Frequently Asked Questions
save you asking us questions, and to save us having to answer them,
here are some frequently-asked questions and our answers to them.
- Which problems should I do, and where are the
mathematical course, the only good way to see whether you truly
understand the material is to do problems. The text has an enormous
number of problems, any of which will be helpful to you. At the back of the text
are answers to the
odd-numbered problems. Also, look at the online system MyStatLab,
access to which comes with a new textbook.
Exams and quizzes
is the midterm/final exam?
As soon as we know, we'll tell
you. We'll announce dates in class and put them on the course homepage
(look under News on the main page) as soon as we know what they are.
if I can't make the midterm/final exam?
is that you should be available for exams on any date within the exam
periods. There are no makeup exams.
if I get sick for the midterm exam?
to your doctor, and
complete a medical
certificate with your doctor. Get the certificate to your
professor as soon as possible after the missed exam. If you miss the
midterm with a valid medical certificate, your final
exam is worth 80% of the course grade instead of 50% (that is, the
weight for the midterm
is transferred to the final). Your missed midterm will appear in
Blackboard as "-1": this means "missed with documentation".
What if I get sick for the final
to your doctor and complete a medical
Take this to the Registrar's office and petition for a deferred final
exam (which is usually written at the end of the next
semester). Trust me, you don't want to do this unless it's absolutely
material is on the exam?
are responsible for what appears in lectures, plus all of
the material in all of the sections of the textbook
that we cover (this includes exercises). Optional sections
are not included, unless we say otherwise. Optional
sections are indicated in the text by a * next to the section
In the case of the term test, this means all of the
above for all the material covered in lectures up until the test,
unless we say otherwise. We will mention any sections of the text that
not responsible for. The final exam covers the whole course.
- What can I bring to the exam?
You will need a #2 pencil for the Scantron (multiple choice) sheet. A
pen may work, but is not guaranteed. You will need a
non-communicating, non-programmable calculator (a simple one is fine,
but a square root key will be useful). You will also want to bring
your "cheat sheet(s)", which can contain any notes or formulas you
wish. This is one sheet (midterm) or two sheets (final) of 8.5" x 11"
letter-size paper. You can use both sides. This should be handwritten
by you. We provide any statistical tables (such as the normal table) that you
If you need paper for calculations during the exam, you can use the
question paper (the backs of the pages are blank).
At the end of the
exam, you can take away the question paper. The only material
that is graded is your Scantron sheet. You are responsible for
ensuring that the answers marked on there are the ones you
intended. It is therefore essential that you bubble in your
name and student number on your Scantron sheet before you hand it
in. If you don't, you risk getting a grade of zero, because
we won't be able to figure out who you are. If some information is
missing, but we can figure out who you are, we have the right
to deduct marks from you to compensate for our wasted time. Your exams
may also have multiple versions; if that is the case, you are
responsible for checking that the version of your exam (a colour
printed on the Scantron sheet) is the same as the colour of the
front page of your question paper.
are the tutorials for?
tutorials are to review the
previous week's material and to have that week's quiz (at the end). You
can expect that the TA will answer questions (about the previous week's
material) and work through some example problems, to help you prepare
for the quiz.
are the quizzes?
the tutorial for which you are registered. Tutorials and
quizzes start in week 2 of classes. There are usually 10 quizzes, with
either the first or the last tutorial not having a quiz.
The marked quizzes are returned in the
tutorial after they are written. (If the last quiz is in the last week
of classes, you can collect your marked last quiz from your TA
during their pre-exam office hours.)
can I expect on the quizzes?
There will be
about 2 short questions
(worth about 5 points each) on a single sheet of paper, with space for
you to write your answers. (You can use the back of the sheet if you
run out of room.) Your answers will need to include a complete but
concise explanation of your answer. If you write too much or too little
you risk losing marks; in particular, if you end up with the wrong
answer, having an explanation containing some plausible ideas will
probably get you partial credit, but if you write too much, you will
probably write something that is wrong and will be marked accordingly.
The quizzes are designed to take less
than 10 minutes to complete, but we will try to give you 15 minutes at
materials can I use on the quizzes?
