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General Exam Information

  • All exams will be electronically timed.
  • The time length of each exam will be 2 hours, and you can take it at a contiguous 2 hour window of your choosing within the specified two days for that exam.
  • The course staff will try to design exams that can be completed within 1.5 hours, but you will have the entire 2 hours to complete each.
  • All exams are open-book, but as always the Honor Code applies.
  • From the first three exams, the lowest score will be dropped, but the last exam cannot be dropped.

Exam Instructions

Distribution and Submission

  • Each exam will be released on Gradescope at 12:01 am Pacific Time on its release date, and it will be available until 11:59 pm Pacific Time the following day. Once you begin the exam, you will have 2 hours (time-stamped) to complete it including scanning/uploading your answers. Note that the exam is designed to take 1.5 hours, so you may want to budget as much as 30 minutes for scanning and uploading.
  • You will have two options for taking the exam:
    • “Exam #1 [Embedded]” portal on Gradescope: the exam itself is embedded into Gradescope and each individual question has space for you to enter your answer or upload a picture.
    • “Exam #1 [Full Upload]” portal on Gradescope: this option takes the format of a traditional problem set. You will upload a pdf of your entire exam (either typed or handwritten) and tag the corresponding pages. Your submission time will be recorded when the file is uploaded, so tagging pages will not count against the 2-hour time limit. You can download the template (i.e., the exam file) within the portal if you wish to print it out.
    • For either option, you may type your answers or handwrite them and scan/take pictures of them. Please tag your solutions and write legibly! Answers that we cannot decipher will not receive credit.
    • Please only take the exam through one of these portals. If you open the exam in both portals, we will only grade whichever was opened first.
  • The time allotted for each exam is 2 hours. For late submissions, your exam grade will be docked 5% per minute past the deadline after a 10 minute grace period. For example, submitting 10 minutes past the deadline is within the grace period, 11 minutes past will incur a 5% penalty, 12 minutes past will incur a 10% penalty, etc. Submissions more than 30 minutes late, or received after 11:59 pm on the due date, will receive no credit.
    • The Gradescope time limit includes an extra 30 minutes for these late exams. Regardless of what Gradescope says, the time allotted is 2 hours, so please track the time for yourself!
  • To avoid issues with the submission process:
    • Please test your internet, other equipment, and submission flow before beginning the exam (see “Sample Exam” below).
    • If you expect internet issues (e.g., possible power outage), or if you experience internet issues during the exam, please email the staff list ( as soon as you are aware of the problem.
    • If you experience internet issues preventing you from submitting through Gradescope, we will accept files emailed to the staff list ( The lateness penalty will apply based on the timestamp of the email. If you have neither reliable internet nor cellular data, please reach out to the staff list ASAP, no later than Tuesday 1/26.


The midterm is open-book, closed-collaboration, and subject to the Honor Code.

  • You may:
    • consult inanimate materials or resources, including the course notes and reference materials online, as long as they do not violate the stipulations below. If you refer to any online sources as part of obtaining your answer, you must cite them. If you use any results from online sources (outside of course materials), you must include a proof or justification as applicable.
    • cite without proof any result from lectures or from the lecture notes, unless otherwise stated.
  • You may not:
    • talk to, consult, or collaborate with anyone about the exam.
    • post questions on any public or private forums (e.g. Stack Overflow, Chegg, Slack, etc.).
    • enter exam questions into any software, apps, or websites.
    • access resources that directly explain how to answer questions from the actual exam. This includes equation solution finders, and software, apps, or websites where other people have provided answers to specific questions (e.g., Chegg’s Expert Q&A, etc.).
  • Interactions with the course staff during the 48-hour exam window will be limited to non-exam-related questions.
    • During the 48-hour exam window, we will NOT answer any questions that you have about the exam, including questions on logistics and clarification questions. This is to be fair to all students across all time zones since we can’t guarantee response times. Please be sure to go through the Gradescope sample exam and be clear about exam logistics beforehand.
    • Office hours will still occur during the 48-hour exam window, but we will NOT answer any exam-related questions. Ed posts (on homework and other exam-unrelated topics) during the exam window will not be visible to other students until they have been approved by a TA.
    • If you have a question during the exam, try to figure out the answer the best you can. If needed, clearly indicate on your exam that you had a question, and what you assumed the answer was.
    • Advice: If you get stuck on a problem, move on to the next one. Pay attention to how many points each problem is worth. Read the problem statements carefully.
  • Post-exam: Please do not discuss anything about the exam (e.g. on Ed, with classmates, etc.) until exam grades have been released.

OAE Students

Students with approved OAE exam accommodations have been contacted separately about the exam. If you have OAE accommodations and have not been contacted, please email the staff mailing list ASAP.

Sample Exam

  • We will release a blank sample exam (“Exam #0”) on Gradescope by Monday 1/25. We strongly recommend that you use this exam to practice submitting answers through your desired portal, so there are no surprises during the real thing.
  • We will also post some past exams on Canvas (under “Files > Sample Exams”), in case you want extra practice. However, note that these exams will not cover exactly the same topics that will be on Exam #1.


Exam 1

Release: Thu, Jan 28, 12:01 am – Due: Fri, Jan 29, 11:59 pm

Not released yet.

Exam 2

Release: Thu, Feb 11, 12:01 am – Due: Fri, Feb 12, 11:59 pm

Not released yet.

Exam 3

Release: Mon, Mar 1, 12:01 am – Due: Tue, Mar 2, 11:59 pm

Not released yet.

Exam 4

Release: Mon, Mar 15, 12:01 am – Due: Tue, Mar 16, 11:59 pm

Not released yet.