Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Students Complain The Exams Are Too HardStep 2: Identify Reasons

Identify possible reasons for the problem you have selected.
To find the most effective strategies, select the reason that best describes your situation, keeping in mind there may be multiple relevant reasons.

Students complain the exams are too hard.

Exam had unclear or ambiguous questions or instructions.

Exam required knowledge and skills that students did not have sufficient opportunity to practice.

Exam was too long.

Exam drew on knowledge outside of prerequisites.

Students prepared ineffectively.

Students spent their time poorly during the exam.

Students lacked prerequisite knowledge and skills.

Students failed to apply their knowledge and skills.

Students blame the instructor for their poor performance.

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