Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?

Dave the Gnome 08 May 06 - 07:12 AM
jonm 08 May 06 - 07:46 AM
Helen 08 May 06 - 08:14 AM
Alice 08 May 06 - 08:54 AM
Amos 08 May 06 - 09:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 08 May 06 - 10:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 06 - 10:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 06 - 12:04 PM
Bert 08 May 06 - 12:39 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 06 - 01:29 PM
Deda 08 May 06 - 05:57 PM
GUEST 08 May 06 - 06:04 PM
JohnInKansas 08 May 06 - 07:52 PM
open mike 08 May 06 - 08:14 PM
JohnInKansas 08 May 06 - 08:38 PM
jimmyt 08 May 06 - 09:57 PM
Schantieman 09 May 06 - 03:28 AM
JohnInKansas 09 May 06 - 06:27 AM
Ella who is Sooze 09 May 06 - 06:48 AM
open mike 09 May 06 - 10:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 May 06 - 10:59 AM
Bert 09 May 06 - 06:14 PM
JohnInKansas 09 May 06 - 08:39 PM
JohnInKansas 09 May 06 - 08:44 PM
number 6 09 May 06 - 10:05 PM
JohnInKansas 09 May 06 - 10:19 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 06 - 11:36 AM
Helen 11 May 06 - 12:13 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 06 - 07:12 AM

Anyone who has ever done IT certification exams will realise how stupid this is but, unfortunately, that is the way of the beast.

I did a course some months ago on a particular product. I had never used it before and am never likely to. We do, however, as a company need certification to sell the product so I am doing the exam.

I have all the questions and answers but it is a 'closed book' exam so I do need to learn them. The exam gives us 60 out of a possible 74. They are all multiple choice. They are mainly choose 1 out of 4 but they go up to 4 out of 7. I am quite confident that I know it reasonably and can figure some of them out anyway. The copy of the Qs and As we have is up to date and accurately reflects the current exam.

Anyone got any good tints and hips on how to remember the answers to 74 questions?

Cheers

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: jonm
Date: 08 May 06 - 07:46 AM

First off, eliminate all the questions you already know the answers to - don't waste time, save them for the run-through of all 76 at the last possible minute.

If you can break each remaining question down into a fundamental distinguishing characteristic, such as a word which only appears once, then establish the fundamental element which makes the correct answer unique, then there is less recall required. It is essential that you are clear on the ones you do understand and have eliminated; not only does it reduce the number of key words or phrases to memorise, it also means you can use some words or phrases which are duplicated in problems you know you can solve.

For example, there may be only one question with the word "frequency" in it, to which the answer might be "amplitude." Better to remember the answer, not its letter, in case they change them around. How you then memorise the link between these two words is up to you - some people make a rhyme, or remember a pattern of words to a common melody (you know if you're wrong, because it no longer scans), or perhaps create a mnemonic of first letters of key words.

Some people find associating pictures works well, it's a technique I use to get verses of long songs in the right order. Using the above example, for frequency you could imagine a radio and for amplitude a wave on the sea. Now picture a radio floating on the ocean, and the link will hopefully stay in your mind.

The teacher in me feels obliged to point out that learning the material properly and well in advance is the optimum technique, but I hope this helps.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Helen
Date: 08 May 06 - 08:14 AM

If it's a matter of memorising facts I have used this technique quite a few times and it works for me.

I get long pieces of blank newsprint roll paper, i.e. go to a newspaper printer and buy the ends of rolls for a few dollars. They are about a metre wide and you usually get at least 10 metres of length on the roll.

Then I cut the paper up into lengths long enough to reach from the ceiling to about a metre above the floor. I fold the paper in half lengthways and draw a line down the centre and then write everything in big letters that I have to memorise in lines across the paper going down the length and then starting again at the top on the second half. I put it all in logical order and I use mnemonics as far as possible, [e.g. Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit = the lines of the music staff] and when I have everything written I pin/blue tack the sheets up near the ceiling so that they hang down and I can sit back and look at everything at once.

I make sure I have it all pinned up at least a week before the exam so that everytime I walk into the room I see it, so I am constantly studying, and also when I want to do some serious, focused studying I lie on the lounge and just go over it until it sticks in my head. I look at one section, then turn my head away, try to remember the mnemonic, and what it stands for, and then move on to the next section.

Then when I get into the exam the first thing I do when I pick up my pen is to write down all the mnemonics that I need next to each question and what the letters stand for. Then I start going back and answering each question properly. I don't start answering in detail until I have recalled as many of the mnemonics as I can, because it is still fresh in my mind when I first sit down in the exam but after I start answering questions it's easier to forget them.

It takes a bit of organising before the exam but I have used it a lot, especially in the MBA for the fact-based subjects like statistics and IT and accounting and human resource management - which, in fact, was the hardest exam I have ever done. It was multiple choice with tricky questions and there were about 200 questions in all. So much memorising! I got a job running tutorial classes for the lecturer after I finished the subject, though.

