There will be two kinds of in-class exams: five short quizzes (20-35 minutes) and one multi-hour final exam. In addition, each in-class quiz will be accompanied by a take-home quiz (due 24 hours after the in-class quiz). This page contains ground rules for all exams, in-class and take-home. It also contains a tentative exam schedule and sample exams from 2016 (with answers).

QUIZZES. Each quiz focuses on material from the 4-5 classes that most recently preceded the quiz (about 2.5 chapters in Sorrell). However, Chem 201 is a cumulative course. You should expect all quizzes to draw on material from all earlier parts of the course.

Each quiz is administered twice, once as an in-class quiz and then immediately following that as a take-home quiz. The take-home version will be due 24 hours following the start of the in-class quiz, i.e., if you are in the MW section, your take-home will be due at 2:20 PM the next day, and if you are in the TuTh section, your take-home will be due at 10:30 AM the next day. The in-class and take-home versions of the quiz are identical, but different policies will govern how you take them and how they are graded. These policies are spelled out below.

FINAL EXAM. The final exam covers the entire course: classes 1-25 + spectroscopic identification of molecular structures (Sorrell, chapters 13-14).

Ground rules for all IN-CLASS quizzes & exams:

  • All in-class exams are closed book, homework, and notes.
  • Electronic devices, including listening devices (music players, cell phones, etc.) and calculators, are not permitted (see Model kits for iPad/iPhone/iPod exception).
    • Model kits. Students may bring a model kit to each exam. The instructor will also try to provide a small number of plastic models during the exam. Students may use a plastic model kit or they may use the iSpartan molecular modeling app (available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch), but exam use of iSpartan is limited to sketching models, converting them to 3D, and rotating the models. You may not use the information buttons, change the appearance to space-filling or R/S, or perform conformation searches.
  • Data tables and charts, including the periodic table, are not permitted, except for those provided by the instructor (instructor-provided materials are limited to tables of characteristic IR/NMR spectroscopic parameters; periodic tables will not be provided.)
  • All work must be performed by each student working independently. You may not share answers, drawings, ideas, tables or models. Conversations are not allowed during the exam.
    • Honor note: the same in-class exams will be given to both lecture sections so the content of exams must not be discussed publicly until all students have completed the exams.
  • The exam must be taken during class in E314 unless special arrangements have been made with the instructor in advance.
  • Special accommodations will be made for students with documented needs. This documentation needs to be provided at least 48 hours in advance of the exam, and discussed with the instructor in person, so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
  • Academic honor system. All academic and laboratory work in Chem 201 is covered by Reed’s academic honor system. This means that all work that you present to the instructor (exams, homework, lab notebooks and reports, and so on) is understood to be 1) your own work, 2) work that has been completed under the ground rules established by the instructor, and 3) work that has been performed with full understanding of these ground rules. If questions arise in your mind as to the meaning of any ground rules, it is your responsibility to bring these questions to the instructor before you perform the work involved.

Ground rules for all TAKE-HOME quizzes:

