Test Format


Note: Tests are partially “open-book.”  You may bring four double-sided cheat sheets to class (eight sides of 8.5 x 11 paper) for your tests. Your cheat sheets should contain synopses, in point form, of all of the semester’s most important themes and issues.

Computers or devices of any kind are not permitted.  All cell-phones must be turned off.

The test duration is approximately 2.5 HOURS (please arrive promptly ….  BE THERE ON TIME! … those who arrive after 1/2 hour (after 3:30pm) will not be admitted).

Special needs students who require special test accommodations (discussed with me, in advance; i.e. should your test book be delivered to the testing centre?) should notify the professor during Week 6.

Students are responsible for all readings, films seen in class, and the major points covered in all lectures.

For your sake, don’t miss the MID-TERM TEST or the FINAL EXAM.  Both the mid-term makeup test and the final makeup exam (for those absent from the scheduled tests) are spoken or oral exams, conducted on an individual basis.


Both the MID-TERM TEST and the FINAL EXAM consist of short answer (“fill in the blanks”) and short sentence questions about the course’s topics.  Students should, for the mid-term, gather expertise in the content of the first six weeks of the course, and for the final, go back and gather expertise in all aspects and subjects of the course.

An example of short-answer questions could be as follows:

When Paul Simon, on his “Graceland” tour, surrounded himself with African musicians and performed South-African influenced music, he was accused of _________________   _________________________.  (Answer: cultural appropriation).

b) The theory that the American Dreamwas taught to Americans, by six immigrant Jews, through the movies, has been called ______________________.  (Answer: Hollywoodism).

The blank spaces provided for you will indicate, roughly, the size of the word required, and if the answer involves two words (e.g. vertical integration), two spaces will be provided (e.g. ______________ _________________).

Approximately 1/3 of the test will consist of questions that require you to write a full sentence of explanation.  For example…

Explain “Hollywoodism”…  (after which a number of lines will be provided, on which you are expected to provide the explanation).

Explain “vertical integration”…  (after which a number of lines will be provided, on which you are expected to provide the explanation).

I have instructed students (1) to focus on these kinds of larger ideas, such as cultural appropriation, vertical integration, Hollywoodism, etc.; and (2) to scan each article linked to the Readings page of the website in order to know the basic thesis of each important author, and to recall/make notes about which author is responsible for each thesis.  Any questions involving smaller details of lectures and films were provided in the “Exam Preview” of Week 6, covered in class.

All test questions that ask you to define a term such as “Romanticism,” “Hollywoodism,” or “Post-Modernism” are requesting a response provided in your own words.  You should consider the context in which a term was presented in class, then provide (1) a general category (an “art movement”); (2) a time frame (19th century); (3) a meaning (“…by which ordinary people were thought to be more noble and important than the nobility”; and (4) a modern correlation that makes the term relevant to our work (“today, we see Romanticism in the borrowing, by upper-middle class young white men, of the African-American, urban gang paradigm”).  A wiki definition printed verbatim (i.e. “Romanticism is a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution.[1] In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature”) will be considered to be incorrect.

Best of luck to all of you, or, as they say in the entertainment  business, break a leg.