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Hints for the Final Exam

When you are studying for the final exam, you should spend most of your time on
chapters 10-19, with special attention to chapters 13-18. Much of the earlier material was either
review (chapters 1-4, 8) or was used in the following chapters (chapters 5-7, 9). About 20-25%
of the final exam will pertain to the material covered since the last exam.
The exam is worth 250 points and will have multiple choice, short essay questions and
problems. There may be fill in the blank questions and matching. The exam is longer than the
midterm exams but not twice as long. You should bring several pencils, an eraser, a ruler and a
non-graphing scientific calculator.
The final will require that you apply what you have learned in order to answer the
questions. You need to know the structures of the amino acids, fatty acids and monosaccharides
that were assigned and to be familiar with the other structures that I have pointed out. You need
to be able to draw structures of the amino acids (free and in short peptides) and fatty acids given
the systematic name. You need to know the pathways but just being able to write out a pathway
is not enough. You must able to understand how the pathways work together. The diagram that
was in all of the chapters from chapter 13 is an important tool for understanding the material.
Scan through the material to see what you know and what you need to learn. Dont waste time
studying what you already know.
For Chapter 18, you should know the material that was covered in class including the
synthesis of essential amino acids and the catabolic classification of amino acids. You should be
familiar with which amino acids are considered biochemically essential. You should be able to
answer questions based on reading the chapter and reviewing the lecture notes. In addition, you
need to know the gluatamate synthase reaction, the glutamine synthetase reaction, the
transaminase reaction and the urea cycle including the synthesis of carbamoyl phosphate and the
source of the nitrogen (ammonia) for the urea.
Chapter 19 is mostly a review of control of the pathways and integration of the pathways.
We have covered everything in the chapter. Read the chapter and the lecture notes for that
Use the concepts reviews in the book and the problems in the book and on the homework
to guide your studying. Look over the assignments and the quizzes. Comparing and contrasting
pathways and noting where there are similar enzyme mechanisms and shared cofactors will help
you integrate the material. This is a good study technique even if I dont ask you to do it on the

Use your time wisely- both while studying and taking the exam. Dont spend time
studying what you already know. Dont cram 18 hours the night before the exam. Spend a few
hours each day between now and the exam.
When taking the exam, read the questions carefully. Be sure you answer the question that
is asked. Read all the choices before you answer a multiple choice question. Show your work
on the problems and use the units to be sure you are doing the math correctly. You need not
memorize constants. They will be supplied. When answering the short answer questions, be
concise and to the point but dont leave out relevant information. You are being graded on the
correctness of the answer and not the length. But remember, you are being graded on what you
put down, not what you were thinking because we dont know what you thought when you wrote
the answer. Be sure that you clearly point out similarities and differences when answering the
compare/contrast questions.
When you get the exam, write your name on both the exam and the answer sheet- last
name first on both. Bubble your name in the answer sheet. Then glance through the exam and
see how many questions and be sure you have all the pages. Take the exam straight through.
Dont stop and obsess on a question. Mark it and come back to it. Even if you skip several
questions, dont panic. Keep going and come back. When you are finished, check your work.
Be sure that you put the answer you meant to put and that the answer sheet is properly filled in.
Dont second guess yourself. Correct mistakes but dont change answers that you arent sure
about. Your first answer in most cases is the correct one.
Get some sleep the night before the exam- at least six hours. Otherwise, you risk not
being able to think clearly and perform at your best. Dont come to the exam hungry. Eat
something for breakfast or bring something with you. Bring a water bottle or drink for during
the exam. You may consider bringing a snack for during the exam.
Dress for the weather but remember that the temperature in the classrooms at Tulane is
not always representative of the weather outside. Bring a sweatshirt or a sweater and/or dress in
You will be allowed to leave the room for short breaks. Exact procedures and
instructions will be given at the exam. Everyone must begin the exam by 9 am (1 hour after start
time) and no one can turn the exam in and leave before 9 am. Once anyone turns in their paper
leaves, no one else may start the exam. Please bring you ID to the exam.
I cannot excuse you from the exam nor can I allow you to take it at another time. This
can only be done by the Dean (Newcomb- Tulane College for undergraduates and the Dean of
the School that your program is in for graduate students). The only exception is those with ODS
accommodations. If you are sick, you need contact me and the deans office before the exam or

within 24 hours after the exam (Wednesday at noon). I expect to be notified at the same time.
This is the paragraph form the memo concerning this that was sent to all those who teach
Any student who is absent from a final examination will be given permission to take a
make-up examination only if an acceptable excuse is presented to an associate dean in
Newcomb-Tulane College before the exam or within 24 hours after the exam. A student
whose absence is excused should be assigned an incomplete I grade and given a makeup examination. A student whose absence from a final examination is not excused is to
be given an F in the course.
Good luck and let me know if you have questions.