  • Take-home quizzes are optional. They are intended to give students who have trouble with recall, problem-solving, or test anxiety, a second-chance at demonstrating what they have learned. If you are happy with your performance on the in-class quiz, you can rest on that score (see Grading of take-home quizzes below).
  • Materials and information sources
    • You may refer to all of our class materials, including your textbook, solutions manual, and learning activities, and also your personal notes.
    • All other materials are off-limits. This includes web pages, library books, charts and tables (beyond those found in the ‘class materials’ listed above), books from the Chem student lounge/DoJo, and so on.
  • Group work
    • You may discuss problems and answers only with classmates from the same lecture session. This means MW students can work together and share ideas, drawings, answers. The same applies to TuTh students. Group work and sharing must not occur across different lecture sessions.
    • Because group work is limited to classmates, you may not discuss any part of a take-home quiz with tutors, DoJo staff, students from outside the course, or faculty not associated with Chem 201.
  • Due dates
    • As stated above, take-home quizzes are due 24 hours after the beginning of the class in which the in-class quiz was given. So, if you took a quiz during the W class, your take-home quiz is due Th at 2:20 PM.
    • Quizzes can be turned in to Kayla Johnston, C303, or to Alan Shusterman, C408 (slide the quiz under our door if we are not present to receive the quiz). Take-home quizzes left in Eliot/Chem mailboxes or sent through the mail (US/campus) will not be accepted. Electronic copies of quizzes will not be accepted except in an emergency.
    • Because the quizzes are short (20-35 minutes in-class) and because accommodations are provided where needed on the in-class version, no time/space accommodations will be provided for the take-home version. You should have more than enough time to work on a take-home quiz and you are free to work on the quiz in any location/environment that suits your needs and is consistent with the policies outlined above.
  • Grading of take-home quizzes
    • Partial credit is routinely awarded where appropriate on in-class quizzes. As a rule, partial credit will not be awarded to answers on take-home quizzes. Take the time to make sure that your take-home answers are complete, carefully expressed, and correct to the best of your knowledge.
    • In-class and take-home quizzes will be scored separately. You will never be penalized for a low take-home quiz score. In other words,
      • If your take-home quiz earns a lower score than your in-class quiz, you will receive the score from the in-class quiz, i.e., the higher of the two scores.
      • If the take-home quiz receives a higher score than the in-class quiz, you will receive the score on the take-home quiz subject to one limitation: you can recover up to, but no more than, 50% of the points you lost on the in-class quiz. Examples:
        1. You earn 80% on the in-class quiz (20% lost) and 15% on the take-home quiz. Your score for this quiz will be 80%. You cannot receive a score lower than your in-class score.
        2. You earn 80% on the in-class quiz (20% lost) and 85% on the take-home quiz. Your score for this quiz will be 85%. In general, you will receive the higher of the two scores.
        3. You earn 70% on the in-class quiz (30% lost) and 90% on the take-home quiz. Your score for this quiz is only 85%. Although the higher quiz score is 90%, the maximum you can recover via the take-home is 15%, i.e., half of what was lost on the in-class quiz. 70 + 15 = 85%.

Quiz & Exam schedule (tentative – changes will be announced in class & by email)


Quiz #1 – Day 5: W, 9/12 & R, 9/13 – covers classes 1-4 – answers
Quiz #2 – Day 11: W, 10/3 & R, 10/4 – emphasizes classes 5-9 (models especially useful here) – answers
Quiz #3 – Day 16: M, 10/29 & T, 10/30 – emphasizes classes 10-14 – answers
Quiz #4 – Day 21: W, 11/14 & R, 11/15 – emphasizes classes 15-19 – answers
Quiz #5 – Day 25: M, 12/3 & T, 12/4 – emphasizes classes 20-23 + NMR (Sorrell 13)* + IR (Sorrell 14.3)* – answers

*NMR + IR will be covered in lab. Students who are enrolled in just the lecture portion of the class should attend selected lab sessions (contact Alan for more info)

Final exam – Wednesday, Dec 12, Vollum Lecture Hall, 1-4 pm – (bring models) – covers classes 1-25 + NMR/IR + phenomena/theories employed in lab – answers

Sample 2015 & 2016* exams

The following files provide blank exams from 2016 and exam answers.

Quiz #1 – covered classes 1-4 (Ch. 1-2 partial) | answers
Quiz #2 – covered classes 5-9 (Ch. 2-4) | answers
Quiz #3 – covered classes 10-14 (Ch. 5-7 partial) | answers
Quiz #4 – covered classes 15-19 (Ch. 7-9) | answers
Quiz #5 – covered classes 20-23 + spectroscopy (Ch. 10-11, 13-14) | answers
2015 Final Exam* – covered classes 1-25 + spectroscopy (Ch. 1-14) | 2015 answers
2016 Final Exam* – covered classes 1-25 + spectroscopy (Ch. 1-14) | 2016 answers

* Final Exams are long and formats change from year to year. The 2015 exam was written by me. The 2016 exam was written by my colleague, Prof. Sam Helmy. It borrows from the format of the previous year’s exam that I had written, but it also introduced some new styles of questions too. It remains to be seen what the 2018 exam will look like.