The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91297   Message #1735690
Posted By: JohnInKansas
08-May-06 - 07:52 PM
Thread Name: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
There are a couple of cert agencies for "major program types," and many producers of individual programs run their own certifications for their own products. It's pretty easy to see that the different sponsors for the various certs each have something of their own "language" and "thinking modes." As IIRC * William Whyte said, it helps to get into the mindset of the people who created the test.

* William Whyte, The Organization Man chapter on "how to cheat on intelligence tests."

This principle is probably of marginal usefulness for most tests of the kind I think you're describing; but I've seen people who tried to study by looking at "alternate sources" get themselves confused by going into a test with a "Microsoft mindset" when the test was being given by IBM. The thinking is different.

A brief review of what you know, preferably with course materials from the test producer should suffice, done within a few days of the test.

On a multiple choice test with 5 choices, random guessing is likely to get you * 20%. If you can eliminate three of the five you should get 50% just by random guessing at the remaining two. That means that if you can consistently eliminate the "really wrong choices" you only need to know with real certainty the 10 answers that don't have ridiculous alternates - to score the required 60 on a 100 question test. Believing that it should be a "snap" is probably a real help.

The basic requirement though, as Amos and Robin stated it, is to know enough about the test subject to be reasonably "competent" with it.

* This is a fiction invented by mathematicians. My carefully recorded results for an extended experiment with the game called "Minesweeper" shows that in any case where there is a choice between two items that are exactly equal in likelihood of being the mine or not the mine (theoretical 50% probability), my personal odds (for 1,000 trials) are 13 to 3 that the one I pick will explode. (Which is why I don't gamble trivially.) But if you can force belief in it, it may help you charge in with confidence - which is important for taking tests of this kind.