see the questions you got wrong, which is an important thing to check because that way you can correct your knowledge. Also, if you chose an incorrect answer, but you feel you have a good reason for why you made that choice, email me and we can talk about it. Sometimes there is something that I didn’t think of, and in those cases, I’ll add a point to your score. Usually, though, the questions students get wrong are pretty self-explanatory; often it was something that the student didn’t cover when they were studying, or something they just forgot on exam day.

What I DON’T want is for people to be getting questions wrong because the question was confusing in some way. So if you felt that a question was confusing, I’d appreciate it if you let me know! I want to test your knowledge, not try to trick you or make you guess what I’m getting at. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to write straightforward, good questions – but it is!

Finally, please note that the score you see from Examsoft in your student portal is the score you got before I added in the extra points. I’ve entered the corrected scores on Canvas, and that’s the place you should check for your actual, accurate score.

Sorry for the length of this post! I just want to explain these things at the beginning of our time together so that you know how I handle exam questions for all of our courses that we’ll have together.

As always, if you have any questions, please drop me an email.

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