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Schools Do the teachers at 4 year colleges usually give study guides for exams?

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(For engineering / math classes) at some of the 4 year colleges, (in California or anywhere really,) what is the semester usually like as far as review days before tests, study guides for exams and tests, and quizzes?

Do the teachers provide any of the above? And also, do you usually have projects that are due?
 

gb7nash

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From my experience in college, if anything I'll get a piece of paper listing possible topics on my exam. I haven't seen a study guide since high school though.
 

lisab

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(For engineering / math classes) at some of the 4 year colleges, (in California or anywhere really,) what is the semester usually like as far as review days before tests, study guides for exams and tests, and quizzes?

Do the teachers provide any of the above? And also, do you usually have projects that are due?
It's unusual for a study guide to be given, in my experience. Everything that was covered in class, in the homework, in the text/other reading, or anything else the prof wants to put on the test...consider that the study guide.

Projects...depends on the class. Some profs assign them, others don't. Typical lower division math and science classes don't have projects, but that really depends on the prof.
 

turbo

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If you want a study guide in college, highlight and note the concepts that are stressed in lectures and recitations. Don't take verbatim notes - figure out what your profs and instructors are steering you to, and take the lead. Try to get a little more in-depth in those directions than you would if you were just "coasting" through a course, and be prepared to demonstrate a level of understanding that others in your class don't.
 
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Dembadon

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(For engineering / math classes) at some of the 4 year colleges, (in California or anywhere really,) what is the semester usually like as far as review days before tests, study guides for exams and tests, and quizzes?

Do the teachers provide any of the above? And also, do you usually have projects that are due?
None of my science and mathematics professors have given study guides. They've considered the review questions at the end of the chapter on which you're being tested to be perfectly suited for studying. :biggrin: Although, I'm not sure how you're defining a study guide.
 

Pengwuino

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Oh man study guides!?! I haven't seen one of those in years!

Depending on the prof, usually the lecture before the exam will be dedicated to a review session where people can have questions on hand. In my experience, few people have questions and it's usually a waste
 

turbo

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Oh man study guides!?! I haven't seen one of those in years!

Depending on the prof, usually the lecture before the exam will be dedicated to a review session where people can have questions on hand. In my experience, few people have questions and it's usually a waste
Things never change, oily burd. Back over 40 years ago, it was the same. The "review" sessions were last-minute desperation ploys, and the students that attended them hadn't gotten the foundation to benefit from them, anyway. Waste of time, all around.
 
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Disclaimer: I'm only a first year undergrad, so I can mainly only speak to intro classes.

Though study guides are not given, one can get past exams (some with worked out solutions). Which I think is actually more helpful.
 

turbo

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Disclaimer: I'm only a first year undergrad, so I can mainly only speak to intro classes.

Though study guides are not given, one can get past exams (some with worked out solutions). Which I think is actually more helpful.
You have access to worked-out solutions to exam questions?. Pleas tell me that I have not understood you. If not, your college intends to suck out tuition money for 4 years, and pass you out as a functional scientist, while you are a low-functioning illiterate. Unless you are willing to put in the work required the master the material that YOU PAID FOR THEM to teach you, you are cheating yourself. The whole point of learning is to learn, not to buy a degree.
 

Nabeshin

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You have access to worked-out solutions to exam questions?. Pleas tell me that I have not understood you. If not, your college intends to suck out tuition money for 4 years, and pass you out as a functional scientist, while you are a low-functioning illiterate. Unless you are willing to put in the work required the master the material that YOU PAID FOR THEM to teach you, you are cheating yourself. The whole point of learning is to learn, not to buy a degree.
Not entirely sure why you are all up in arms. They are past exams/exam solutions. From what I gather, the practice is actually quite common. If the professor is worth anything, the exam questions are varied enough that the past exams serve only to illustrate the level of difficulty and length of exam moreso than any specific exam material.
 
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You have access to worked-out solutions to exam questions?. Pleas tell me that I have not understood you. If not, your college intends to suck out tuition money for 4 years, and pass you out as a functional scientist, while you are a low-functioning illiterate. Unless you are willing to put in the work required the master the material that YOU PAID FOR THEM to teach you, you are cheating yourself. The whole point of learning is to learn, not to buy a degree.
Ok... I'll skip the rant and just respond to your points.
They are past exams and there are completely new exams every year. I really do not see the problem. I take a practice exam without looking at the answers, then go over it to see where I went wrong. If there weren't worked out solutions (just the correct letter answer to the question), I could only know if I was right or wrong and not know how I was wrong. I honestly do not see a problem with this. Maybe you misunderstood something.
 

mathwonk

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when i was a student, no one would dream of doing it, but 20 years later as a teacher, i gradually morphed into providing them. i.e. it is considered extreme hand holding but so many students today are so weak that it has become almost necessary.
 
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when i was a student, no one would dream of doing it, but 20 years later as a teacher, i gradually morphed into providing them. i.e. it is considered extreme hand holding but so many students today are so weak that it has become almost necessary.
Yeesh. I don't feel like it's hand holding. It's a learning tool. The more practice you have at something, the better you get at it.
 

