Math 150
Frequently Asked Questions

Every semester there are certain questions that come up again and again. All of them are already answered in the syllabus or in the help files, but we still keep on getting them. Here are the standard responses.

If you send one of these questions to the course administrator, you can expect so simply get the standard answer cut and pasted from this document.

Getting Into The Class

I really need to add this course, but it is full

There are many sections of this class. You can sign up for any one of them, and attend at any of the other times. Sign up any section you can find an open space. If all sections are full, you will have to wait until someone drops. We don't sign people in beyond the listed limit.

If you add the course late, you are responsible for catching up with HW 0 through 3 by the end of week 3. The deadlines for HW #0, 1 and 2 are not enforced so that you can take them until the end of week 3, but by then you need to be caught up, even if you added the class late.

I really need this course. I promise to catch up, even though we are halfway through the semester

The last day you can add the course is the Monday of the third week of the semester. That gives you 5 days to catch up on all assignments. After that it is too late.

I have let students add late a few times in the past, and it has been a problem every time. We are not doing that any more.

I have been using a MML Temporary code. Now I bought a regular one. How do I use it?

Keep your regular one till the temprary one expires and then use the regular one signup again. (see Create an account in MyMathLab in Getting Started )

I had another class that used MyMathLab before. Can I use my old account?

No, you have to buy a new access code and sign up for this class.The access code is actually tied to the textbook, not the class.

If you took Math 150 in Fall 2011 or after and retake it now, Contact Carly, a representative from Pearson, for a free one via email 'carly.harryman@pearson.com'.

Can you explain again how to sign up?

Take a look at Create an account in MyMathLab in Getting Started.

The bookstore is out of access codes

You can buy a code online using your credit card during the signup process in MyMathLab.

I bought a new access code at the bookstore, but the system tells me it has been used before

This has happened several times. You need to call the Pearson Publishing at 844-292-7015

Homeworks

Which score counts, the latest or the highest?

For homeworks, there is only one score. If you redo a problem, you wipe out any previous scores.

If you want to redo a homework problem for practice, but without affecting your score, enter the homework through the MML Gradebook link instead of the MML Homework link.

A problem says Error! in it when you do a homework or take an exam

If this happens on a homework: Take a screen shot and mail it to Dr Pan, so that we can report it. Then click on "Similar Exercise", and it will generate new numbers for the same exercise. If you can't find that button, typing in a wrong answer 3 times will also force new numbers. If that doesn't work, email Dr Pan.

If this happens on an exam: Take a screen shot if you can. Skip that problem. Email Dr Pan afterwards to get credit. Usually the error is still visible to the instructors later, so a screen shot is not that critical.

I spent an hour on this problem, and now it changed on me

That happened to a student once. She wrote down a long problem, got help, but when she wanted to finish it, her session had timed out, and the problem changed. A known work-around is to print out the problem, then it will stay put.

Two ways of accessing to the homework/exams

There are two different ways to enter the homework section of MyLabsPlus. They are not the same, so make sure you use the correct one.

If you click on MyMathLab All Assignments, from there whatever you do will be done for credit. If you choose to do a problem for which you already have a score, the old score will disappear. You can only get to homeworks this way whose deadlines have not expired yet.

If you click on MyMathLab with Pearson eText Course Home and then Gradebook, enter a homework from there, whatever you do will not be recorded. Use this method if you want to look at your results, or to practice before an exam without changing your score. You can continue to re-do old homeworks even after the deadline expires, but it won't count for anything.

I can log in MyMathLab, but cannot load the page of MMLHomeework ( Credit to Kevin, privious TA coordinator, who providing this answer!)

Most of this happens on Apple computers (Macbook, etc.).

It is known that MyMathLab, our online homework site, does not play nicely with Safari, the native web browser in Apple's OS. If you continue to use Safari, you will, with very high probability, encounter this problem.

This WILL NOT go away, and Pearson's tech representatives are aware of it but have been so far unable to fix it.

What you need to do to fix this problem is simple: stop using Safari.

To fix the problem, you will need to download and install either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. The download links below should work, but if they don't, just do a quick Internet search for "Firefox" or "Chrome", or IT Services on campus for help installing your new web browser.

Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

Chrome: https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

This should fix the problem. Be sure to try this BEFORE emailing the TA coordinator, the TAs, or Dr. Pan about this problem.

Sometimes the problem can be solved by clearing your browser's cookies. See the instructions for how.

You can also temporarily fix this problem by trying the steps in the website: http://247pearsoned.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8970

Exams

How many times can I repeat an exam? How many tries do I have left? If it says "due Feb 14", what time is it due on Feb 14?

All that information can be found by clicking on "MML Homework" or "MML Quizzes/Tests".

Can I take an exam twice in one day?

Yes.

What is the password for the exams?

Nice try. For all the practice exams, the password is "practice". The lab monitors know the other passwords, and will type them in for you.

Which score counts, the latest or the highest?

For exams it is the highest score that counts.

