Sample Practice Final Exam and Answer Introduction to College English (603-101) Submitted by Ron Curtis Activity’s Purpose To help prepare students for the 101 final by providing them with an example of the types of questions they will be answering and by modeling for them what a good answer might look like. N.B. The complete 101 final exam has two parts: Part 1 is an editing test paragraph component and Part 2 is the analysis paragraph answer component presented in this sample. Students complete both practice editing test paragraphs and practice analysis paragraph answers prior to the final exam. Instructions 1. Hand-out the sample final exam one or two classes before the final exam. 2. Students can be asked to work on the exam individually or in groups. The teacher might first ask students whether they have questions about the test itself. Students should then try to brainstorm answers to question 2 (since the model answer will be handed out to them afterwards). 3. Students share their answers with the class. The teacher notes key ideas and examples on the board. 4. The class is encouraged to discuss the answer, and asked whether it could be improved. 5. The teacher then reads the sample exam answer and asks students why it is a good answer. Sample Final Exam Instructions Respond to the four sets of questions below in four well developed paragraphs of at least 150 words each. You must write one paragraph for each set of questions, and thus four paragraphs in all to complete this part of the exam. Write only on the lined paper provided. Be sure to clearly identify which question you are writing on. Write clearly and double-space if necessary, and write your paragraphs in pen. You may use your course module, a dictionary and thesaurus for this part of the exam. 1. How does Robin Wood’s essay on Psycho help the reader understand the theme of “the dominance of the past over the present” (1.32) in this film? What is one specific example from the film which relates to and develops this theme? 2. How does Doris Lessing’s use of Jerry’s blood in this story function as a symbol to help the reader understand the theme of coming of age through a rite of passage in “Through the Tunnel”? 3. Why does Louis Valdez refer to the Johnny Pachuco “model” as a scapegoat in his short play “Los Vendidos?” Why is the reference to the LAPD ironic? How does Valdez use the Johnny model to satirically critique American society’s stereotypes regarding Mexicans and Mexican Americans? 4. In the film Stranger than Fiction Professor Hilbert explains to Harold the fundamental difference between comedy and tragedy. What is this difference? Why is this difference so important to Harold? How does the conclusion of the film illustrate the significance of this difference? Evaluation Your paragraphs will be evaluated on a) the clarity, precision, accuracy and development of your response to each of the questions; and b) correct use of standard written English. Sample Final Exam Answer to Question 2 The Symbolism of Blood in “Through the Tunnel” In “Through the Tunnel,” Doris Lessing uses Jerry’s blood to symbolize the pain he is now ready to endure to complete his ordeal of swimming through the underwater tunnel. Jerry’s first training sessions cause his nose to bleed and symbolize his pain and discomfort. Even though his nose has bled badly, he still does not follow his mother to the “safe beach,” symbolizing his growing maturity in pursuing his own objectives and independence. Bleeding is a characteristic trait of many rite of passage rituals, so Jerry’s bloodshed symbolizes the transformation he is currently trying to achieve. The increasing severity of his nose bleeds also symbolically reinforces the idea that Jerry is enduring increasing amounts of pain in order to complete the rite of passage. Also, many rite of passage rituals involve the young person attempting to achieve a goal which involves bloodshed, which in this case is symbolized by Jerry’s final achievement in completing his swim through the tunnel. The large amount of blood Jerry dumps out of his goggles after completing his swim can be seen to symbolize his final step in the passage from childhood to adolescence.