There are two approaches to writing a textbook. The author can look back -- consolidating what they learned from their experience in the classroom -- or look forward -- anticipating new directions in which the curriculum can (and should) go. It is relatively easy to write a test bank based on prior experience; all one has to do is reflect on the questions that have been used successfully with various student populations over the years. It is more difficult to deliver a bank of tested questions for a book that tries to bring new directions into the curriculum.
The test items in this collection were not written to accompany Chemistry: Structure and Dynamics. (At some point in the future we hope to be able to provide test questions specifically tailored to that text.) They are based on questions that have been used in one or more introductory courses at Purdue. They have been adapted, as needed, to meet the needs of the Chemistry: Structure and Dynamics text. They are provided under the assumption that the goal of an introductory course has not changed with the call for new directions in the chemistry curriculum. What has changed is the path by which we get students to that goal. As a result, some of the classic questions that have been used successfully by previous generations of chemists will be equally valid with the new currriculum. While editing these questions, the author chose to err on the side of including, rather than deleting, questions that might cover material beyond the scope of the Chemistry: Structure and Dynamics text.
Many of our ideas for potential test questions based on Chemistry: Structure and Dynamics have been incorporated as end-of-chapter problems in that text. The first step in building exams for students using that text should therefore involve a consideration of how some of these problems can be adapted for use as exam questions.
Some of the test items in this collection were written in a multiple-choice format, others were used as free-response items. The free-response items are sometimes more complex than the multiple-choice questions because a typical exam at Purdue might contain 15-18 multiple-choice questions worth five or six points each and five or six 10-point free-response questions, for which partial credit is given.
The questions in this collection were taken from a range of introductory chemistry courses at Purdue. All of the questions in this text were satisfactory discriminators in the context in which they were used. However, it is important to note that questions that are excellent discriminators in one course can be abject failures in another.
Answers have been provided for most, if not all, test items. Reasonable efforts have been taken to make sure that the answers that were given for the question by the individual who wrote each item have been transcribed accurately into this collection. The author and webpage constructor apologize for any errors of commission, which are inevitably their fault.
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