University exam bank

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by JohnDoe8450, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hey guys,

    I'm building an online exam bank for my student association. Basically, a web site which hosts a bunch of previous exams so students can prepare for exams.

    This is common practice at the University I'm attending and there is an exam bank online but it's not well built, it's kind of integrated into a CMS and the guy who built it is finishing this year. So I'm building a new one from scratch (obviously I'll get all the exams on the old site).

    The exams are submitted by students and are either PDFs off the teacher's website or scans of the actual exam papers.

    I was wondering if exam banks like this one exist in other schools?

    Also, I'm wanting to make this as good as possible (might as well...) so,

    You guys have any suggestions? Features you think would be useful? Links to similar exam banks from your school?

    At the moment I'm thinking I'll have a search box on the main page where you can just type in the class name and suggestions show up, as that's the action most people are going to be taking... A "browse classes" feature would be available too, of course, but I don't see it as being as useful. Classes will be organized by Faculty, Department and Program.

    Penny for your thoughts?

    PS : I searched for "university exam bank" on google and this post is now the eleventh result !!
  2. macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    I've been out of school for 10 years now and so there is an obvious generation gap here, but I'm familiar with what you are talking about. My college fraternity used to keep a test file where people would contribute old tests and quizzes to help with studying.

    I could be totally off base here, but what you are doing sounds really risky to me. The school frowned upon the rumored fraternity and sorority test files and it was well known that they would take action against students if caught using them because it was considered cheating. However, since our file was locked away in the frat house there was never any way for the school to prove anything.

    By you publishing this online then it is easily able to be found and if it is known that you are the manager of the site then you could be held responsible if the school decides to take action against it. With stuff like this you just never know. Some teachers are really good about always creating new exams and therefore they are not worried about old copies of tests being "out there", but some professors don't change their exams and making old copies available would be cheating. You also might consider that if other people are submitting these exams then you don't know how they were obtained. I knew students in school that would steal tests from those professors that kept their stuff on lock down. They would simply sit at the end of a row and say they didn't get one when they were passed out. The extra they were given would go straight in the book bag and off to the test file.

    Like I said it's been a decade since I was in college, so my thoughts here could be not applicable. But, I do know that schools generally taking cheating very seriously and your idea sounds like a risk to me. It only takes one teacher to make a complaint to the administration. Just think about it and be careful, your education isnt' worth operating a web site like this.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    The math department at University of Maryland (where I'm graduate student) has a test bank here:

    I don't think there are any features that my students miss from this. Math is particularly suited to test banks because of the standardization of material and the fact that math faculty are anal about putting everything into LaTeX/pdf format.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    We have quite a comprehensive exam archive here at Purdue. Here's a link to the math exam archive. Check out the format the way they do it. It's pretty simple, but it works quite well. I just finished doing 5 practice tests for my calculus III exam :eek:
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Most student associations have an exam bank available, and most teachers put up past exams on the class web site. Never heard of anyone complaining...

    Thanks for the two links, Capt Crunch and theOnlyJon!
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    Sounds fine to me, especially if it has been previously done. Professors aren't dumb, if they allow you to take your exam out of the classroom they know it is going to be shared with students taking the class the next semester. If you don't want the exam to be shared, don't allow your students to keep it.
  7. macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
  8. macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    If the school knows about it and is cool with it then great.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA
    At my school some teachers give you an entire list of old exams (usually just a bunch of PDF's with not-so-reliable answer keys). I had a total of ~60 old exams available for my computer systems class that I just finished. Other teachers just give you the most recent one (because usually ones from a year or more back are useless, as the content of courses generally changes over time).

    To a lesser extent, saving old exams/papers/etc. is common among fraternities and sororities on campus. Many of them have their students save all their old stuff...this is a little more frowned upon because it gives some students an advantage that others don't have obviously.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Is this a fairly new idea?? I'm pretty sure when I was in college ('93-'97), there was no such archive of exams for any course. I'm sure the fraternities and such had things like that, but I don't recall anything available to the general student body.
  11. macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2009
    Also take a look at, they have stuff for alot of schools.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2009
    Partnering with

    Hey JohnDoe8450,

    I am one of the co-founders of We started our service with the same exact need your student association currently has. The Koofers service began at Virginia Tech, but we are supporting universities, students, and faculty nationwide (and soon to be global).

    One part of our service is actually partnering up with Student Government Associations and other groups to bring our service to your entire student body, free of charge.

    If you or any others are interested in such an opportunity - please E-mail me (michael -AT-

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    :apple: Michael Rihani
  13. macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    At Rutgers, we just used to ask frat brothers who we were friends with... they pulled through sometimes.. But Rutgers is freaking huge with too many teachers and too many kids. The tests got changed every year and in every class... But with old exams we got a general idea of the test and the testing style of the teachers.

    A public test bank would have made my life soooo much easier! damn i miss college!:(

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