Exam Procedures

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All regular exams for this course are take-home examinations. You may use any time or times you deem appropriate to complete the exam, provided you return it to me by the due date.

We expect that someone who has mastered the material and works at a moderate rate should have little trouble completing the exam in a reasonable amount of time. In particular, this exam is likely to take you about four hours, depending on how well you’ve learned the topics and how fast you work.

Academic Honesty

This examination is open book, open notes, open mind, open computer, open Web. However, it is closed person. That means you should not talk to other people about the exam. Other than as restricted by that limitation, you should feel free to use all reasonable resources available to you.

As always, you are expected to turn in your own work. If you find ideas in a book or on the Web, be sure to cite them appropriately. If you use code that you wrote for a previous lab or homework, cite that lab or homework as well as any students who worked with you. If you use code that you found on the course Web site, be sure to cite that code. You need not cite the code provided in the body of the examination.

Although you may use the Web for this exam, you may not post your answers to this examination on the Web. And, in case it’s not clear, you may not ask others (in person, via email, via IM, via IRC, by posting a please help message, or in any other way) to put answers on the Web.

Because different students may be taking the exam at different times, you are not permitted to discuss the exam with anyone until after we have returned it. If you must say something about the exam, you are allowed to say:

This is among the hardest exams I have ever taken. If you don’t start it early, you will have no chance of finishing.

You may also summarize these policies. You may not tell other students which problems you’ve finished. You may not tell other students how long you’ve spent on the exam.

By submitting your exam, you agree to the following two statements:

  1. “I have neither received nor given inappropriate assistance on this examination.””
  2. “I am not aware of any other students who have given or received inappropriate assistance on this examination.”

Note that the statements must be true; if you are unable to agree to either statement, please talk to me at your earliest convenience. You need not reveal the particulars of the situation, simply that it happened. Note also that “inappropriate assistance” is assistance from (or to) anyone other than the course faculty.

Exams can be stressful. Don’t let the stress of the exam lead you to make decisions that you will later regret.


These exam procedures were written by Charlie Curtsinger, Sarah Dahlby Albright, Janet Davis, Fahmida Hamid, Titus Klinge, Samuel A. Rebelsky, and Jerod Weinman at Grinnell College and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The procedures were modified by Titus H. Klinge in 2021 and presented above under the same license in order to better serve the students of this course.