Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tips while preparations

* Study in small groups

o Make sure your study group contains only students who are serious about studying. At least some of them should be at your level of ability or better.
o Go over as many different problems as you can (like old homework problems, unassigned problems in the course text, and problems on old exams). Set up the solutions, but don't crunch numbers. Don't leave a problem until you're convinced you could do it by yourself.
o Brainstorm possible things you could be asked and answers you might give.
o Leave the beer in the refrigerator until you're done studying.

* Make up a one-page summary sheet of the key ideas, equations, procedures, etc., that you might need to know on the test. If the test is closed-book, know what's on the sheet. If it's open-book, bring the sheet with you.

* Don't stay up all night studying. Try to get a reasonable amount of sleep the night before the exam. If that's not possible, try to get a nap before the exam, or at least a short rest.

* Set up a backup system for your alarm clock. Set a second alarm, or arrange for a wake-up call from a friend.

* Arrange for backup transportation to campus.

* Bring everything you need to the exam:

o textbook/lecture notes if the exam is open book
o paper and several pencils with erasers
o calculator with extra batteries
o allowed handbooks and tables (such as steam tables)
o allowed class handouts
o summary sheet (if allowed)

Richard M. Felder
North Carolina State University

James E. Stice
University of Texas at Austin


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