As a TA I am responsible for preparing problems and solution sets for the exams. Last time we had an exam, the professor didn't tell us which problems he wanted to select for the exam until the morning of the exam, which meant I had to write solutions for a large number of problems the night before the exam, most of which did not end up being on the exam. Now there is another exam coming up and I fear I will have to do this again. What should I do?

  • 22
    Talk to him...?
    – JNS
    Mar 10, 2015 at 20:16
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    Do you mean that you don't know what's on the test and so you can't make an answer key or explanation for reviewing the test with students later, or you don't know what to put on the exam yourselves until the day of? Either way this sounds bizarre, as a TA you should not be doing work with no apparent benefit to the professor or students (terrible waste of time, it sounds like), and you'll surely need to talk with the Professor to see how you should be handling this.
    – BrianH
    Mar 10, 2015 at 21:12
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    I don't think I understand the question. Why do you need to write answers for problems you're not even sure will be on the test? Shouldn't you wait till you see what the questions are? Mar 10, 2015 at 22:57
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    He doesn't respond to a lot of emails — And so what happened when you asked him about this in person? You did ask him about this in person, didn't you?
    – JeffE
    Mar 11, 2015 at 1:33
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    Your writing is not clear. Assuming that the professor will not tell you what is on the exam, until after the exam begins, is perhaps to guarantee the integrity of the exam. I.E., the TA can't possible tell the students, what is on the exam, prior to the exam. I'm not challenging your integrity. This may be the department's policy (not the professor).
    – Todd Booth
    Mar 16, 2015 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Tell him you'd like it if either a) he gave you the problems at least one day before the exam or b) he gave you permission to decide what would be on the exam (within reason, of course)

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