2023 Spring Comprehensive Exam

Before You Arrive

Get Your Seating Assignment

Location: McCarthy Gymnasium

A list of seating assignments will be posted to Canvas before the exam. Please find your netID in the list and note your seating assignment. Cross-reference your seat using the seating chart provided below.

Download PDF of chart.

Each (big) rectangle represents a folding table. There will be four people to a table.

Example: A seat assignment of L1-A-01 would place you in the seat in the most top-left corner of the map.

  • “L” stands for “LEFT” side of the room (relative to the front where the screen is located)
  • “1” stands for the first row
  • “A” tells you what side of a table you will be seated on
  • “01” stands for your chair in a row

Where would you sit if your seat assignment was R7-B-08?


Do not be in a seat that was not assigned to you. If you need help, find a TA to assist.

Note: DSS students with extended time accommodations and quiet room accommodations
will report to Hand 1144 for their exam and are NOT assigned a seat. You will simply spread out in the room at the instruction of the proctor. Therefore, if you have a seat assignment, you will report to McCarthy. If you do not have a seat assignment, you will be in Hand 1144.

Bring Appropriate Materials

  1. Scientific calculator (non-graphing, non-programmable, not internet capable)
  2. Pencil(s) and eraser(s)
  3. 3”x5” index card
  4. MSU ID

Banned Materials

Do not have on you

  1. Hats
  2. Watches (of any kind)
  3. Headphones
  4. Cell phone (stow away in bag, pocket, etc. – cannot be visible)
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Any device that is capable of connecting to WiFi and/or internet

When You Arrive

  1. Place your bookbags along side of room

  2. Obtain a scantron and (2) sheets of scratch paper. This is provided by the professor and will be located on a table near the back of the room. Do not bring your own scratch paper.

  3. Find your seat

  4. Fill out scantron

    1. Last name (write AND bubble)
    2. First name (write AND bubble)
    3. 9-digit ID (write AND bubble in Identification # box)
    4. Sign your name in top-left corner
    5. Write professor’s last name in top-middle
    6. Write exam version in top-right corner (once you get your exam)

Please note that for the “Last/First Name” and “Identification #”, you must

  1. Print the appropriate characters in the boxes provided (from left to right) AND
  2. Fill in the appropriate bubbles for each character entered.

Leave blank boxes blank and don’t fill in bubbles corresponding to blank boxes. If your name has more characters than there are boxes, fill in as many characters as possible.

Please note once again that if you do not accurately fill out your scantron, you will automatically be assigned a zero for the exam.

Example scantron:

Passing out the Exam

Being in your assigned seat is critical. When I pass out the exam, the first person in a row will receive an exam stack. The person receiving the stack of exams should see their exam on top of the stack. They will grab their exam and pass the stack to the person sitting next to them. The next person should see their exam, grab it, and pass the exam stack once again. We continue passing the stack until it has reached the end of a row. Please help your peers when passing down exams.

Be sure to only grab your exam. Sometimes exams will “stick” together at the staple.

If you do not see your exam at the top of the stack when it reaches you

  1. Check underneath the exam (i.e. look at the next exam) and see if it is yours. It is possible that the unclaimed exam was due to the fact that the student was not present or in the wrong seat. If you see an unclaimed exam in this manner, take the unclaimed exam and stick it at the bottom of the pile.
  2. It is possible that the person next to you accidentally took two exams. Please ask them to check for you if you suspect this.
  3. If you do not see your exam, you are very likely in the wrong seat.

I will collect all unclaimed exams. When exams are passed out, those at the end of the rows should indicate that there are unclaimed exams. I will collect them. Do NOT be left with unclaimed exams.


Checkout tables will be located in the front corners of the room (LEFT and RIGHT). Dornshuld’s students will go to the RIGHT checkout table and Nettles’ students will go to the LEFT checkout table.

Present your MSU ID to the TA along with the following materials:

  1. Exam
  2. Scantron
  3. All scratch paper
  4. Index card

No Cheating

Please don’t cheat on this exam. Follow the rules so that the exam remains equitable among all of your peers.

Wandering Eyes:

Every semester I bring up the concept of “wandering eyes”. Keep your eyes on your own exam. If I see anyone trying to look off of their neighbor’s work/exam, I will ask you to relocate yourself to a seat of my choosing. Please do not make this awkward and keep your eyes on your own exam.

Periodic Table

The very last page of your exam contains a periodic table should you need it.


Do not write on the exam.

Index Card

We discussed this in class already in detail. Yes you can use both sides of the index card.
That being said, remember to include your

  1. Name
  2. netID

in the top left corner of your index card. I should be able to clearly read it with my own eyeballs.

Also, please note that your index card must be able to be read by you without any magnification aids/devices. This shouldn’t have to be stated as a magnifying glass, etc. is not an allowed material.

Also, please no silly games with this. Don’t try to gain extra acreage. Keep your information within the 3 in. x 5 in. allowance. No accordion style pasties, no including information on the backside of something you’ve taped to your index card, etc.

You will be turning this in when you are dismissed from the exam so I implore you to make a copy of your index card if you intend to keep it.

Who Are You?

Huh? Locations of some people reading the Comp. Exam Overview page at 7:50 AM on April 19 following the Canvas announcement.