A problem says Error! in it

If this happens on a homework: Take a screen shot and mail it to Dr Pan. Then click on "Similar Exercise", and it will generate new numbers for the same exercise. If you can't find that button, typing in a wrong answer 3 times will also force new numbers. If that doesn't work, email Dr Pan.

If this happens on an exam: Take a screen shot if you can. Skip that problem. Email Dr Pan afterwards to get credit. Usually the error is still visible to the instructors later, so a screen shot is not that critical.

The computer is acting up

Maybe several problems are broken, or the computer acts up in other ways.

Talk to the lab monitor. Depending on the nature of the problem, they can let you restart the same exam, let you save your partial exam and continue on a different machine, start you out fresh, etc. They also have the capability to give you an extra attempt at the exam, if you lost one attempt because of computer problems.

If you try a second machine, and it also has problems, give up for a while, and try again an hour or more later. Our computer manager speculates that sometimes your login info on the MyMathLab server is messed up, and you have to wait until some cache expires before it works again.

It won't let me get into the exam

The system is set up so that if you forget to have an exam graded, it won't let you do any more exams until you get that fixed. You can ask any lab monitor or any of the TAs of course coordinators to submit your old exam for grading. Next time, grade your exam before you leave.

I forgot my calculator

The lab monitors have a calculator or two available to check out, courtesy of Lost and Found.

The lab monitor won't let me use my calculator or Excel

Pull up the course web site and show the lab monitor where it says that you can do that. Report this to Dr Pan afterwards (with name of lab monitor, room number and time/day). The lab monitors are supposed to know this stuff.

I have the right answer, but the system wants it in some slightly different form. Can I get credit?

Most of the time: no.

Since we are well aware of this problem, we let you take the exam multiple times. If you lose points on one attempt, you will know which format the system wants on your next one. Overall, we think you will get more extra points from having multiple attempts than you lose from incorrect formats.

If you do want to pursue this further, read on.

The first thing to check is whether your answer is truly correct. If the correct answer is 1/3, and it does not say "write the answer with 2 decimals of accuracy", and you type 0.33, that is wrong. 1/3 is not the same as 0.33.

Sometimes the answer is a matrix, and you have to fill in 5 fields. If one of them is wrong, the whole answer counts as wrong. A minus sign in one of the fields is easy to miss. (And yes, we would like to give partial credit here, but we don't have this option).

Also read the problem carefully for statements like "enter the answer as a fraction", or "enter the answer to 3 decimal places", and check that you did that.

If your answer is truly correct, just in the wrong format, and the format is not specified, you can try to contact Dr Pan. Sometimes we will give you credit, and request a change in the problem from the publisher. This happens for example if the correct answer is 1/4, and the problem does not explicitly say "write the answer as a fraction", and you type 0.25.

I have the right answer, but I made a typo when I entered it. Can I get credit?

No.

We let you take the exam multiple times. Overall, we think you will get more extra points from having multiple attempts than you lose from getting marked down for typos.

Two ways of accessing to the homework/exams

There are two different ways to enter the homework section of MyLabsPlus. They are not the same, so make sure you use the correct one.

If you click on MyMathLab All Assignments, from there whatever you do will be done for credit. If you choose to do a problem for which you already have a score, the old score will disappear. You can only get to homeworks this way whose deadlines have not expired yet.

If you click on MyMathLab with Pearson eText Course Home and then Gradebook, enter a homework from there, whatever you do will not be recorded. Use this method if you want to look at your results, or to practice before an exam without changing your score. You can continue to re-do old homeworks even after the deadline expires, but it won't count for anything.

Grades

I am 0.02% away from the next higher grade. Can you round that up?

In a class of 20 or 30 students, most instructors look for a reasonable gap as a grade cutoff. If three students have scores of 81%, 89%, 90%, the instructor would most likely put the cutoff for an A or A- at 89% instead of 90%.

However, Math 150 has anywhere from 500 to over 1000 students. There are no gaps in the scores. There will always be someone just a fraction of a percent below the cutoff. If we move one person up to the next category, the next person below them will come and ask.

The only way to move up is to earn more points from the beginning of the semester. You can redo an assignment to get a few extra points before it passed due.

Why don't you give D+?

The registrar's current rules say that we have to give straight Ds for midterm grades, and then we cannot give D+/D/D- for final grades. We are not set up for two different grading systems. If and when the registrar switches to the D+/D/D- scheme for all grades, we will switch.

Can I get an Incomplete?

According to the registrar's rules, an incomplete grade can be awarded to a student who has had a passing grade up to shortly before the end of the class, and who is unable to complete a small portion of the assignments before grades are due. If you want to ask for an incomplete, contact your course coordinator.

The following situations do not qualify for an incomplete:

We want to discourage incompletes. It causes the course coordinators a bunch of work, and it is also not in the student's best interest. The computer labs close between semesters, so you have to wait at least a month before making up any missed exams. .Forgetting the material in the meantime will probably cost you more points than you gain by having extra time. It also causes you extra work at the beginning of the next semester, when you should be concentrating on your new term.

 


last updated: Friday, December 18, 2015