Taking Problem Tests
Of all the types of tests, problem tests are often considered the most difficult ones. In other types of tests (except essay tests) you choose from possibilities already given to you. In problem tests. You need to do all of the work. There are no possibilities to choose from.
Here’s a strategy for doing well on problem tests.
- Read through the problem statement carefully. Then jot down notes about the solution strategy you plan to use. This could be relevant formulas, specific rules to use, or other keys to the approach you will use.
- Write down all of the data with the units.
- Write down your solution one step at a time.
- Check each step for careless mistakes
- Check the units to be sure they match
- Check signs and exponents
- Don’t combine steps. Do them one at a time.
- When you get to your final solution, put your answer into the original problem to be sure it makes sense.
- Check the units
- Check to see how reasonable the answer is
- Check positive/negative signs
- Check exponents
The one good thing about problem tests is that you can get partial credit. To maximize your partial credit do the following:
- Be neat
- Show a logical flow to your solution
- Box your final solution
- Write an explanation if you think it is appropriate
- Do the test in pencil
- If you have to erase anything, be sure you do this cleanly.
Look for sample tests to follow. Whatever you do, follow an approach used in class. The key to getting as much credit as possible is to make the problem easy to grade. .