thoughts on how to improve your class ( and exam)
prepare very well on a consistent basis.
- You can easily make use of 60-90 minutes between
- TIME equals POINTS and I believe that is
- The best thing you can do to do better in this class
is put in more time. "How can I make use of more time?"
is never a bad question to ask yourself. Too many
students ask “how quickly can I get finished?”
- Then, you come to class and I throw questions at you –
often different than the ones I have given you to
prepare. What I am trying to do is teach you how to take
what you’ve prepared and use it (on the spot) to figure
out something else.
- Learn how to answer questions that you haven’t seen
before by a quick analysis and a genuine understanding
of what’s gone before.
- Then, after class, spend 30-40 minutes assimilating
what you’ve learned so that you can use it in answering
- I think all of that is a skill/talent worth
developing. That’s something you can use in the real
world regardless of your major.
- The four keys to this process as I see it: (1)
preparation and (2) “figure it out” and (3) assimilate
for future use and (4) consistency.
How do some students seem to view this class?
These students believe that preparation is a waste of
time because the teacher (me) is going to tell them what
they need to know in class. Their preparation is, at
best, a half-hearted affair.
- In class, they pray they won’t get called on. They
write down what anyone and everyone says with the
assumption that they’ll memorize it all the night before
the test. All real learning is deferred and replaced by
a cram system.
- The problem is that when they get to the test and I
throw a bizarre question at them, it doesn’t match up
with the memorized material in their head and they
haven’t determined how to analyze and figure out a
And, remember, a good grade on the first test is nice but
it isn’t a guarantee of great things to come. And, a bad
grade on the first test is not the end of the world. It’s
the first test, a way to gauge how you are doing in this.
. . class.
September 23, 2012