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Appendix A: Example Test and Quiz Questions

Quiz questions are based on the main ideas presented in the readings and the class lecture and discussion of the readings. These questions are drawn from facts, definitions, meaning of concepts, and statement of arguments. Generally, the subject of the quiz is a specific body of acquired information that can be learned by attentive reading, underlining in the text, active listening, and, as a last resort, memorizing. Perhaps, the quiz subjects can be thought of as the passive transference of a set body of information from one source (teacher, reading, or student) to another (student).

For many people these passive methods are not in themselves exciting and motivating. Self-initiated activity and shared inquiry are much more interesting than reinforced obedience. For this reason, test questions are based on the information learned for quizzes, but go well beyond rote learning. Tests present the opportunity to play with the ideas, relate them to each other, and operate with them. The best way to prepare is by free activity and thinking about the course content. This is probably the only kind of learning which is meaningful and authentic because it relies on your interest and initiative for its own sake.

The difference between passive and active learning can be illustrated by the following example question as asked on a test and a quiz. Suppose that “epistemology” has been defined as “the study of the nature, scope, and limits of human knowledge.”


Sample Quiz Questions

1. What is epistemology?

2. Epistemology involves the study of knowledge (True / False).

3. ___________ is the discipline concerned with not only what knowledge is but also what can be known.


Sample Test Questions

1. The epistemologist attempts to answer the question:

  1. How do we determine the ultimate nature of reality?

  2. What are aesthetics, moral philosophy, and ontology?

  3. How do we determine whether our beliefs are true?

  4. What is the difference between deduction and induction?

  5. What are the ultimate generalizations of the human intellect?

2. Explain the nature of epistemology, distinguish the major divisions, and characterize an example of an epistemological problem for each division.

3. Do any areas of human inquiry not involve epistemological problems? Explain your reasoning and cite examples wherever possible.

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