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Quiz Notes, Strategies, and Considerations

Please read the Syllabus and the FAQ pages for additional information about course policies with regards to the missed/dropped quizzes.

Below are a few tips and information to help you do well.

Table of contents

  1. Taking a Quiz
    1. Preparing for the quiz
    2. Quiz Logistics
  2. Regrade Requests
    1. Step 1: Check if there’s a grading error
    2. Step 2: Make your request on the page for the specific question
  3. How to submit a regrade request
  4. How to submit an effective regrade request
  5. Please submit regrade requests in a timely fashion.
  6. For work graded on Gradescope, always use the regrade request button (not email or the forum)

Taking a Quiz

Preparing for the quiz

Practice by mindfully solving the weekly quizzes, working through the challenge activities, and solving labs.

Focus on writing your own code from scratch.

  • For the examples in the textbook, try to write the solution yourself, without looking at the provided solution, and then compare your code with the one that is provided in the textbook.
  • For each Figure that shows sample code, run it yourself or try to write that code yourself.
  • If the instructor note in the textbook shows an example or asks a question, work through the example, check the output, answer the question and check the result.

Since quizzes are open-book, you can use zyBooks as well as your notes to come up with your own answers. We recommend using handwritten notes, so that you do not need to have yet another open window during the quiz.

Quiz Logistics

We highly recommend using a computer (not a phone or a tablet) for doing the work in this class, especially, during quizzes. At the very least, it should help avoid undesirable capitalization and auto-correct that is common on mobile devices.

Before the start of the class, open the zyBooks and have your notes ready for reference.

Open Gauchospace and Gradescope sites.

Open a new file in your IDE.

Before opening a quiz on Gauchospace, note the end time and the quiz duration.

  • On Gauchospace, the sidebar on the right should show you the total number of questions as well as the remaining time.
  • Set your own timer, which should go off 3-5 minutes before the official timer ends.

All quizzes will always start on Gauchospace.

Some quizzes will have a question that will redirect you to the appropriate version on Gradescope.

  • Remember to select your version from the dropdown on Gauchospace.
  • Carefully note the version name that’s at the top of the question and name your file accordingly.
  • Copy/paste the instructions / a template into a new file in your IDE.
  • Make sure to periodically save your solution on Gradescope by uploading your file there.
  • Ensure your file is free of syntax errors!
    • Run your code before your final submission to ensure that you don’t have any syntax errors.
    • It is better to submit a partially-working code than a file that contains syntax errors.

Regrade Requests

After every quiz, we highly recommend that you look over the results: if you got something wrong on the quiz, make sure that you understand what the correct answer is supposed to be and why. It is possible that the quiz questions from previous weeks might show up on the future quizzes to give you a chance to get them right the next time you see the same scenario.

If you ever need us to regrade something on Gradescope, instead of emailing us or posting about it on the forum, please use the “Regrade request” option on Gradescope. You can also use this feature to ask for clarifications if you are unsure why your answer is not correct.

  • Note that the regrades are not available for the completely-auotgraded submissions.
  • When a quiz on Gradescope has a manually-graded question, you can use it to submit a regrade request. Read below on how to submit your request.

What to do if you have questions about the grading of a problem (e.g., you think there was a grading error).

Step 1: Check if there’s a grading error

Depending on the question, try the following steps:

  • Read through the rubric and see what issue(s) it addresses.
    • Look over your code to see how/why the rubric might apply.
    • Note that only the rubric items that have a checkmark ✔️ next to them apply to your submission.
    • A lot of times the “Correct” rubric will show you the answer that we expected. Take a close look at what it shows and make sure that you understand how or why your answer differs from it.
  • Verify that you wrote down the correct answer. Run your code to see if it generates any errors.
    • If your code has no errors and works as expected, check that your have correctly structured and indented your main program - do not use global variables.
  • Find the part in the book or lecture notes that shows that yours is the correct answer.

Only once you’re done with those steps, you can submit your regrade request(s), listing the necessary information as described below.

Step 2: Make your request on the page for the specific question

For the code that you submitted on Gradescope via a Python file, open up the manually-graded question to submit your regrade request. Make sure that you take care of Step 1 first.

For the answers that you submitted on Gradescope directly, open up that question before you submit your regrade request. Make sure that you take care of Step 1 first.

As an example if you have an inquiry about question 3, part (b):

  • Navigate specifically to the page for question 3, part (b)
  • THEN click “Request regrade” button at the bottom of that page.

Here’s why this is important: if you ask about question 3, part (b) on the correct page, then when the TA or instructor reviews your regrade request, they are shown your specific answer to that question, and they are given the opportunity to address your regrade.

How to submit a regrade request

If you have a question about something that was graded through Gradescope, there is a “Request Regrade” button in the lower right corner of the screen on each problem.

When you click it, you can enter a regrade request such as this one:

Hello! Would you be willing to further explain why my answer to this question was incorrect?

Here’s a Gradescope’s help page link with videos about Submitting a Regrade Request: https://help.gradescope.com/article/8hchz9h8wh-student-regrade-request

How to submit an effective regrade request

We do sometimes make mistakes when grading. We, the graders, are happy to respond to regrade requests that are phrased politely.

You will not be very successful if you are combative, rude, or if you question the judgement and fairness of the individuals you are seeking help from. You are in a better position if you simply ask questions that might lead the person to see things your way.

As an example, consider one of the ways of phrasing the regrade request, which is more likely to result in a favorable outcome:

“I’m not sure why I lost points on this question. Can you help me understand what you were looking for? I think my answer might actually be correct, but I’m wondering if there is something that I’m missing”.

You can also attend office hours or stop by the office/lab hours to ask for clarifications.

Finally, as a reminder - we entertain regrade requests under these circumstances:

  • Clerical error. We simply applied the rubric incorrectly.
  • You feel you have a compelling case that an item in the rubric that is marked incorrect is in fact, completely correct, and you followed the suggested steps outlined above to check if there’s a grading error.

We will not consider regrade requests of the form “I think I deserve more points for this question.

Please submit regrade requests in a timely fashion.

There is a deadline for regrade requests. This is typically announced in the email when the grades are published, but you can also consult the schedule on Gradescope to see when the regrade request window closes. After the deadline passes, the “Request Regrade” button will not longer be available and we will not be considering further requests.

Please look over your answers and the rubrics as soon as you receive the email from Gradescope to make sure that you have enough time to address your questions.

For work graded on Gradescope, always use the regrade request button (not email or the forum)

Please, always use the regrade request button (not email or the forum).

When you submit your concern through Gradescope, it will be presented to us in the context of each of the problems you are asking about, with an interface where we can consult the rubric, adjust your grade, etc.

When we consider regrade requests, we don’t consider them one student at a time.

That’s what doing it through Gradescope allows us to do—it groups regrade requests by problem, and allows us to see the big picture before adjusting anyone’s grade. Then, we can make sure that whatever adjustments we make to grades are made equitably.

We hope you can see why that’s important, and we appreciate your cooperation.