Below is a chart showing the distribution of scores on the midterm exam. Also shown is a curve for the exam from which I determined a letter grade corresponding to the scores. Note that the letter grade is for informational purposes only. For your final grade I do not average letter grades, but use the total number of points scored in the class to determine a curve for the final grade. Note also that I consider any grade below 50% to be a failing grade. I am available most of the time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to discuss the exam and I encourage you to send me an email to make an appointment to come in for a discussion, ESPECIALLY IF YOU DID POORLY ON THE EXAM.
Some General Comments about the Exam
When a professor says something is definitely going to be on the exam - BELIEVE THE PROFESSOR!!!!! Some of the most missed questions were ones that I said in class would definitely be on the exam. I give this advice in every class, but it always seems that some students just don't believe me.
45% of the class think that earthquakes will most likely occur in areas where there are faults, rather than in areas where earthquakes have occurred in human history. Old inactive faults occur all over the world, and most no longer have the potential to produce earthquakes.
The other most missed questions were short answer questions 8 and 11 (prediction of earthquakes and type of behavior to expect from future eruptions), both of which I explicitly said in class would be on the exam
Only 1 of you still thinks that magmas come from the Earth's outer core.
41% of you think that the most abundant element in the Earth's crust is Carbon, water (not an element), or CO2 (not an element). In fact the most abundant element in the crust is Oxygen.
2 of you still think there is an instrument called the Richter Scale.
Expect these questions to show up in some form on the final exam!
Life or Death Questions
Three of you died in a tsunami because you thought that the first wave as the largest and went back to the beach before the next larger wave came in.
Two of you died on the Oregon beach because you did not run up the hill to safety.
8 of you (an astonishing 37% of the class) died in the pyroclastic flow generated by the Plinian eruption forgetting that such eruptions don't just consist of falling pyroclastic material.
Two people died when they assumed that mudflows only occur on volcanoes when there is an actual eruption.
Watch for more life or death questions on the final exam.