Friday, July 3, 2009

Do Great On Your Calculus Test

By Misha Ryzhov

Make the most of your study time by checking out these tips for improving your calculus exam score.

The most important study tip is to make sure you know what's on the exam. Although this sounds obvious, many students don't bother to find out what they should be studying! Study things that are likely to be on the test and you'll be spending your time more wisely. A few questions to ask yourself: which sections from the book does the test cover? Will the test cover any material that was on the last test?

Pay attention to topics that have appeared in old homework, quizzes, and handouts. These are topics that are likely to appear again on a test. Teachers often give away exam questions by talking about the a lot. Listen to the topics your teacher talks about repeatedly.

If you know what the exam will cover, try to go one step further by guessing what questions will be asked on the exam. Don't guess the exact question, but guess the type of question. For example, if you spent a week talking about the chain rule, you might guess, "I'll bet there will be a chain rule problem where we have to compute the derivative of a function using the chain rule." Then you can spend extra time studying that topic. This can be a very powerful way to study for your calculus exam since if you can guess even one or two problems, you can probably ace those questions.

Another great way to study is to study with a friend. Take turns explaining a topic to each other. Ask questions even if you think you understand what's going on. One of the best ways to check your understanding of a subject is to try to explain it to somebody else. It sounds easy, but it can be very difficult! Try it sometime. While you're studying with a friend, ask them what they think will be on the test. They might remember something you forgot.

There's no substitute for studying hard. You can do great if you take the time to work. Be patient, and good luck!

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