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Tips on doing well on this time of class test?

  1. Mar 1, 2008 #1
    Hello in my physics program at Trent university (Canada) we have replaced written midterms with interactive tests where we are given a remote and multiple choice questions on the slideshow.

    For each question ( all conceptual) 1 minute is given per question (5 choices per question). Each test worth 12% of our grade and we have 4 class tests in total. I have already had one test so far (2nd one coming very soon) which I did very poorly.

    We sit in the lecture hall and each of have a remote that corresponds to our student file. Whatever button we press get recorded and the last button we click before the timer is up on each question is recorded as our response to that question.

    I can't seem to function well when placed in such a stressful situation. If you give me a written midterm with conceptual questions/ calculations and tell me I have two hours to finish the midterm, that's perfectly all right. I am prepared for that. But for this type of test, where we get 1 minute per question, I either blank out or panic. My brain stops working and I end up watching the countdown timer instead.

    Anyone have strategy for doing well in these kind of "new" tests? They worth almost half of our grade so doing well is essential. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2008 #2


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    Wow, one minute per question seems a bit low unless the question is relatively simple. The obvious answer is to study enough so that you know the answer. Also, try to relax and not look at the timer. Take some deep breaths before you start.

  4. Mar 1, 2008 #3
    The questions are not really straightforward. They are the type of questions you would find in end of chapter conceptual questions in a standard undergraduate physics textbook.

    They are usually tricky questions involving you to manipulate equations, usually several at once and sometimes involves you assessing two different situations and compare them etc..
  5. Mar 2, 2008 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    First you say they are conceptual:

    Then you say they are not:

    Is this significant? Could this mean that you are miscategorizing these problems because you don't really understand them so well? Is it possible that the test is actually telling you something?

    Being able to solve a problem eventually may not be a good indicator of understanding - as an example, the fact that someone can solve a one minute conservation of energy problem after spending hours treating it as an equations of motion problem does not mean they understand conservation of energy.
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