The quizzes are "open-book". This means that you can use your lecture
text and a
as a laptop
if I have questions about a returned quiz?
can ask your
TA, either after the tutorial or in the TA's office hours. If talking
to your TA does not resolve the issue, bring the quiz to your
professor's office hours. Professors, however, cannot change the mark
awarded by the TA.
if I get sick for a quiz?
procedure as for an exam. Give the medical certificate to
your TA or one of the professors, and your overall quiz mark will be
determined from your other quizzes. As for a missed midterm, the
notation "-1" will appear on Blackboard; this means "missed
if I miss a quiz for some other reason?
are no makeup quizzes. You get a mark of 0 for any missed
is the quiz mark determined?
are 10 quizzes. The best 9 marks are averaged. If you missed any quizzes and submitted to us a
medical certificate, that quiz is not counted in the average, but you
lose the right to drop the worst quiz mark. (For example, if
you miss two quizzes and submit acceptable documentation for
them both, your quiz mark will be the average of the eight
quizzes that you did.)
there a time limit for submitting medical documentation for the quiz or
ten working days after the assessment that you missed.
joined the course late. What can I do about the quizzes I
I'm enrolled in the course, but all the tutorials appear to be
full. What do I do?
The registrar's office opens up more tutorials depending
on the enrollment in the course. By the second week of classes, when
the tutorials start, you will be able to enrol in one. (If
are registered in the course but are unable to get into a tutorial by
then, you have a legitimate complaint which you can take up with the
second week of classes.
do I switch tutorials?
has to be done through ROSI. We can't help you with
I can't make my tutorial this week, but I can make one of the
other tutorials. What should I do?
the TA of the tutorial you wish to go to whether you can attend
that tutorial for one week only. The TA has the right to say no, but
will try to help you. (You can do this by asking the TA in person right
before the tutorial is due to start; you don't need to do it in
advance.) If you can't attend the tutorial you are
registered in for more than one week, you should consider switching
course material are we going to cover?
course schedule, which is our best estimation of the material
will be covered in the course, arranged by section in the text.
on the quizzes?
quiz covers the previous week's lectures.
can I practice for the quizzes?
problems. The odd-numbered problems in the text have answers in the
back of the book (Appendix B). There is also an online system
called MyStatLab where you can practice doing problems.
I have to learn the software?
so will make your life easier. You will be able to tackle
all the suggested problems, even the ones with big data sets, and you
will get practice at interpreting output, which you will have to do on
I be asked to describe how to do something using software?
a lot of stuff in the textbook that wasn't mentioned in
the lectures. Am I responsible for that on the exams?
There is not time to cover everything
in the lectures.
You need to know enough to be able to do the exercises at the
end of each chapter. We will endeavour to pick out useful ones for you
to work on.
can I judge how I'm doing?
quizzes are intended to be straightforward. If you can't manage
a passing grade for the quizzes and the midterm, ask yourself whether
it is useful to continue with the course. Be aware that the final exam
covers material from the whole course, so you will probably find it
more difficult than the midterm.
can I get help?
the instructors and at least some of the TAs have office hours every
week. You have a good chance of getting the help you need if you avoid
the times right before exams, which are busier. The other TAs in the
Math and Stats Aid Room (AC320) may also be able to help you.
before the exams.
do I find out my final grade?
final grades are submitted according to standard university
procedures and approved by the department. They are then available in
ROSI. After you have written your final exam, your instructor is not
allowed to discuss or negotiate grades.
I see my final exam?
may request a copy of your final exam, within 90 days of
writing it, through the Registrar's office.
if I disagree with the mark on my final exam?
may request, through the Registrar's office, that the final
exam be re-read.
think my grade was calculated incorrectly. What can I do?
a clerical check of your mark through the Registrar's
office. An amended grade will stand, whether it is higher or
need an extra 1% to win a scholarship/graduate/get out of
even think about asking the professor for special
consideration of this kind. Your grade in a course is based
only on the work you have done
in that course, graded according to the procedures in the course outline, and it
is your responsibility to ensure that
your work meets
the standard required.