Midterm take-home exercise



The word “midterm” is an adjective. It is not a noun, and should not be interpreted as an abbreviation for “midterm examination.” Just as not all exams are midterms (ex. final exams), not all midterms are exams. All that “midterm” itself means is: [something that is] “in the middle part of a term, not at the beginning or end.”


This may be a new format for you.

It is not a formal exam. It will follow the form of the final exam:

  • Grammar and vocabulary: 40%
  • Reading comprehension: 10%
    = a short text in French to read, questions in French to answer in English or in French according to preference (you may switch between languages too…)
  • Shorter open-ended writing: 10%
    = a choice of two questions (answer only one) requiring the expression of an opinion or judgement
  • Longer writing of a composition: 40%
    = a choice of three topics, at least one of which will ask you to respond to an image that you may not have seen before

(The attribution of points is slightly different: in the final exam, the composition is worth 20% rather than 40.)

This exercise should be useful for practice in a more relaxed setting. It’s only worth 5% of your final grade, so that should help to alleviate stress too. In short: this is not an exam. It *should* be an interesting and useful exercise.

You will have one week in which to do the midterm from the day and time you receive it.

For students new to UBC, this exercise could be an opportunity to explore quiet working spaces around campus and Vancouver: UBC libraries, anywhere else on campus, in a café, in the comfort of your own home, on the beach, etc.

It is an open-book exercise: this means that you may use your textbook, notes, and indeed online resources. But not other people, especially not French-speaking friends, tutors, etc. And being an open-book exercise, it wil be harder than an exam “proper” in exam conditions would be. The questions will require you to research (ex. look words up), reflect, analyse, and formulate arguments and judgements. The exercise will involve applying what you know to new situations (though any exam should be doing that too, stretching you intellectually, these aren’t high-school multiple-choice tests). But you will be able to look up whatever you need to.

It will be on ch. 5, 6, and the start of ch. 7 (as done in class; see class notes in our shared Dropbox). It will also involve the readings at the end of ch. 7.

You will have several options for writing and submitting the midterm: please check with your instructor what their preference is. Here is what Dr O’Brien is accepting, for reference:

1. Do it online: directly from the PDF or copy-pasting it into another file. Then email your completed work to me by 9 a.m. on Monday 6 March 2017.

2. Or do it online then print it out and bring it to class on Friday 3 March 2017.

3. Print it out and complete it by hand. Pen or pencil is fine. Visible colours, no pastel green etc. You may also use further paper and attach that to your midterm… And then hand it in to me in class on Friday 3 March 2017.

That’s it!


There may be variations from section to section of the course; here is the version for FREN 102-204 / O’BRIEN:

  • PDF = https://www.dropbox.com/s/onztlj7ky6zg63r/102_16W2-midtermv3.pdf?dl=0
  • docx = https://www.dropbox.com/s/sdwtt9yu6by8evn/102_16W2-midtermv3.docx?dl=0