Final Examination

In 2020, your final examination will be take-home (you will have 24 hours to complete it), and will take a slightly different format to previous years.

The final exam will take place on Wednesday, December 16, from 2pm (Pacific Time). You will have 24 hours to complete it (you will email it to me by 2pm Pacific Time the following day), but it is designed to take you no more than two and a half hours.

Though it is an “open book” exam, and though you have 24 hours to complete it, I strongly suggest that you treat it as a “normal” exam. In other words, a) that you spend the days beforehand revising and preparing for it, b) that you assign a discrete period of time to write it (which you could break into two chunks, if you want), and c) that you use the Internet etc. minimally if at all. Judging from your midterms, I feel very much that you will do better on the exam if you do this.

Remember: what I am interested in is what you think and what you have learned over the semester, rather than what you are able to look up at the last minute. It is likely that looking things up at the last minute will mean that you do worse, not better.

If you find yourself spending more than two and a half hours on this exam, then something is going wrong.

Another way of thinking about this is that our playlist lasts just over two hours (123 minutes and 57 seconds, not including any adverts YouTube may add). If you start the playlist at the same time as you start the exam, then you should be pretty much done by the time it finishes!

This is not to say that you cannot double-check details (say, the spelling of an author’s name, or specific dates) if you want to do so. In fact, you have liberty to look anything up that you want to look up. This is part of the fact that this is an open-book exam. But again, I doubt that this will help you very much. If anything, it will be a distraction from what I am looking for, which is your analysis drawing from material that we have covered over the semester.

The exam itself will consist of two parts:

  1. The first part (40%) will comprise short discussions (definitions and descriptions) of key concepts [This list is now up to date and final]. You will be given seven of these concepts, and asked to write a brief (paragraph or two) definition and description of each of them [This is the main difference from previous exams, of which examples can be found below]. In your account, you should both a) say something about the concept as it applies to the region in general and b) give at least one specific example from among those that we have studied or discussed as part of your definition/description.
  2. The second part (60%) will comprise an essay in response to one of three possible questions, which will be provided in advance.

For reference, here are some previous final exams: 2014; 2015; 2017; 2019; 2020.