For media arts in particular it is a learn as you go process. If you would like to be more comfortable I would suggest getting to know the programs (photoshop. etc) ahead of time to be familiar, but not required. the papers we had to write went hand in hand with culminating activities for example: the culminating task weighed 30% but the writing portion was weighted a small fraction of it but still important for completion. All material that is reviewed in class is presented on the test fairly. Also side note, there was no exam, solely a 30% culminating activity.