Friday, January 14, 2005

Quiz and Exam Techniques

by Asim Jalis

There are two key things to keep in mind in exams: (a) to not stress out, (b) to allocate the time optimally. Of these allocating the time is the most important point. Here's usually how I did the time allocation: 1. Divide the total time available by number of problems and then round down to 5 or 10 or 15, to get a rough idea of how many minutes per problem I had. 2. Skim through the exam and start from the easiest ones. This way I would usually be a little bit ahead in time, and this would make me feel less stressed. 3. If a problem took too long, or there were unexpected obstacles, then I would move on to the other ones and plan to come back to it in the second iteration. 4. After finishing all the problems I would go back and scan the exam for problems that I missed. 5. Another general technique was to keep track of how many points I had earned. This way I did not get in a situation where I spent all my time on 1 or 2 point problems and have no time left for the ones loaded with points.