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Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Final Exam [1/5]

Let me refer you to Figure 1.1, below.

Figure 1.1 shows the probability distribution of a student’s grade on a 20-question, 4-option (ie select A, B, C, or D) multiple choice test, given that he/she didn’t study or even read the questions.  That means the grade you’d expect with strictly random guessing.  Notice two things: even without reading the questions, you’re most likely to score a 5/20, which means you’ll pick the correct answer 1 out of 4 times.  Makes sense!  Notice the probability of scoring a 0 – ie being so unlucky that you don’t choose the right option even once – is just above 0%.  To be exact, it’s 0.3%.  The odds of getting a 0 on my final exam is a third of 1 percent, GIVEN THAT YOU DIDN’T STUDY OR EVEN READ THE QUESTIONS.  One student did it.  And to make matters worse, I gave out the exam a week before they took it.

Cheers to all the teachers out there who still fight the fight anyway.

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