The best thing about this method, I think, is that you see the whole subject at once. You can jump from one part to the other really easily without having to flick through pages and pages of notes.

Well, call me weird, but it works for me.   :-)

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Alice
Date: 08 May 06 - 08:54 AM

Works for me:
breaking each answer down to essential words and then set the words to a simple tune, so it is like remembering lyrics.
I did this last year when I had a company test to pass and used "I'm a little teapot" as the tune. (If anyone in class had their cell phone ring during the training, they had to get up and sing I'm a little teapot. Fortunately, everyone had their phones off. But, it was a tune in my mind for that class, so I used it for memorizing.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Amos
Date: 08 May 06 - 09:49 AM

Best bet is to understand the questions thoroughly.

This means understanding the words used well enough to be able to use them yourself.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 May 06 - 10:06 AM

The best way to cram for an exam:

When the course starts, familiarise yourself with the material completely over the period of how ever many months it is before the critical exam...

What?

That's just normal good study techniques?

Sorry, was trying to be helpful... :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 06 - 10:28 AM

Agreed, Robin, and that is indeed usualy the best way. But in fairness I should explain the situation with this particular IT exam.

1. At the very outset the instructer on the course told us the course itself was useless if you wanted to pass the exam.

2. The course was to familiarise people with the priciples of the product. It lasted 4 days.

3. After the course the theory is that you then go and install and use the product for 6 months, on a daily basis, to get fully familiar with it prior to becoming certified.

4. To sell and install the product you need to be certified. To get certified you need to sell and install the product. Catch 22 or what?

5 For big IT organisations who have staff dedicated to one product this may well work. For the little guys, like us, the only way to break this cycle is to cheat! I am the only technical consultant in our company. We may sell this product once a year. How much time do you think I should dedicate to it?

No need to apologise for trying to be helpful though. Now, if you were being facetious that would be another matter but surely no-one here would do that. Would they?

Thanks for all other bits of advice.

First try at the sample exam - 76%!

:D (tG)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 06 - 12:04 PM

Up to 96% :-)

Just need to see if it stays there after a night at the folk club!

Cheers

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Bert
Date: 08 May 06 - 12:39 PM

You might try the association technique used by Harry Lorraine.

Create a funny picture in your mind that is related to the correct answer. Go over the topics a few times to reinforce the pictures.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 06 - 01:29 PM

When Mrs G were nobbut a lass and studying for her GCE 'O' levels her Mum bought her a memory course by Bruno Furst. That had things in like picture association. Funny thing is that after reading the first part of the course she completely forgot about the rest! Even worse she is now convinced that the course was by Hugo Furst so she has even forgoten the name. Or associated it with a bad joke..?

:D (tG)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Deda
Date: 08 May 06 - 05:57 PM

The point of making up pictures, as with using new vocab in sentences, is to engage your own imagination. For rote memorization there's nothing as effective as putting it all to a tune. That's how we all STILL remember the alphabet -- just watch anyone who has to do a lot of alpha filing, and eventually you'll find them humming the alphabet tune. Music makes a generally reliable neural pathway, gives you a straight path to the data.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 06 - 06:04 PM

Nictotine is the best bet for both concentration and retention. Amazing stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 May 06 - 07:52 PM

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.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: open mike
Date: 08 May 06 - 08:14 PM

manyt of the thingw we need to memorize in the fire service
have been encapsulated into acronyms...
many of them contain three letters (T.L.A. = Three Letter Acronyms)
such as the first things you need to check to assess a patient's condition are A B C (Airway, Breathing and Circultaion)

the procedures which you use to stop bleeding spell out DEPT
(the abbreviation for department) D=direct Pressure, E=elevation,
P=pressure point and last resort is a T=Tourniquette

the training you received might have included some of these...
if not, perhaps you could offer to improve their presentation
by coming up with some of your own!

good luck with "it"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 May 06 - 08:38 PM

A "teaching tool" used for many courses when I was in college was the closed book test, but you were allowed a "crib sheet." The crib sheet was limited to one 8.5 x 11 sheet. You could use both sides. You had to prepare your own.

Most people made their crib sheet, and some were quite elaborate.

Most people took their crib sheet to the test, but hardly anyone needed to look at one during the test, since the simple review required to make the #$@%! thing usually fixed everything essential for the test right where it belonged, in the fuzzy parts of your brain.

If you can summarize what you think you need to know on one sheet of paper, you probably know the subject. If you can't - take a later test (if possible).

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: jimmyt
Date: 08 May 06 - 09:57 PM

make small notecards with the questions including possible answers on the front then the correct answer on reverse side. Make then 3 inches by 3 inches (cut 3X5 cards down) Punch holes in uper left corners of all cards, put them on a ring and keep them with you at all waking moments. Every moment you have is devoted to refreshing the questions and answers. this was the absolute only way I got through Organic Chemistry with a good grade.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Schantieman
Date: 09 May 06 - 03:28 AM

I'm with JohninKansas on this. I recommend my fifth & sixth-formers preparing for public exams (and, indeed the younger ones) to do exactly this. It (a) reduces the material from three exercise books-ful to a less daunting form (b) makes it possible to carry it round with you (as jimmyt suggests) and (c) actually helps you learn the stuff.

