Mid Term Study Guide

The mid term exam will be based on lecture material and readings covered in the first half of the term.  It will be based on:

  • Labs 1-3
  • Chapters 1, 12-15 in 4CE (Chapters 1, 11-14 in 3CE ) of Geosystems and online notes covering those chapters


  1. Format

The midterm will likely follow this format:  40 multiple choice questions (based mostly on my notes);  5 “short answers” (a few sentences and/or a simple diagram to define a concept); 4 or 5 diagrams or lab-based questions.

For example … a multiple choice question might be:


The subject of this course is …

a. neo-orthodoxy in the evangelical Armenian church,


b. premillenial dispensationalism as a modernist theology,

c. subatomic particles in neo-quantum physics.

Hopefully you’ll pick “b”!


A short answer question might be:

  • Define and distinguish between a normal fault and a reverse fault.  A simple diagram with a brief, one or two sentence description would be sufficient.  I will give you some choice in this section (you will need to do 5 out of 7 options, for example).

A diagram/lab-based question might have a copy of a topographic map (like the Amherst/Columbia Ice field maps) and ask you some questions based on it … for instance …

  • what is located at 867534?
  • Or, give the grid reference for the city hall of Sherlockville?  or ,
  • knowing that the scale of the map is 1:50 000, how far (in km) is it from Sherlockville to Watsontown?

Know some things including (this is NOT an exhaustive list!) …

  • weathering
  • volcanoes
  • rivers and erosion (meanders and all that)
  • faults
  • rock stress strain and surfaces (Figure 12.7)
  • the 3 main different classes of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic)
  • the basic structure of the earth
  • latitude and longitude
  • basic map projections
  • slopes and mass movement
  • types of equilibrium in systems
  • how to read an NTS map (grid references, scales, etc – NOT all the individual symbols for churches, schools, etc)


  1. How to Study …
  • Look over Labs 1-3. Make sure you can do any of the exercises.  Most of you are doing really well on the labs anyway!  Make sure you know about scale … how to go from a verbal statement to a graphic scale to a fraction.  Make sure you know how to use the topographic maps (eastings, northings, etc.).
  • Read over the online notes (you may wish to print them off.  I’ve deliberately NOT put graphics in the the text so they’ll print easier).  I like the “onion method” of studying as opposed to cramming.  The onion method means I read over the notes tonight … and absorb some (one layer of knowledge).  I read over the notes tomorrow (another layer of knowledge).  And so on, and so on, gradually adding layers of knowledge.  The challenge is, you can’t be an onion by starting to study on the Thursday, before, at 11:59 p.m.!  You need to start today!
  • As you read the notes, do use the figures in the text (an online resources) as references. The figures/pictures really help you visualize what you’re studying!
  • I will NOT ask you anything that is only in the text, but not in your notes!
  • Check out the resources at www.masteringgeography.com.  There are review questions and practice quizzes on the site (if you don’t have access it’s not essential, but it may be useful).


  1. What Should You Bring or NOT Bring?

You should bring …

  • Yourself!  (refreshed, relaxed, invigorated, empowered by the Spirit)
  • A pen (and pencil if you wish, for the diagrams).
  • A ruler (I’ll provide a “paper” one, but you may like you’re own favourite — as long as it has no “cheats” on it!).

You should NOT bring …

  • Your text or notes (sorry, this exam is not open book!)
  • Your cousin (a geography graduate student at Cambridge)
  • A calculator (any math will be VERY simple)
  • A cell phone, iPhone, tablet, netbook, notebook, or other electronic device
  • Any crib notes, cheat sheets, or other “aids”

You’ll do fine!  Study hard!  I know there is lots to know and lots to memorize (the plague of introductory science courses!), but go at it!  Try to remember that this is God’s creation we are studying (it’s one of the symptoms of the Fall that studying divine artistry seems like drudgery!).   As you study the Earth as God’s creation, and its natural systems, you are studying God’s handiwork!  You are doing theology (learning about God)!  Hard though it is, try to keep that perspective going …

God bless,