Practice mid-semester exam

This is a practice exam. It is recommended you do this before taking the mid-semester exam on ilearn.

This exam should take you no longer than 30 minutes.

Answer key is at the bottom of the page.

Questions or problems should be referred to Nick or Ryan.


1. Michael is standing on a street corner asking people to do surveys for his Masters thesis.

What stage of the research process is Michael at?

  1. Planning
  2. Data collection
  3. Data analysis
  4. Writing up his study

2. Raj is doing in depth interviews with 50 singaporean migrant workers.

Which statement is true.

  1. Raj is collecting qualitative data and his method of analysis will likely be thematic analysis
  2. Raj is collecting quantitative data and his method of analysis will likely be statistical analysis
  3. Raj is collecting qualitative data and his method of analysis will likely be statistical analysis
  4. Raj is collecting quantitative data and his method of analysis will likely be thematic analysis

3. The best way to take notes when reading articles for a literature review is to write a detailed summary of every article you read.

  1. True
  2. False

4. Which of the following is NOT a characteristics of a hypothesis:

  1. They must be proved to be true
  2. They are what you expect to happen
  3. They are testable
  4. They are generally about the relationship between two (or more) variables

5. Social science data must always be stored anonymously and confidentially

  1. True
  2. False

6. Researchers should minimise risk of a study to participants to the lowest level possible:

  1. True
  2. False

7. When further collection and analysis of qualitative interviews reveal no new themes, you have reached:

  1. Superposition
  2. Triangulation
  3. Saturation
  4. Stabilisation

8. In field research, doing small favours is:

  1. Unethical, because it creates dependence
  2. Unethical, because it is deceptive
  3. A good idea, because it builds trust and rapport

9. Faiz interviews 8 international students as a group, over an hour, and facilitates a discussion amongst them about what the most important issues they face are.

We call this method of data collection:

  1. Focus group
  2. In depth interviews
  3. Fieldwork
  4. Meeting group

10. Janice starts her interview with a casual worker with the question:

“So what ways is your employer unfair to you?”

This is known as:

  1. A leading question
  2. An order effect
  3. A single barrelled question
  4. A double barrelled question

11. Kat designs a survey where she asks “What industry do you work in?” But only provides three options:

a. Accommodation
b. Manufacturing
c. Construction

The people she is surveying work in a wider range of industries.

The options for this survey question are NOT:

  1. Mutually exclusive
  2. Exhaustive
  3. Unidimensional
  4. Balanced

12. I have an abstract definition of a variable, and now I try to work out how I will measure it with a survey question. I am now engaging in:

  1. Conceptualisation
  2. Operationalisation
  3. Hypothesis formation
  4. Theory formation

13. An individual question in a Likert scale (called a Likert item) is measured on what type of scale?

  1. Nominal
  2. Binary
  3. Interval
  4. Ordinal

14. Nick uses an emotional distress scale to assess a participant twice on two different days, and got very different scores on different days: 5 out of 24 the first day, and 17 out of 24 the second day. Nothing had changed dramatically in the participants life between these two measurements.

The results suggest that the scale is probably:

  1. Not valid
  2. Not reliable
  3. Not exhaustive
  4. Not balanced

15. When I code my data a second time, with a well organised codebook, I am engaging in:

  1. Closed coding
  2. Open coding
  3. Axial coding
  4. Selective coding

16. Experimental and control groups receive different levels of:

  1. Randomisation
  2. Control variable
  3. Dependent variable
  4. Independent variable

17. What is the hardest element of causality to prove?

  1. Correlation
  2. Time order
  3. Ruling out other explanations

18. Orwell argues that cliches and very familiar metaphors make for good writing

  1. True
  2. False

19. Strunk and White argue you should prefer specific language over the general, vague, or abstract.

  1. True
  2. False

20. Rachel wants to know whether getting punched in the face (or not) leads to, on average, people’s noses bleeding (or not).

The dependent variable in this research question is:

  1. Rachel
  2. People
  3. Punched in the face
  4. Nose bleed

Answer key

  1. b

  2. a

  3. b

  4. a

  5. b

  6. a

  7. c

  8. c

  9. a

  10. a

  11. b

  12. b

  13. d

  14. b

  15. c

  16. d

  17. c

  18. b

  19. a

  20. d

Last updated on 24 April, 2020 by Ryan King (