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A350XWB
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18 Dec 2008, 5:11 pm

A "casino" exam is defined as an exam of any subject, under any format, where luck is an important factor for one to succeed. In general, the more advanced the material, the more likely the exam will have a high casino index, for a given format.

I had a few casino exams lately, my final college biology exam was the "casinoest" major exam of my life (though I had pop quizzes that are even more casino than my final exam of biology). And I know a few teachers at my college that tend to give exams with high casino indexes despite the fact their exams are full-proof (i.e. we have to show our reasoning and calculations in full).

I can rank a few exams by their casino index, i.e. the importance of luck for success:

- Quebec's collegiate Standard Exam of French: 0
- Quantitative methods' final exam (Humanities): 0.120
- My first exam in Linear Algebra: 0.265
- My Biology I lab exam: 0.340
- My Philosophy II exam on Lipovetsky: 0.380
- My mid-semester Politics exam: 0.430
- A final exam in nursing: 0.500
- The final exam of Biology II: 0.530
- The final exam in Psychology: 0.700
- A pop quiz in vector calculus about planes in a 3-D space, full-proof: 0.760
- My Biology I final exam in college: 0.770
- A pop quiz about the Liaisons dangereuses: 0.820
- Humanities methodology's final exam: 0.900
- An "ancient" version of a vector calculus final exam: 1

0 being an exam where there is no room for luck to succeed and 1 being where the importance of luck is (100 - passing grade)% or more of the total. (In these situations, one could gamble his/her success/grades in this exam and it makes no significant difference) The casino index is calculated as follows:

The importance of luck in % / (100 - passing grade)%

However, multi-choice-heavy exams are likely to have high casino indexes, as opposed to short/long answers-heavy exams.

Anyone could tell us their experiences about casino exams? And hazard guesses on the casino index of their exams? :D


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Moop
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18 Dec 2008, 5:28 pm

From my marine biology exam:


Quote:
53. The correct answer is elephant.
A. Tuna B. Birds C. Dolphin D. Elephant


Some people just mark any answer, and they usually get the free answer wrong. :P



A350XWB
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18 Dec 2008, 5:39 pm

Moop wrote:
From my marine biology exam:


Quote:
53. The correct answer is elephant.
A. Tuna B. Birds C. Dolphin D. Elephant


Some people just mark any answer, and they usually get the free answer wrong. :P


This exam has a high casino index then! :D


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release_the_bats
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18 Dec 2008, 6:09 pm

I took an evolutionary biology class that seemed fairly normal until the last question on the final exam. It was an essay question, worth about 20 points and worded similarly to this:

Quote:
Some research has shown a definitive connection between race and intelligence (IQ). Specifically, people of African descent tend to do poorly on IQ tests. Use as many examples from the material taught in this course, in as few words as possible, to explain why this is true.


What do you think the casino index of that exam would have been?

(BTW, I bet I could have gotten that teacher in some hot water legally, and I bet he would have been fired long ago had he not taught at a lesser-known university in a state whose demographics were 98% white, high rates of poverity, low rates of high school graduation.)



ValMikeSmith
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18 Dec 2008, 7:06 pm

A350XWB wrote:
A "casino" exam is defined as an exam of any subject, under any format, where luck is an important factor for one to succeed. In general, the more advanced the material, the more likely the exam will have a high casino index, for a given format.


So tests are like lottery tickets for winning a degree? 8O Good luck! :D



A350XWB
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18 Dec 2008, 7:34 pm

ValMikeSmith wrote:
A350XWB wrote:
A "casino" exam is defined as an exam of any subject, under any format, where luck is an important factor for one to succeed. In general, the more advanced the material, the more likely the exam will have a high casino index, for a given format.


So tests are like lottery tickets for winning a degree? 8O Good luck! :D


Well, some colleges/universities make tests look like lottery tickets whose prizes are degrees, with the grand prize being a summa cum laude degree. Especially Ivy League universities. :D

But also some backwater institutions like the lesser-known university who gives exams like relese_the_bats'.

Quote:
I took an evolutionary biology class that seemed fairly normal until the last question on the final exam. It was an essay question, worth about 20 points and worded similarly to this:

Quote:
Some research has shown a definitive connection between race and intelligence (IQ). Specifically, people of African descent tend to do poorly on IQ tests. Use as many examples from the material taught in this course, in as few words as possible, to explain why this is true.


What do you think the casino index of that exam would have been?

(BTW, I bet I could have gotten that teacher in some hot water legally, and I bet he would have been fired long ago had he not taught at a lesser-known university in a state whose demographics were 98% white, high rates of poverity, low rates of high school graduation.)