Nabeshin

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when i was a student, no one would dream of doing it, but 20 years later as a teacher, i gradually morphed into providing them. i.e. it is considered extreme hand holding but so many students today are so weak that it has become almost necessary.
It's interesting that you look at this way, would you mind elaborating on exactly why you think it is extreme hand holding? Obviously I don't really agree and here's why:

In my experiences, the practice exams just gauge mostly the length and breadth of the exam, and the contents are not necessarily related to the actual exam contents. Note, this is my experience with physics exams, and I think for upper division physics classes the practice is even more beneficial. I say this because often questions on the problem sets can be quite long and computational, so it is substantially different from a 1.5-2hr sit down exam (For this reason, take-home exams seem to be popular). Of course, the successful student should know how to do everything anyways, but a similar argument could be made against problem sets. At any rate, the only situation where I felt like a practice exam is in any way 'hand holding' or 'cheap' (as some might say), was integral calculus where the real exams mirrored the take home exams with slight variations in parameters. I.e. you had your u substitution question, your question on series convergence, etc. and they were all fundamentally the same on all exams.
 

G01

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I did my undergrad at a small masters university. I never got an old exam to study from. And very rarely was a lecture before an exam dedicated to review.
 

Pengwuino

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Yeesh. I don't feel like it's hand holding. It's a learning tool. The more practice you have at something, the better you get at it.
I am on the side of mathwonk here. The problem with "Here are questions, here are their solutions" is that most students will simply fumble around using random equations until their answer = actual answer. What ends up happening is that the instructor will change one little part of the question and the students fall apart on the question. It's especially bad when the solutions are given as a step by step procedure because students memorize those steps and again, instructor changes something and they have no idea what to do.

Of course, I really do mean most and not all.

Hell, it's almost the end of the semester and some of my students still have trouble knowing when and how to use kinematic equations.
 

jhae2.718

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For the exams in the physics courses I've taken, old exams were available with final answers only. The exams had questions of a similar type, but they differed quite a bit each exam. (The exams were four questions only, and were quite fun...)
 

mathwonk

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you guys who do not think this is hand holding have apparently been coddled for so long you don't even know what it means to do your own work. some hopeless clown asked my freshman calc professor what was going to be on our exam, and the answer was "the content of the course!" the idea is that it is your job to review the material, outline it, and learn it. the more you do on your own the better you learn. get a clue. the sooner the better, for you.
 

jhae2.718

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I think it's hand holding. (I just do the physics practice exams for the fun...)

I would not give out study guides. I'd also make exam questions doable, but harder than the material covered in class. If I taught a course, my students would hate me.
 

Pengwuino

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you guys who do not think this is hand holding have apparently been coddled for so long you don't even know what it means to do your own work. some hopeless clown asked my freshman calc professor what was going to be on our exam, and the answer was "the content of the course!" the idea is that it is your job to review the material, outline it, and learn it. the more you do on your own the better you learn. get a clue. the sooner the better, for you.
I had a prof who taught a lot of my math classes and I thought it was hilarious what she would do. She would have a list right before every exam of what was going to be on the exam.

It was everything she had covered.
 

Vanadium 50

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Sometimes even hand holding doesn't help. I remember once I passed out a sheet of 20 questions and said, "If you can do all these questions, you'll be well prepared for the exam". The exam was the same sheet, with the instruction, "Answer any 5 questions".

I still had students flunk it.
 

Pengwuino

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Sometimes even hand holding doesn't help. I remember once I passed out a sheet of 20 questions and said, "If you can do all these questions, you'll be well prepared for the exam". The exam was the same sheet, with the instruction, "Answer any 5 questions".

I still had students flunk it.
Did you say anything? Like "If you failed this class, you're hopeless"?
 
I don't give out study guides, but I release my old exams for classes on my class websites (with keys). Without exams being numbered (and sometimes even if they are) there's a chance that an exam gets taken and stored in a Frat or Sorority file... so I just post them so all students have access to them. With a key, some students use them as study guides.

Sometimes, like Vanadium, I'll use old questions over again (and yes, students will still flunks those)... although I've never used exactly the same test. Often, I just change a word or two, especially on long multiple choice tests -- for example, changing the question from asking about frequency to asking about wavelength completely inverts the correct response. On problem-based tests, I'll often use the same geometry, but change the charge distribution slightly, etc. (With this kind of similarity, it covers my ___, err... it lowers the chances that students complain about tests being "unfair" etc. -- and when my students still fail an EXACT problem, they usually cower in their chairs, improve their work and study habits, or drop the course.)

Maybe it's hand-holding (maybe not). It's better than I got (at a small liberal arts school). I think SOMETIMES professors posted an equation sheet if one was to be given during the exam. But that was in the days before classes had internet sites and ways of easily storing/posting these materials, so who knows what my professors may have chosen to do with those tools available.
 
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Sometimes even hand holding doesn't help. I remember once I passed out a sheet of 20 questions and said, "If you can do all these questions, you'll be well prepared for the exam". The exam was the same sheet, with the instruction, "Answer any 5 questions".

I still had students flunk it.
Wow... How could someone not ace that?
 

turbo

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you guys who do not think this is hand holding have apparently been coddled for so long you don't even know what it means to do your own work. some hopeless clown asked my freshman calc professor what was going to be on our exam, and the answer was "the content of the course!" the idea is that it is your job to review the material, outline it, and learn it. the more you do on your own the better you learn. get a clue. the sooner the better, for you.
So true! I fought hard for my grades in Engineering, and I would have been seriously ticked off if the profs had handed out all kinds of hints and practice sheets to help clueless students bring up their exam scores. After all, I was paying for my education, not for a grade-transcript and a piece of paper to hang on the wall. I had no loans and worked my way through school with a little financial help from my parents. I knew what I was paying for, and I would have been really burnt if the profs had diluted the process by inflating the grades of the clueless.
 

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