For formula related questions: Write or not to write the formula?

Subject says it all.

Given that we only have 3 hours and time is precious, what are your thoughts about writing the formula as part of an answer? Say, for instance, the relative benefit of a gift versus of a bequest. Is there any point value for writing the formula? Is that a way we could get partial credit if we miscalculate the answer?

You might get partial credit if you write the formula and then have a problem on your calculator (fat finger). It shows the grader you were trying to do the right calcuation.

I also find it helpful to write the formula down regardless, so that I don’t miss a step or overlook a variable.

My understanding is that the formula by itself won’t get you any marks.

That said, I agree completely with 125mph: if it helps you focus (e.g., make sure that you have all of the plus and minus signs correct, or whatever), it’s a good idea.

I do strongly believe that writing out the definition of each of the variables in each formula is an inexcusable waste of time.

I was at Marc’s level up bootcamp last week. Someone asked this question. He basically said if the question doesn’t ask for the formula you won’t get any points. If it helps you remember it go for it, but otherwise you’re wasting precious seconds.

I agree with Marc.

And not because he’s paying me. (He pays me whether I agree with him or not.)

Thanks all! I had heard this as well, but it was more of a speculative comment at that time. Glad to see it confirmed.

But if the question asks you to Show your calculation, can we only write down numbers without formula or variables?

You can.

And if you get the correct answer, you’ll get full marks.

Cool !

show only numbers