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Perfect score on exams

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

How do you prepare for exams that have curve-balls and/or problems that are not from the lecture or on the homework?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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0
The best way to handle problems like that are to truly master the material. Those questions are on the test to see if you've mastered the material, not to just trip you up or get points off.
 
  • #3
The best way to handle problems like that are to truly master the material. Those questions are on the test to see if you've mastered the material, not to just trip you up or get points off.
"how do you prepare..." (:
 
  • #4
QuantumCurt
Education Advisor
726
166
Work through as many exercise problems as you can, and try to get exposure to the material from several perspectives. Sometimes a concept will be explained in one book in a more technical way, and the same concept will be explained in another book in a more conceptual/theoretical way. Having both explanations helps to really understand the material.
 
  • #5
2
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I find reading each section thoroughly helps. Also going over each example in every section helps! I spend less time on ones that I think are straight forward and more time on challenging examples. Also, if I feel the explanation in one book is weak then I usually look in another book or look on the web for tutorials. For my personal learning style, I feel that I actually do the learning through the reading and trying to uncover the techniques in the examples. Also, do more than the recommended work! Do more of the problems you struggle with or problems that look pretty hard (or all of them!!). Also, If you spend a lot of your time studying each section thoroughly then studying for the exam should be more of a review. Normally I will pick a couple easy problems from easy sections being covered and spend most of my time practicing how to tackle hard problems. Most of the time the easy problems will somehow be imbedded in the large grotesque problems. For my personal style, and this is the tricky part, I try to get to the point where I take an exam I feel like it is all material that I can do without much thought. As funny as it sounds I try to limit problem solving as much as possible and save it only for those really hard problems. I kind of think of my problem solving skills as a limited turbo boost in an arcade game. Unlike an arcade game, I feel that applying my problem solving skills to every test question would take way too long and I would most likely run out of time. Also, I try to save myself at least 5 minutes to check my answers. Lastly, I think that trying to beat the clock is half the battle sometimes and I personally think that 2-4 hr. tests with snacks are much easier than 50 min. tests.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
2019 Award
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"how do you prepare..." (:
Zapz gave you good advice. Don't be unappreciative about it.

Previously you wrote:

I just read once, attempt the examples, and I solve the basic problems. My CE professor said he read every chapter 3 times. Is there anyway to understand what is going on better?
You got good advice in that thread, you got good advice from your professor, and you got good advice from zapz. If you were to follow this advice, it's likely your problem will go away. Up to you.
 
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