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I think they give partial credit for showing work but it does not necessarily need to be very detailed. It will also help to get follow through points in case you made a mistake along the way but your method is correct. As long as they understand what you are doing and you get the correct answer, you should receive full marks for that question.
In the problems we've done, I would say showing work for conversions such as mL to L wouldn't need to be shown, but for everything else such as molar mass, molarity, and other aspects of dimensional analysis should be shown.
Our TA told us today in discussion that for most questions at this point no credit will be taken away for not showing work as long as the answer is right. However, some questions on the test may tell you specifically to show all steps. He also of course highly recommended working out the steps for all problems anyways.
I asked my TA specifically about balancing equations and he said you don't have to show it step by step if you just can see it and know how to balance it. Some questions have parts that make you go step by step, but I think you should just show as much work as you personally need. He did emphasize the importance of putting units in our answers, though.
Jillian C 4C wrote:Would it also be necessary to write out the formula being used in answering a question?
I don't think it is necessary to show the formula being used when answering a question because the TA would know which formula you're using when you have the values plugged in already, but it is helpful to have it written if you're backtracking your work so you know the exact steps in your calculations.
Showing work is usually a safe bet for receiving some points/partial credit. Generally, showing work may also help visualize the steps towards the correct answer and can prevent careless errors such as dividing by a conversion factor instead of multiplying by it. Showing work, if even just a little bit, might be a good idea for most people on tests.
As each step may carry points that we might to know of, it is of your best interest to show all the steps. It may be tedious but you will be glad once they are graded. It goes for both homework and classwork activities.
I would definitely show as much work as you can, so that the person grading your responses can follow what you're doing. It will also make it easier to pinpoint where you made a mistake if you ended up with the wrong answer. I do have a followup question though. For the homework, should we be writing the entire problem out?
I would suggest always showing your work and including units as much as possible. Providing your work demonstrates how thoroughly you know the material and in some cases, could earn you partial credit when you have an incorrect answer.
I would suggest you definitely to show all your work just in case to get partial credit if some parts of your solution are incorrect. Also, it depends on how much time you have left for that question. You can always go back and add some details.
It is definitely good to show all your steps when solving a problem because it will be easier to pinpoint the exact step in which you made an error when you are trying to learn from the problems you got wrong on the test. If you don't show your work, you won't know exactly where you went wrong, which will make it harder to remember the mistake for the next time you solve a similar problem.
My TA mentioned how partial credit is possible to earn so it would be best if you show your work for every problem. When it comes to balancing chemical equations, you can earn partial credit if you write down the oxidation numbers for each compound/element.
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