Preparing for Exams
- Exam format
- Number of questions: about 15 multiple choice, which will be machine graded.
- Questions will test understanding of concepts and solving problems.
- Material covered: see syllabus.
- Bring some pens, pencils, a calculator and backup batteries.
- You may bring an 8.5 x 11" two-sided sheet of notes in your own handwriting
(no xerox copies).
- Preparing for exams
- Study together with another person(s) in the class if possible and
discuss the material.
- Review lecture notes and textbook.
- Reread assigned sections of the book with emphasis on lecture and
- Read the short Summary at the end of each Chapter. Do you recognize
each topic and do you agree that the summary is correct?
- Go over assigned problems with which you had difficulty.
- When going over problems, do not attempt to memorize how each
problems is solved. It is unlikely that identical questions
that appeared in homework will be in the exams. Rather try to
discover general strategies and principles that are common to
- Draw a diagram depicting the physical situation in the problem.
Draw a graph, a vector diagram, or other pictures that help you
visualize and understand what part is given and what is being asked.
- As you work on the problems, start making notes with a list of
key ideas and formulas. Practise to apply them in other problems
- Go over the review questions and relevant problems from the practice
exam. Keep in mind that the exam format will be
multiple choice, and the syllabus this year may differ slightly from
years. Initially, work on these problems
without the help of text and notes: just work with the formulas that you
have chosen to include on your summary sheet (and will have available at
the actual exam).
- Make your own summary of key ideas and formulae.
Understand the quantities that play a role in these
formulas and the relationship among them as specified by the formulas.
This summary may be brought to the exam on a single sheet of paper
as described above.
- Do NOT attempt to memorize all formulas that appear in the book as most
apply only in special cases. Actually, part of your understanding is
deciding which are the few basic formulas and how to apply them correctly.