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Writing A Math Exam: Test-taking Strategies Success in Math Mathematics Assistance Centre Centre for Student Success.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing A Math Exam: Test-taking Strategies Success in Math Mathematics Assistance Centre Centre for Student Success."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing A Math Exam: Test-taking Strategies Success in Math Mathematics Assistance Centre Centre for Student Success

2 Outline: Why is studying math different from other subjects? Tips for preparing for a Math Exam. Tips for writing a Math Exam. Writing A Math Exam

3 Why is studying math different from studying other subjects? Writing A Math Exam

4 Why is studying math different from studying other subjects? processes and critical thinking, not facts active versus passive every class is cumulative, building on previous classes often a required course, rather than an elective math anxiety - we're taught that math is a difficult subject Writing A Math Exam

5 Why is studying math at university different than in high school? Writing A Math Exam

6 Why is studying math at university different than in high school? mode of delivery -- lecture format material covered (at least) twice as fast independent learning -- your responsibility to work outside of class time fewer sources of marks tougher problems – requires deeper level of cognitive thinking Writing A Math Exam

7 Types of Problems 1.Drill -- test memorization/specific skills 2.Template -- applying skills to familiar cases 3.Strategy -- applying skills to unfamiliar situations 4.Analysis -- extending skills/theory to unfamiliar situations High School: 1 → 3 University: 2 → 4 Writing A Math Exam

8 How do you study math? Writing A Math Exam

9 How do you study math? Get the most out of your lectures Writing A Math Exam

10 How do you study math? Get the most out of your lectures Do the homework, and more -- practice, practice, practice Writing A Math Exam

11 How do you study math? Get the most out of your lectures Do the homework, and more -- practice, practice, practice Get help when you need it -- don't assume you can skip it and catch up later. There are plenty of resources available to you! Writing A Math Exam

12 Getting Help: Ask questions in class Make use of your instructor's office hours Have focused questions to ask Always bring your attempt with you Form study groups Attend Directed Homework Sessions (if applicable) Be aware of services available to you! Mathematics Assistance Centre: Offering: Residence Drop-In Hours, Drop-In Help Centre, Mock Tests and more! Use sources of extra help as a coach, not a crutch! Writing A Math Exam

13 Tips for Studying for a Math Exam: Long Term: From the beginning of the course, periodically redo key examples. Be sure to understand definitions and concepts along the way. Form a study group and utilize the Mathematics Assistance Centre. (Regular/Residence Drop-In Hours and Midnight Madness) Writing A Math Exam

14 Tips for Studying for a Math Exam: Long Term: From the beginning of the course, periodically redo key examples. Be sure to understand definitions and concepts along the way. Form a study group and utilize the Mathematics Assistance Centre. (Regular/Residence Drop-In Hours and Midnight Madness) Short Term: Write a list of all the topics that will be tested, start with the concepts that give you the greatest difficulty. Rework examples of key question types and write a timed mock test. Write a formula sheet of all the formulas required of you for efficient studying purposes. Writing A Math Exam

15 How do I write a Math Exam? Stay Calm. If you studied and attended the lectures, you should be confident that you can do well. Before You Begin Writing: Memory Dump: Write down any key formulas/concepts before looking at the test. Read through the test and identify which problems you are most confident in answering. Answer the questions you are sure of first and while you are working on these, your memory will be searching for material you may have forgotten. Be sure to manage your time accordingly. Keep in mind how much time you have to complete the full exam. Writing A Math Exam

16 Writing Your Exam: Write detailed, neat and organized solutions. Be sure to provide full justifications for your answers. Do not skip steps. Don’t erase a whole chunk of work, instead draw a line across it and redo the solution. Check that your answer makes sense and you are solving what the question is asking. Circle the questions you are unsure of to review, if time permits, at the end of the exam. For a multi-part question or solution, if you get stuck you might be able to skip over a certain part and continue on. Answer every question! Writing A Math Exam

17 Stuck on a Question? Reread the question a couple of times. Identify what has been given to you, this may involve converting words to math expressions. Write it down! Identify what you are asked to find/show/prove. Write it down! Think of any relationships relevant to the problem. Write it down! Skip it and go on to the next problem.

18 Additional Resources to Support Student Success Centre for Student Success: wlu.ca/studentsuccess Central Academic Advising – Switching programs/Faculties Study Skills Appointments/Workshops Supplemental Instruction for difficult courses Writing Appointments/Workshops Supporting students with Disabilities (ALC) Counselling, Health Services (Student Wellness Centre): wlu.ca/wellness Dean of Students: Leanne Holland Brown Writing A Math Exam

19 Be prepared! Be relaxed! Get the grade! Writing A Math Exam


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