Self-help exam

I'm very grateful to Yongrong (John) Zhang of Roswell Park's Information Technology Department for developing the software that drives this interactive exam. After I discovered that the old software wouldn't work on the newly-configured Roswell Park web servers, John worked very hard to get the new software ready in time so that it would be useful for the 2001 RPN530 mid-term exam.

Additional thanks are due to Prof. Thomas M. Terry at the University of Connecticut, whose article (Teaching Microbiology with the World Wide Web, ASM News, 61:401-405, 1995) inspired me.

The following exam is intended to help you determine whether or not you really understand the content of my lectures on DNA repair. The exam is in multiple choice format. This format is easiest for a computer to handle. The DNA repair question(s) on the exam you will take may or may not employ this format! I frequently ask essay questions on real exams. I may also ask questions that will require you to include drawings of DNA repair reaction mechanisms in your answers. Whatever type of question I ask, you will need a thorough understanding of the material in my lecture notes in order to answer the question, and this self-help exam will help you to acquire that understanding. Click here or on the button below to see the real exam questions I asked in previous years.

Purpose of the self-help exam

The exam is designed to stimulate you into recognizing aspects of DNA repair that you are uncertain about. It is your responsibility to learn enough about DNA repair so that you understand each of the questions asked on this exam and why the answer I have listed as correct is, indeed, the correct answer. My lecture notes and the references given in my lecture notes are your best source of information. In addition, I invite you to come to my office, call, FAX, or e-mail. I'll try to help you get onto the right track if you're having problems. But I can't work miracles. If you wait until the day before the mid-term exam to seek my help, there's probably not much I can do for you.

Please note that this exam is incomplete! I cannot cover all aspects of DNA repair as described in my lectures in a reasonable number of questions. Furthermore, this year (2003) I've devoted so much time to updating my lectures and web site that I didn't have much time to update these questions. Consequently, you'll find very few questions on the newer material in my lectures. Despite these problems, you will nevertheless find these exams to be useful. Note that you are responsible for developing an understanding of DNA repair that is sufficiently solid that you could answer questions at the level of difficulty reflected in the self-help exam on all aspects of DNA repair as covered in my lectures. This exam is simply a stimulus.

Instructions for the exam

When you take the exam, click the circle (radio button) corresponding to your choice for each answer. You may answer as many or as few questions as you wish. When you are done, click the "Submit the Exam" button at the bottom of the exam. This will cause your exam to be "graded". You can then review your exam to see whether each answer choice was correct or incorrect, and view your percentage correct at the end of the exam.

These results are for your use only. No scores are kept. You can, and should, retake the exam several times, continuing to work on questions you got wrong, until you can answer all questions successfully. Be sure to think about why you answered incorrectly, and then try to make an intelligent choice among the remaining options before answering the exam again.

You will not gain as much benefit from printing out exams and studying them as you will from taking, and retaking them, electronically. I will not post answers; the only way for you to find out how you did is to take the exam electronically, then have your answers scored, and continue working on the questions that you get wrong. The purpose of these exams is for you to identify areas that require more study and to practice your exam-taking skills, not to try to collect questions. Although these particular questions will probably not be on the actual exam you take, your work in learning how to answer these questions will prove valuable to you.

To take the exam, simply click on the link below.

DNA repair self-help exam