All entries for Thursday 30 June 2011

June 30, 2011

Exam Reflection – Results!

Looking back at previous entries, I believe my expectation for the marks I’d receive goes something like this:
Intro to Geometry >> Japanese writing > Probability B = Probability A > Games & Decisions > Geometry and Motion > Differential equations > Linear Algebra > Japanese Oral >> Analysis
In fact, the results (final exams only, Japanese is blended) went more like this:
Geo & Motion > Introduction to Geometry > Probability B >> Probability A > Japanese > Linear Algebra > Analysis > Differential Equations > Games & Decisions

So the most surprising ones were Geo & Motion, where I scored far, far beyond what I expected (I suspect mark adjustment) and Games & Decisions, where I scored some distance below. I also underestimated my Analysis mark by around 50%.

Details: I took 145.5 CATS, scored an average mark (in the final exams) of 78, with a sdev of 10.9, which is pretty damn large, really.

Individual comments:
For GeoMo I eschewed doing past papers, instead reading through the notes and worked examples, and doing some of the worked examples. This paid dividends – I was very well prepared. It also didn’t take that much time. I feel having the worked examples helped tremendously. Unfortunately, most modules lack these.

The difference between my Prob B and Prob A mark is around ±10% – quite large. While I suspected I’d done better initially in Prob B during the exam, I thought I’d corrected my mistakes. Not having lecture notes hindered me in this course: my own notes, despite apparently being in chronological order, wibble and wobble all over the place. As an example, I didn’t know (and still don’t!) anything about bivariate conditional/marginal distributions – I presume we looked at it briefly, and I skipped over that section.

Finally, a graph of exam marks against date of exam.

The graph shows a few things: for one, my belief that I was doing better on exams as time went on looks pretty wrong from here; second, the four day exam stint didn’t appear to have much effect on my marks despite the wild zagging between below 70 and above 90%, and finally that looking at the rest of my marks the coursework propped me up a fair bit. Geometry & Motion was the only module where I did better in the exam than the coursework.

I’ll conclude by saying that my mark for Programming for Scientists, a cool 95.75%, narrowly beats out Geometry and Motion for the top spot. That course was pretty ridiculous.


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