It's an idea that came to my mind today.

I saw book-recommendation tag and then I thought why not question-exam-recommendation tag.

This new tag would be very useful to summarize ALL the theory that you had to learn about $x$ topic, in other words you'll get the gist of the theory.


For instance let say Nemo is about to take an exam about Measure Theory.

And suppose he knows the exact themes $t_1,t_2,t_3$ that the professor is going to ask about.

And if he uses the new tag question-exam-recommendation among the topics $t_1,t_2,t_3$ in his question posted on MSE, then some people (maybe those that have taught the course) could help:

-Question $\lambda$ is a must be in a Measure Theory exam (including $t_2,t_3$ topic)

-Question $\beta$ is another very common question asked in a final exam (including $t_1$ topic) .

-...


Can we create the tag?

I find this helpful.

  • 4
    Is it often that a nontrivial answer to such a question exists? (That is, other than "We're covering linear programming in my convex optimization class." "Oh, expect a question that involves solving a linear program.") I've never seen any particular question as a "must-be" when writing an exam, though of course there is often a topic that there must be some question about. – Misha Lavrov Oct 3 at 5:42
  • 5
    "This new tag would be very useful to summarize ALL the theory that you had to learn about x topic" makes me think that any question posted under this tag ought to be closed as Too Broad. – Peter Taylor Oct 3 at 9:55
  • @MishaLavrov No, in that case it should be a particular linear program to be solved. For example in the topology field I'd say this is a must be in the exam Let X be $T_1$ then $X$ is numerable compact iff $X$ has the B-W property. – Isa Oct 3 at 13:26
  • @PeterTaylor yes it could be too broad, but you could choose a few and propose them. In the case there are already answers then you could abstain. – Isa Oct 3 at 13:28
  • Another example is the Mittag-Leffler theorem in complex analysis. Though in this case, I don't know what could be more important: to state the theorem and the sketch of the proof or an application of the theorem. So in this case, someone that knows the field could choose and propose. – Isa Oct 3 at 13:38
  • 1
    Sorry, perhaps I'm engaging in nerdview. By "closed as Too Broad" I was referring to the help text "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." – Peter Taylor Oct 3 at 14:11
  • @Isabella A question about whether the statement or the application is more important is far too specialized for this format. Such a question should be directed to the person writing the exam - we all have different things we emphasize to our students – T. Bongers Oct 3 at 19:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The kind of question that could appear on an exam is too much an issue of personal opinion for this to be a broad MSE question. For example, your examples discuss questions like "State X theorem and give a proof". I think questions like this are terrible and would never put one on an exam - if I think the theorem is important, I will ask a question that requires using it. But other people that have taught the same classes I'm teaching have put similar questions on exams in the past.

If you have an idea of the kind of question you want, and are asking for some specific examples, that could be a reasonable question. You could, for instance, ask "I have an upcoming exam in graph theory that covers trees. Can you give me some practice exercises that involve proving that all trees have some property, or that a property is equivalent to the definition of a tree?"

If you want to do this, you can ask such a question whether or not an "exam-question-recommendation" tag exists. Creating the tag first and then asking questions doesn't make sense. Once there are several good questions of this type, then it would be reasonable to discuss if a tag is needed to group them together.

For that matter, the same applies to the sort of question you're describing. I still think it would be (1) too broad and (2) too subjective to be a good question. But if you think you can ask a question like that and make it work, then you can already do that - a tag doesn't need to exist, and if it's worth creating, then it will be worth creating after there are questions to apply it to.

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