Test Preparation – Best Practices
Start this at least one week before the math, chemistry or physics exam.
What does the test cover? Sounds simple but it is amazing that many students are not sure the night before an exam.
Using major topic titles, your notes, instructors’ notes, pages in the book – describe fully what the upcoming test covers.
If questions come up - NOW is the time to ask the instructor exactly what is covered. I encourage you to approach the instructor – let him/her know you are actively preparing. Ask them if they have a good source of extra problems to work to prepare. They will love that you are taking their class seriously. Don’t do this to impress them – be sincere – but be aware – this could be helpful in that they might be interested in helping you. They work very hard instructing you - you probably don’t realize how much work they do when they are not in front of you in class – so you “make their day” by your behavior.
Even if a cheat sheet is not allowed for a math, chemistry or physics exam – do the following as a “Best Practice” in exam preparation.
1) Make an 8 ½ by 11 cheat sheet. Include all formulas, rules, laws, equations.
2) If there are to “definition” type questions in addition to problems – make sure you have that information organized & reviewed.
3) Make a package of solved problems – one of each type to be covered on test.
And now the best part of all -- after you’ve done this:
4) Find extra “fresh” problems – for which you can access the solutions – for every type of problem on the exam. Work them in an “exam-like environment”. At least 2 problems of each type, the more the better.
Sources of extra problems:
- the instructor
- old exams - ask upperclassmen that have been through the class
- un-worked problems with answers in your current text book OR from another text book.
If you do all this, became “fluent” with the problems – you will walk in with supreme confidence and less stress positioning you for a great score.