The examinations for the Classical Mythology Telecourse have changed somewhat since it was first offered in Fall Semester 1997. For one thing, the textbook used in 1997 is no longer in print. Also, exams have been adjusted based on student performance in class. The exams you will be taking in this semester's course have been tested by time. Students who have put in their time watching the lectures and doing their readings have done very well on these exams. Students who have not put in their time - not so much.
This summer, only a midterm and a final are being given. This is in response to student concerns about being tested at two-week intervals during the summer. All exams should take around 50 minutes to an hour and are worth 100 points. Your numerical score therefore tells you your letter grade. You may email me at JosephHughes @ MissouriState.edu for your exam scores. Please also email me asap if you have any questions about the exams or anything else related to the course.
The best way to prepare the exam is to watch the lectures, complete the readings, and make use of the study materials found on the Mythology Telecourse Homepage. The following details are intended to give you an idea of what I will be looking for on the exams
This sort of question usually concerns groups of deities or humans, or short definitions:
Examples: Name three mortal women who slept with Zeus, or Define what is meant by animism.
You will not be allowed to choose from a list of short answer questions
This sort of question usually concerns important deities, concepts, humans, or historical events.
Do not waste your time writing mini-essays here. Put down the three most pertinent facts you know and move on.
Example: Socrates: Greek philosopher, engaged in dialogues, put to death for immorality.
You will be allowed to choose six identification questions from a list of ten
This sort of question usually concerns deities, concepts, humans, or historical events that are not important enough to be in an identification question.
The matching section is probably the pickiest part of the entire test.
Make A List
I think all Classical Mythology students should 1) be able to give the Greek and Roman names for the 12 Olympian deities, and 2) be able to give the complete names for all twelve canonical labors of Heracles. I don't know how much more blatant I can be about this.
Retell A Myth
Sometimes a myth is so good that I retell it at excruciating length, or that somebody writes a play about it.
This sort of question asks you to focus on major characters, events, and consequences (with no editorial comment)
An essay consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Since an essay is worth 30% of the test score, it is the most important part of the exam. You are advised to begin by reading the essay question carefully, framing your response, and then making your arguments. Do not retell myths here, or spew back things I said in lecture. I am more interested in your original thoughts. If you disagree with me, great. Fine, even. But do not try to pass off five sentences or a mere list of facts as an "essay."
I don't believe in making my students guess the essay exam topics. I'm not going to give you the exact wording, either, because I hint about the topics over and over again in the lectures. Trust me. I really do. But I can say that if you are prepared to discuss in writing the following topics, you should do well.
Midterm: 1) Animism vs. Anthropomorphism and
hieros gamos; 2) Differences between Greek mystery religions
Final: 1) Definition of the heroic in ancient and modern times; 2) Kernels of historical fact in Greek epic poetry