Midterm Review

I'm going to share a secret. I'm going to explain precisely how I write midterm exams. Then I'm going to give you a chance to write a few questions. If you use this technique to study for the exam, you'll do well.

In class today, I'll assign different class days to different tables. Go through the slide deck, whether presented in class or assigned as pre-class preparation, for the class days you were assigned. On each one there are a list of learning objectives. I ask myself, "What can I ask them that would let them demonstrate that they have mastered this learning objective?"

So, practice applying that principle -- write one or two True/False questions. Write a multiple choice question. Write a short answer question. If you have time, write a more in-depth question that lets you demonstrate a concept, e.g., figure out a schedule for a set of processes given a scheduling algorithm, fill out a table like we did on Tuesday demonstrating a page replacement algorithm, etc.

At some point I'll ask you to trade questions with another table, so record the questions in some easily accessible format (e.g., a Google form). If you think you have some good questions, send them to me as well -- I'll use good questions on the midterm!

Finally, to study over the weekend, I encourage you to review all the lecture notes with an eye towards, "How can students demonstrate that they have achieved these objectives?" After you've done that, try taking one of the 2011 or 2013 midterms and see how it goes.