MDS courses will have up to 2 quizzes throughout each course, typically one during a lab in the middle of the course and another after the course ends during the free days between blocks. The quizzes for a course will appear on the MDS calendar (ideally before the course starts) so that students are aware of the timing. We anticipate most quizzes being 30 minutes long.


The purpose of quizzes are to be a “sanity check” that students are keeping up with the essential material. While labs may go more in-depth into a topic, the quizzes cover essential material that we expect students to have mastered and to retain.


In light of the purpose above, quizzes are intended to be less difficult than the labs. They are not meant to trick you nor to contain unexpected material. In short, if you did the labs without an unreasonable amount of collaboration with your classmates, you should succeed on the quizzes.


Quizzes will typically be in the same format as the labs (electronic, accessible via GitHub and submitted via GitHub), although recently we are also running some quizzes on Canvas. Unlike labs, quizzes will be performed within a defined time period (usually 30 minutes) and will be supervised by MDS instructional staff. Quizzes will be graded using the same rubrics as labs. Quiz questions may be reworked versions of lab questions or similar material.


Unless otherwise specified, quizzes will be closed-book except for offline documentation only (e.g., help in RStudio and Jupyter notebook). This means that during the quiz students are expected to:

  • not communicate with other students or anyone else
  • not use the internet to solve questions on the quiz
  • not bring any materials into the quiz that would be of assistance in completing the quiz (aside from a laptop)
  • not open other files inside RStudio or Jupyter beyond those provided in the quiz repo
  • not leave the quiz room early with your laptop, and not come back into the quiz room after leaving (other than for purposes such as using the washroom)

You are allowed to consult documentation within R/Python or your IDE (e.g., RStudio). However, time is very limited on quizzes and we anticipate that you will be more successful if you are fluent with common functions and don’t need to rely too heavily on the documentation.