A fair amount of "freaking out" usually accompanies the distribution of the midterm passages. Nonetheless, I think that this is an effective exam format. By giving students most of the passages in advance I emphasize that good history is about thinking not memorizing. For many students, this is the only college-level history course they will take and it is important that they learn to work with primary sources. How else will they understand what historians do? Finally, the integration of secondary and primary sources is intended to get them thinking about constructing an argument. Although many students ignore this last piece of the exam, including it creates further opportunity to discuss the relationship between evidence and interpretation and prepares them for the paper later in the semester.