T Nation

Unfair Exam


I was given a take home exam for a class. On this take home exam, 3/4's of the test is material that is not covered in the lecture and that resources have not been given for the material. I've scoured over all the resources given in the class and it just isn't there. I have not missed any lectures and have been doing well in the class.

My best guess is that the material is from the lab portion of the class which I did not sign up for and was not required to. The two other people in the class did because it was required for them. The reason is that I'm an environmental science major and they are chemistry majors.

I even emailed the professor before the course began to see if it would be a good idea for me to take the course since I was envi sci and he said that I had to background necessary.

Now I have emailed the professor my concerns.

How would any of ya'll handle this?


Was the material in your required reading? I give take home tests fairly often in my smaller classes (so I can give each student a different exam to discourage cheating), and will often put conceptual problems that are covered in the reading I assign, but sometimes do not get to cover in the lecture due to time constraints. If they didn't do the reading and ask me or my grad students any questions about parts of the reading they did not understand before the test that is their problem. I will also assign problems that look different from the material but rely on the same principles to solve.

My advice for talking with your professor is to watch your wording of your questions because there is a good chance that he will be right and you are wrong.


I would do what you did while also getting to know those other two people real well and trying anyway.


It is not in the reading. That's the first place I checked.

This is the first time I've ever had this issue. The professor is your stereotypical absent minded professor type and commonly makes mistakes about material he did and didn't assign. The email was respectful and was stated as questions and possibilities. Not I'm right and your wrong so fix this. The material not covered was spectroscopy and liquid chromatography.

And I am a grad student and have read all the chapters that have been required reading to date.


If he is as absentminded as you say, it is possible that he just screwed up what class he was teaching especially if he is teaching a lot of classes and is short on TAs like I am. I am not absentminded and have done that once or twice over the years, although never in one of my graduate level classes.

I would still be prepared to spend some time at the library doing research if it turns out he did not screw up. If one of the other students understands what the test is about, make friends with or bribe him to get him to help you.


You are a grad student..assuming that this take home is not "closed book" take some initiative
and go find the relevant material in the library...he didn't just discover these topics, or the questions, on his own....


Oh and for those suggesting he make friends...shame. It is an exam not HW....


All information is borrowed. Getting it from someone else's brain isn't any different than getting it from someone else's book.

Take home tests are just homework with a heavier weight on your final mark.


I got an email back. He told me to stop trying to answer the questions and told me to come to office tomorrow at 11 and that he would be willing to work with me.



He is sooooo gonna rape you.


If he offers you anything to drink don't take it.


He needs one of these. http://inventors.about.com/b/2011/08/18/anti-date-rape-straw.htm


Why isn't Rocky or DB here pushing their RAPEAXE product?


Who did you borrow that from?