Physics: Guidelines for Quiz Revisions

If you wish to retake standards, you must complete revisions on the missed questions.  This is to ensure that you have mastered the content before testing again.  Revisions must be satisfactory, as described below, and must be completed in time.

What revisions are

Write an analysis of what went wrong in your answers to the problems that were not awarded full credit.  A good analysis contains a brief, insightful essay for each problem that you missed.  Here is what to do:

Prepare your thoughts

Examine why you answered as you did.  If you chose your answer for a regrettable reason such as a wild guess or accidentally selecting the wrong answer from a multiple choice, think of steps you can take to avoid making such mistakes in the future. 

Learn why the “correct” answer really is correct.  You should understand the problem well enough to teach someone else how to solve it.  If you don’t, please see me!  Learn how to approach and solve the problem before writing the revision.

Compare your thinking during the quiz to the correct approach.  You should be able to identify where your thinking went wrong.  What should you have known to take the correct path instead of the path you followed?  This is your missing insight.

Tell me

Thoroughly explain your thinking in writing to me, so that I can understand what was going on inside your head. I want to understand my students’ thought processes, so that I can meet them where they are.

Then, thoroughly explain to me how to correctly approach and solve the problem.  Simply repeating my explanation, quoting a web site, or referring to lecture notes is not sufficient: explain it in your own words, so that there can be no doubt that you now can do the problem.  This is the place for you to demonstrate your mastery of the material, not the place for you to ask me how to do the problem.  Learn how to do the problem before you write your revision!

Include in your analysis for each question:

Make sure that each analysis is complete enough that I can really understand what you were thinking and why when you took the quiz.  Also be sure that your description of the missing insight is complete enough to prove to me that you now really understand the correct answer and why it is correct.

If there is anything else you would like to add, please include it as well.  I am especially interested in what you think that you could have done to have better prepared yourself for the quiz, and in what you think I could have done to have better prepared you for the quiz.

How it’s accepted

I evaluate your analysis on three criteria: your reason for answering on the test as you did, the correct process to follow when approaching the problem, and the missing insight(s) that should have led you to the correct answer.  Of course, none of these are possible unless I know what the question was.  To be accepted, responses must be sufficient (“ideal” or “ok”) in these areas as follows:


4idealClearly explains how and why you found your (incorrect) answer.
3okClearly describes your (incorrect) process without telling your reason for using it.
2needs fixingShows the work or formula leading to your answer without explanation.
1unacceptableI had difficulty following your process, or how it led to your answer.
0doomedIt is not clear what the question was.


4idealStarting with fundamental physics principles, correctly, clearly, and completely explains how to find the proper answer.
3okShows a correct process without explanation.
2needs fixingThe process shown is correct, but leaves out steps or does not begin with fundamental principles.
1unacceptableExplanation is absent, substantially unclear, or incorrect.
0doomedIt is not clear what the question was.

Missing Insights

4idealYour missing insights are clearly stated.  How they would have corrected your reasoning is explicitly detailed.
3ok Your missing insights are are identified, clear, and relevant, but not explained.
2needs fixingThe insights identified do not fully account for the difference between your response and the correct answer.
1unacceptableExplanation absent, unclear, or incorrect; or an insight is erroneous.
0doomedIt is not clear what the question was.

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Copyright © 2018, Richard Barrans
Revised: 15 October 2018.  Maintained by Richard Barrans.