Guidelines for Effectively Using the Sample Exams
Use the exam as a self test. If you have difficulty answering one of the questions, this gives you information about where you have a
weakness. Use this as a study tool to work on the concepts asked in the question. Analyze the question and determine the topic areas. Then ask yourself what do I need to understand about this area in order to answer
this question. I will be more than happy to discuss concepts with you, as opposed to the specific answer to a question.
As an example of what I mean by "studying the concepts." Think about learning multiplication. One way to learn multiplication is to memorize answers to
all possible problems. So if the exam asks a particular question you've got the answer memorized. Believe me this won't work—there are an infinite number of possible questions.
A second way might be to look at sample exams and learn just the answers to those problems. So you find that a previous exam asked: "What is 12 times 11?"
You learn that the answer is 132. You also memorize the answers to 10 more questions.
When you take the actual exam you are asked: "What is 12 times 12?" A question which was not on the old exam and a question that was not specifically
covered in class. If all you did was memorize you will not be able to answer the question, but if you learned how to multiply then it's duck soup! My advice is to learn to multiply rather than memorize
(something I hope you've already figured out).
The topics in this class are not really any different. You can learn how the concepts work and be able to answer whatever questions are posed or you can
try to memorize. If you are very good at memorizing material you might just get by (but then you might not!). Even if you do happen to get by you will have wasted the real reason for coming to a university and
severely hampered your future success.
