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Achieving Academic Excellence “If A=success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z where X is work, Y is play, and Z is keep your mouth shut,”—A. Einstein

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Preparing for Class Take a minute to write on a 3x5 card what you do to prepare for class. Also, if you have taken Physics 23 or its equivalent (even in high school), you should recall working force problems (using Newton’s Laws). Write down on your 3x5 card how many different force problems there are. I’m not looking for an exact number, just a ballpark estimate.

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Preparing for Class expected me, “good” class me, “bad” class you study textread text skimmed assigned reading do assigned homework did assigned homework, maybe more well, I tried think about what you’ve learned sometimes discussed with friends no extra effort

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Do You Actually Go To Class?

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Preparing for a Test Take a minute to write on a 3x5 card what you do to prepare for a test.

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Preparing for a Test expected me, “good” class me, “bad” classyou review textreviewed textskimmed text study assigned homework studied homework well, I tried study prior tests studied prior tests when available sometimes studied prior tests think about what will be tested figured out what would be tested

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Taking a Test expected me, “good” class me, “bad” classyou study beforehand, feel confident studied beforehand, felt confident crammed, felt anxious know where/when test is knew where/when test was get restrested! overcome test anxiety no anxiety moderate anxiety

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Designing a Test—Ideal World (1) List the “Big Ideas.” (2) List the main topics covered in lecture (should be almost same as (1)). (3) Decide which “Big Ideas” and main topics to test. (4) Decide what kind of problem for each idea/topic (multiple choice, fill in the blank, work it out, essay). (5) Look at prior tests to remind myself what other course instructors thought was appropriate. (6) Write problems/questions using homework, lecture, text examples, and prior tests as a guide. (7) It is a good idea to: (a) actually work the problems yourself to see that they are solvable in the given time, (b) let others read the problems to ensure that they make sense, (c) let others work the problems. (8) Repeat steps 5-7 at least once, if time permits.

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We Live in the Real World Sometimes there is only time to pull problems off prior tests, and maybe re-phrase them a bit. How Many Different Force Problems Are There?

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Do not “study” a solved prior test and assume you have learned anything. You probably haven’t! When you learn the secret of self-motivation, let me know, and together we’ll become famous and extremely rich!

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Angela Zanardelli Learning Specialist Academic Success Center Wayne State University

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