Preparing for your midterm exam

Your midterm on April 5th will have two hands-on problems.  You need to assume that I will give you any of the problems I haven’t assigned as homework from Chapters 4 and 5 of the New Perspectives textbook.  That makes five problems that you should attempt to do ahead of time.  These problems are not really difficult if you start early and pace yourself.  By giving yourself enough time to work on each these five problems you will be well prepared for the exam.

I think the subject matter for our course lends itself nicely to short answer or short essay questions so the third part of the exam will be short answer and multiple choice questions.  You will have three minutes to answer a multiple choice question and five minutes to answer a short answer question. Consequently there will be between 25 and 15 of these questions on the exam.

I would like you to write questions as well as the “correct answers”.  You will then post your questions but not the answers on Financial Modeling blog.  The authors of questions will be obliged to send me the answers to their questions.  This will be accomplished by setting up a survey.  I will select the questions that actually appear on the midterm exam and possibly add questions that I compose myself.

Since everyone will be able to read the questions in the pool (but not the answers) those who have been most thoughtful in terms of composing questions will automatically be rewarded (because they have written answers that I accept).   You are also encouraged to collaborate as you prepare for the exam.  An important criteria for doing well will be having an extensive “memory” of ideas and issues covered in the course.   There are 3 PowerPoints on Bb, the initial PowerPoint from the Soubeiga book, the XBRL PowerPoint and the PowerPivot PowerPoint (not there yet).  I will also give you hard copies of John Tjia’s handout.  So there are 4 documents for you to take your questions from.

I read a book chapter describing this exam procedure for use in a class by Michael C. Elavsky, “You Can’t Go Back Now: Incorporating “Disruptive” Technologies in the Large Lecture Hall.” Social Media: Usage and Impact (2011): 75.  You can read this book chapter on Google Books at this link (page 75):

Naturally if nobody makes any question/answer contributions all of you will have to study all of the material I assigned as opposed to only studying the question/answer pairs created by the 29 students in my graduate level class and the 14 students in my Honors undergraduate class .  I am making the midterm exam low stakes, only 20% of your final grade.  But still a significant event that people who want a high course grade must pay attention to.

Please attach your questions without the answers as comments to this post on the course blog:  Please use this survey to submit your questions a second time, include the answers to your questions when responding to the survey:  You can submit as many questions as you like.

22 thoughts on “Preparing for your midterm exam

  1. 1. What is XBRL and how is it used for?
    2. What are some advantages of using PowerPivot?
    3. What is vlookup?

  2. 1. What logical functions determine? List three logical functions.
    2. What is Relational Database?
    3. What is Microsoft SQL Server?

  3. 1. What is the difference between PowerPivot and PivotTables?
    2. When do we use vlookup?

  4. 1. What is the main advantage of using XBRL over XML?
    2. List three external data sources that can be used with PowerPivot.

  5. 1. What is the US GAAP?
    2. What is a relative reference?
    3. What is a CSV file and why is it important?

  6. 1. Does Powerpivot already come installed on all new installations of Microsoft Excel?
    2. What Is the following syntax used for in Excel: =SheetName!CellRange
    3. What tool, or popular XML-based markup language, allows investors to compare the 10-k of different companies on a single excel workbook?

  7. True or False: PowerPivot has a limit of 2.6 million rows of data

    What is a Linked Table?
    (a) a table that links Excel to Access
    (b) a table that links to external websites
    (c) a table that updates automatically based on changes to the source
    (d) a table that holds all data for PowerPivot

    All of the below are reasons we would create relationships in PowerPivot except
    (a) allows us to filter data in one table by columns of data from related tables
    (b) link data between different versions of PowerPivot files
    (c) look up valuse using DAX formulas
    (d) integrate columns from multiple tables into a PivotTable

  8. What language is do we use in PowerPivot?
    (a) DAX
    (b) XBRL
    (c) VBA
    (d) XML

    What is an XML tag?

    Which is NOT a benefit of XBRL for financial statement users?
    (a) reports can be exchanged across software and computers
    (b) information can be extracted reliably and automatically
    (c) simplifies publication and exchange of reports
    (d) makes generating and reading reports faster

  9. In a top down approach to modeling, which would you look at first?
    (a) model users
    (b) modeling platform
    (c) model purpose
    (d) model outputs

    You want to repeat the same formula with cells in different locations. What type of reference should you use?
    (a) mixed reference
    (b) relative reference
    (c) absolute reference
    (d) repeating reference

    How would you create a statement to return “yes” if cell B2 is larger than 10,000 or “no” if not?

  10. Best practices to create a model include
    A. Clear separation between inputs, calculations, and outputs
    B. One location for all input values
    C. A naming convention that a user stick to
    D. All of the above

    To cycle through different types of references use
    A. F2
    B. f3
    C. F4
    D. F5

  11. All of the above are the reasons we use PowerPivots except
    A. Import data from multiple sources
    B. create hierarchies
    C. Create pivotTables but not pivotCharts
    D. Add slicers

  12. 1.What is the acronym for XML?
    2.True or False: Linked tables must reference Excel data found in a separate Excel
    window within the same PowerPivot workbook.
    3.What are the steps in the Model Development Life Cycle?

  13. 1. Models are built to provide a rational and rigorous analysis for decision making.
    A. True B. False

    2. Which of the following is not a top-down step in designing a financial model?
    A. Purpose B. Structure C. Calculation and Inputs D. Calculation and financial

    3. The following are part of model Development Life Cycle except
    A. Design B. Calculation C. Documentation D. Evaluation

    4. During model development there should be clear separation between inputs, calculation and outputs. A. True B. False

    5. Which of the following refers to the use of Relative References

    a. Different formulas refer to the same cell
    b. Repeat same formulas with cells in different locations
    c. Seldom used other than when creating table of calculated values
    d. Use F4 key to cycle different types of references

    6. In Excel, cells whose format have been individually set are globally formatted
    A. True B. False

    7. The Internal Rate of Return(IRR) means the speed at which money comes back after it is invested. A. True B. False

    8. The underlying task of the financial statement is not to track cash

    A. True B. False

    9. Data Analysis Expression(DAX) enables users to define custom calculations in PowerPivot tables and in Excel PivotTables
    A. True B. False

    10. In PowerPivot data imported to PowerPivot window can be edited.
    A. True B. False
    11. XBRL enabled computer applications can scan the tags in a report, locate the desired line items, and extract data for analysis.
    A. True B. False

    12. Which of the following makes electronic corporate financial reporting easier and more accurate.

  14. 1. In an Excel worksheet, if you copy the formula “=$B2” from one cell and paste it to other cells, which cell reference(s) would be fixed?
    A. Row 2
    B. Row B
    C. Both Column B and Row 2
    D. Neither Column B nor Row 2

    2. When you use an Excel Linked Table to add data to a table in the PowerPivot, how would the data in the PowerPivot window table response to a change to the source data in the Excel Linked Table?

    3. What could be the interpretation of a company’s current ratio that is less than one?

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