Assembling a mock exam

I like assembling the mock exams. I find it relaxing. I got a question yesterday about my process so writing it down

Question generation

  • Scott and I meet and decide how many mock questions will cover the material for each chapter. For example, we have an 80 question mock exam in our practice exams book. There are 12 chapters. This means some chapters have 6 questions and some have 7.
  • As we write each chapter, we both write mock exam questions for that chapter in a separate file.

Determining the order

  • I create a spreadsheet including the source chapter #, source question # and difficulty.
  • Create a column for mock exam question #
  • Fill it with =RAND().
  • Sort by the random number column.
  • Replace the random numbers by actual question numbers for the mock chapters
  • Fiddle with the list by trading question numbers so that there aren’t more than two questions in a row from the same chapter or same difficulty. (ideally not more than one from the same chapter in a row)

Assemble the questions

  • Copy/paste the questions from each chapter into a new file using the new order generated above. I find it fastest to copy all the questions that go with chapter 1, then 2, etc.
  • Proofread.
  • Run the program we wrote to check styles to make sure I didn’t mess them up on copy/paste.

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