The casino index would have gotten way up, it is the maximum my scale accounts for. So the CI (casino index), for this particular exam, is 1. Anyway, I wish the best of luck to everyone for their exams, no matter how high/low the CIs of their exams are. :D


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Stinkypuppy
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18 Dec 2008, 8:26 pm

Does the casino index also take into account the susceptibility of teaching assistants who are grading the exams to the influence of cookies? :P

I had one girl in my lab section give me a cookie. A sugar cookie with M&Ms in it. Tasted ok, but crumbly (I prefer soft-baked). Still did mediocre in the class. :lol:


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A350XWB
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18 Dec 2008, 9:08 pm

Stinkypuppy wrote:
Does the casino index also take into account the susceptibility of teaching assistants who are grading the exams to the influence of cookies? :P

I had one girl in my lab section give me a cookie. A sugar cookie with M&Ms in it. Tasted ok, but crumbly (I prefer soft-baked). Still did mediocre in the class. :lol:


If anything, it would make the casino index higher than what the "normal" CI would be. Let's say that a student wishes to bribe a teaching assistant to the influence of cookies, and that the casino index of the exam is 0.380. The bribed teaching assistant would increase the CI, in average, by 20-30% (or, in cases where the casino index is already high enough that a 15% increase would bring it over 1, increase it to 1).


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release_the_bats
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18 Dec 2008, 9:19 pm

I'm just finishing my masters, so I have no more exams!! ! :D Just research projects, papers, internships . . . .

Hey, do you think it could be possible to calculate the casino index for written assignments such as short reports on assigned readings, research papers, research papers done in teams or pairs, etc.? I guess there would be a seemingly infinite number of variables to take into consideration.



A350XWB
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18 Dec 2008, 9:51 pm

release_the_bats wrote:
I'm just finishing my masters, so I have no more exams!! ! :D Just research projects, papers, internships . . . .

Hey, do you think it could be possible to calculate the casino index for written assignments such as short reports on assigned readings, research papers, research papers done in teams or pairs, etc.? I guess there would be a seemingly infinite number of variables to take into consideration.


You seem to take an interest into the computation of casino indexes, as though the Casino Index will revolutionize the science of grading. These variables cannot bring the CI down; they can only increase the CI. Depending on these variables, they can either leave the casino index alone, bring it up about 4-5% or jack the casino index way up, especially in research papers done in teams or pairs, although such papers done in pairs have a lesser effect on CIs.

Assigned readings have the lowest base casino indexes of any type of evaluation. Research papers are harder to grade than assigned readings or run-of-the-mill exams, therefore base CIs for these things are higher, on par with that of the casinoest of the multi-choice exams.


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18 Dec 2008, 10:08 pm

I don't know if they still teach this sort of thing; but when I was in 7th grede (I missed Woodstock for that...;), we had a 'how to take a test' class. Pretty short, but you learn to 'game' a test. Figuring out the obvious bad choices, the most popular answer being C (they've probably fixed that by now..;), etc.

A lot of text in the actual books can be examined for evidence of (as they say in the military) 'you will see this material again'...;) Declarative sentences, summaries, etc., are good things to watch for things you'll see on the exam.

Sometimes part of an answer in one question will give you clues for another question.

Look at the bright side; at least in College they don't give you 'adaptive exam's (which start with an easy question, then get progressively harder, until you are taking the exam from hell, where all the questions are as hard as they can make them. Microsoft, Novell, and other 'certification' courses-takers will know what I mean...;)



release_the_bats
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18 Dec 2008, 10:11 pm

A350XWB wrote:
You seem to take an interest into the computation of casino indexes, as though the Casino Index will revolutionize the science of grading.


No, I'm not convinced that it will revolutionize the science of grading, but it is interesting to me because I had never heard of it before.



DNForrest
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19 Dec 2008, 12:04 am

At Oregon State University that would be the three Physical Chemistry Exams, where the class average is usually 20-40%, with just one or two people achieving an A- percentage. I somehow managed to get a 133/150 on the third class' final. I was most hated for that one.



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19 Dec 2008, 12:09 am

Yeah, my neuroscience research methods class was nothing but casino exams the entire semester. The average grade in the class was a 60 and no one made an A in the class (though a couple people, including me, made an A-). The professor who taught the class is widely regarded in the department as being one of the worst teachers at the university, and his tests are notorious for having vague wording, a lot of typos, bad structure, and on his answer key the answers that he considers right he often admits were wrong when people question him about them (though he never gives back points for those incorrectly graded questions).



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19 Dec 2008, 5:58 am

Moop wrote:
From my marine biology exam:


Quote:
53. The correct answer is elephant.
A. Tuna B. Birds C. Dolphin D. Elephant

8O 8O 8O
Are you serious? That's ridiculous!


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