In fact, what one ought to do is prepare the summaries, then put it aside, start with a blank sheet and scribble it all down again from memory. Then go back to the original, correct your mistakes & fill in the gaps - and do it again - and again, and again.   By the time you've been through it four or five times you'll be making hardly any mistakes.   

Do this on one day for each topic, then come back to it a week later - and again a week or two after that, repeating the process each time. This capitalises on the way in which your brain lays down its long term memory - it's good at remembering stuff it comes across regularly and which it has to use (like your route home from work) and bad at remembering stuff it's only seen occasionally (like a newspaper story).

Hope this helps - let us know how you get on.

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 May 06 - 06:27 AM

The "write it on one sheet" is an excellent method for most technical stuff, which probably makes it good for the IT exams.

Of course, for a bar exam, or maybe Eng. Lit, you'd probably have to write it on a shovel - chosing the more appropriate tool.

I still have the "crib sheets" I made for half a dozen freshman and sophomore exams. I never referred to them during the exams, but they got me through a 35 year career with very much reduced need to refer to large and ponderous manuals.

Well, I will confess to actually using a crib sheet during a sophomore exam, to confirm the correct subscripts in the relativistic form for Maxwell's equations - but hey, I was a mechanical engineer, not a d...d battery chewer.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 09 May 06 - 06:48 AM

Stikit notes...

stick them up in the places in the house where you spend the most time... bathroom, kitchen lounge etc. Stickit everything with study notes. Dot them all over the house, everywhere and anywhere...

EWIS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: open mike
Date: 09 May 06 - 10:35 AM

write answers on your palm or arm.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 May 06 - 10:59 AM

Inside the eyelids would do, Mike:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Bert
Date: 09 May 06 - 06:14 PM

Waaaay back when I was taking engineering, students used to write a crib sheet on their slide rule under the slide.

Then we devised a method, which I never used because I aways found that if I didn't know the material then a crib sheet didn't help, of writing the crib on a piece of pink blotting paper which in those days was always provided for an exam.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 May 06 - 08:39 PM

Having a crib sheet when you get to the exam isn't usually of much use for most tech subjects, since you don't know what the questions will be and you can't just write down the answers in advance. You have to know what the equations are, and when to use them.

It's making the crib sheet, that forces you to look at what's important that's helpful.

An IT exam may actually include quite a bit that could be on a crib sheet, since "names of things" may appear fairly densely. That's also an area where looking at alternate sources can be confusing, since Cisco's "framislinger" may be Microsofts's "dorpslanger." If the terminology gets polluted it can cause you problems on the exam.

Knowing what the parts are, and what connects to which, and why and when, probably can be expected to be important. For programs, substitute "objects" for parts and for connections substitute "processes" perhaps (or what other terminology your program uses).

You don't usually know answers going in, since different "objects," sometimes with different "object values," input to the same "process" can create different "objects" or "objects of different kind/class."

Some understanding of how it works is the real goal of the "cramming."

The simple fact that it's a multiple choice test implies that just "knowing the names" of things probably is fairly important, and "thinking" probably minimally so; but a well-designed test can change this emphasis. The examinee has to make the right guesses, which usually isn't too difficult with some experience from similar tests.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 May 06 - 08:44 PM

Making legible marks on the exam sheet also counts.

Last two paragraphs above should have been, had I not dribbled on a "</i>" and made it illegible:

Some understanding of how it works is the real goal of the "cramming."

The simple fact that it's a multiple choice test implies that just "knowing the names" of things probably is fairly important, and "thinking" probably minimally so; but a well-designed test can change this emphasis. The examinee has to make the right guesses, which usually isn't too difficult with some experience from similar tests.

My keyboard must be ready for a good shakeout.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: number 6
Date: 09 May 06 - 10:05 PM

I never crammed because I studied.

sIx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 May 06 - 10:19 PM

sIx -

I always called "reviewing."

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 06 - 11:36 AM

98% for anyone interested:-) And out of the 2 hours allowed I took 15 minutes. Not saying this to brag btw - Just to show what a bloody pointless excercise some certification exams are!

Out of interest there should have been 50 out of 73 questions set - There were not. It was the full 73. Of which I got 72 right making it nearer to 99% than 98% but who cares?

Whoever said it is more about knowing things than understanding them was quite right. Daft thing is this has been going on for years now and is likely to carry on as long as the Industry keeps insisting on formal certification rather than proof than you can do the job but seeing as I keep passing and they keep paying me why should I complain? :-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
From: Helen
Date: 11 May 06 - 12:13 PM

Well done, DtG! Brag as much as you like - well, for the next couple of days anyway because you'll probably have to start cramming for the next one by then.

Helen
(whose hubby has done lots of the same type of certification)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 29 May 2:04 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.