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When a user asks questions from old exams in preparation for an upcoming exam should we apply the "homework" tag, even if the old exams aren't necessarily assigned for a grade? I'm ambivalent; it's not really homework per se, but part of the value of the homework tag (to me) is as a flag that a good response might lead to the correct answer instead of giving it, or include more detail on the initial steps of a solution, etc.

(Prompted by this question, which has other problems besides...)

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There are two separate issues:

  1. Site quality. In general, good SE question is a question which can be also generated by an independent asker; exam questions and homeworks are usually too detailed or just useless in practice, what effectively makes them only a noise.
  2. Ethics. Giving a direct answer to current homework is obviously unfair, and so we have a (probably not too effective with a respect to people who want to cheat) policy that an asker should mark homeworks with homework tag and this should notify the answerers that they shouldn't give straight answer but only some hints.

In case of the old exams, I'm mainly worried about the first one.

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Searching just now for questions tagged homework I noticed the wiki: 'A routine question from a textbook, course, or test used for a class or self-study. This community's policy is to "provide helpful hints."' (emphasis mine)

Sorry, I should have checked that first!

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