USask GEOL 121 Quiz & Lab Exam

7 USask GEOL 121 Rock & Mineral Quiz Information

The rock and mineral quiz tests students on their ability to identify the rocks and minerals covered in the first few labs of the course. It is worth 10 % of your final grade for the course.

The format for the rock and mineral quiz:

  • Bring a printout of the rock and mineral quiz sheet, your mineral identification kit and pen or pencils.
  • The Rock and Mineral quiz takes place in your regular lab section. Other lab sections cannot accommodate additional students due to fire regulations and limited resources so it is critical that students take the quiz in the section where they are registered.
  • It is a closed-book quiz. You are not allowed use your lab books or keys in the quiz.
  • Students must work independently during the quiz; cheating will not be tolerated. Please familiarize yourself with the USask academic integrity policy.
  • You will be required to name a total of 34 rock and mineral specimens. Some rocks or minerals could appear more than one time. The specimens will be similar to the ones you saw in your labs. They will NOT be numbered with the same numbers they were marked with in your labs.
  • You will have 90 seconds to identify and name each specimen. After this time, you will get a new specimen for 90 seconds, and so on, until you have seen each of the 34 specimens. You will only have one chance to look at each specimen.
  • You will fill in each rock and mineral specimen on your answer key beside the number corresponding to the number on the specimen. Only one student will begin with specimen #1, so make sure you are putting the answers in the correct place in on your quiz paper.
  • There is only one correct answer per question – if you put down more than one answer your TA will mark the question incorrect.
  • You can ask your TA if a specimen would react to dilute HCl acid, or if it would taste salty.
  • AES students: contact the lab coordinator (Michael Cuggy, michael.cuggy at (not your TA!) at the start of the semester or as soon as possible to arrange to write the rock and mineral quiz at a different time.

How to succeed on the rock and mineral quiz:

  • To succeed on the rock and mineral quiz it is critical that students attend and participate in the labs. There is no substitute for working through the rock and mineral identification methods we teach you in the labs. It takes practice to learn how to accurately identify rocks and minerals. Ask your TA lots of questions if you are struggling!
  • As you study, try to write down as much information as you can about each specimen (not just the name – even if you are sure you know what it is!). What characteristics can you use to help identify the mineral? Write down details such as cleavage, lustre, streak, hardness, crystal habit, colour, and foliation.
  • On your quiz you can also note characteristics of your mineral or rock. This is very useful if you are unable to identify the rock or mineral when you are looking at it, but then remember what the sample is later in the quiz.
  • Test yourself – as you get more confident with rock and mineral identification, get your lab partner to test you with the specimens provided in the lab. This is an effective way to review and will help you build confidence before the quiz.

Good luck!


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Introductory Physical Geology Laboratory Manual – First Canadian Edition (v.3 - Jan 2020) Copyright © 2020 by Joyce McBeth; Karla Panchuk; Tim Prokopiuk; Lyndsay Hauber; and Sean Lacey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.