Reevaluation of BIO207 Final Exam

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Many of us feel that the final exam for BIO207 (winter 2019) was not an appropriate test to evaluate our knowledge on the course materials. The instructor claimed that the final exam would not be difficult, yet many of us dropped our grades by more than 10%.

The final exam was broken down to different sections whereas some of the sections were based on a specific scenario. At least 20 questions (over 1/4 of the test) were based on each scenario, causing a crucial dependency on the understanding of the information given for each specific scenario. The scenario based on disjunction in meiosis was substantially difficult to grasp, causing many students to lose a large number of points. Disjunction was only briefly covered during lecture and no examples were provided on this topic for practice. Other topics such as recombinants were covered more in-depth in lecture, yet no questions regarding recombinants were tested on the final exam.

Many students also feel that the last half of the course was rushed and not covered as well as the first half. It is speculated that the first midterm went well because very little course material was covered in a long period of time, leaving the rest of the course material to be covered rather quickly. 

Lastly, many students are upset about the lack of information regarding the final exam. There were no past final exams available to access through the library, even after many students requesting past exams for practice. We were not given the structure of the final exam (how many questions there would be and if there would be any short answer questions). There was also no exam jam for this course. Instead, an FSG was held by students who have previously taken this course which is not nearly as good as an exam jam, as they cannot provide exam-related information. During the last week of school, most instructors were covering these types of information as well as what to focus on, while the instructor for BIO207 was still covering new concepts and course materials.

In an email, the instructor for BIO207 mentioned that everyone received full marks for learning catalytics (worth 5% of our final grade) on account for any difficulties anyone had. However, this is not an adequate compensation for the decrease in the average grade on the final exam since many students who participated in the learning catalytics were expecting the full mark either way. 

We, therefore, wish that the final exam is reevaluated with consideration to the average grades on this test.