# Problem Letter

.

Styliani Karabinaki

1234 Rainbow way

Davis, Ca 95616

February 3, 2017

David Lang

University of California, Davis

One Shields Avenue

Davis, CA 95616

Dear Professor Lang,

Hello, my name is Styliani Karabinaki, and I am one of the many UC Davis students that have participated in your Statistics 13 class. Specifically, your class of Fall 2016. Statistics 13 was one of my favorite classes last quarter because you taught the material so well and it was easy to understand. As much as I enjoyed learning about probabilities and learning how to find the Z-value, I wouldn’t necessarily want to go through the learning process all over again in my undergraduate career, unless it was necessary for a different class. Unfortunately, I am going to have to repeat Statistics 13, because your exams were too long for the amount of time we were given to complete the exam.
Not having a sufficient amount of time to complete the exam leads to students, like myself, to get bad grades, resulting in failing the class and having to retake it. I understand that the classes are structured around a particular time frame and can’t exactly make the examination time longer, but have you considered making the exams shorter?

Having a shorter exam would mean that the students will be able to pace themselves through the exam and not have to rush; avoiding those little mathematical errors that could result in a wrong answer. Also, having a shorter exam would take a lot of stress off the students. With each exam being 30% of our final grade it puts a lot of pressure and stress on us having to do well. When the exam consists of thirty-five-word problems for fifty minutes of examination time, it easy to see how the students feel rushed. We have about a minute and a half to spend on each question. That involves reading the question, comprehending it, and solving it. A mathematical question includes equations that need a lot of steps to be resolved, something that would take more than a minute and a half to solve correctly. After every exam the students would gather outside the classroom to discuss how they think they did, or what they did wrong/ right, expressing their stress and fears of getting a low score. Most importantly, I would hear almost everyone talk about how they ran out of time and didn’t finish their exam.

If making the exam shorter is too difficult, another option would be simplifying the word problems. Long word problems add to the problem of not having enough time for completing the exam. A lot of the questions on the test are in fact word problems, and the students spend a lot of time reading through irrelevant information to find the actual information that is needed to solve it. For example, “The overnight shipping business has skyrocketed in the last ten years. The single greatest predictor of a company’s success is customer service. A study was conducted to determine the client’s satisfaction levels for one overnight shipping business. In addition to the satisfaction of the customer’s level, the customers were asked how often they used overnight shipping. The results are shown below in the following table”. This question is an exam question taken from the Fall 2016 Midterm 1 exam. As you can see the question involves background information in the first two sentences that are not necessary for solving the problem. That might not seem like a significant change to the problem, but when it happens to most of the word problems it adds up to the time we wasted reading irrelevant information when we could have spent that time solving the problem.