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Week 4 Notes: Strategy Guide

by: Marin Young

Week 4 Notes: Strategy Guide BIOL 3510

Marin Young
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

Don't let the test cheat you. This week, learn how to prepare for and outsmart the trick questions. Getting tripped up by long, complicated questions when you know the material shouldn't keep you f...
Cell Biology
Dr. Chapman
Class Notes
Cell Biology, Biology, test skills, test taking
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marin Young on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BIOL 3510 at University of North Texas taught by Dr. Chapman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 72 views. For similar materials see Cell Biology in Biological Sciences at University of North Texas.


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Date Created: 02/12/16
Week 4: TEST Strategy | BIOL 3510 Notes by Marin Young Thursday, February 11, 2016 10:42 AM There wasn't a lot of content this week, with a review day Tuesday and a test on Thursday. Tuesday's material is actually covered in the Week 3 notes, so today, I'm putting to use my nearly three years of experience in the test prep industry to help you earn the score you deserve. Let's start with the basics: You probably already know how much the process of elimination helps, especially with matching questions. Make sure you don't lose track of what you know and can eliminate. This is also big for All of the Above and None of the Above questions. If you know: And: Choose: One of them It's right All or that one One of them It's wrong None or one of the other two Two of them Only one is right That one Two of them Both are definitelyright All Nothing Two clearly back each other up All, None, or the other one Nothing Two clearly contradict each other Anything but All People usually think you have to know three things (A is wrong, B is right, C is wrong) to get one of these questions,but in reality, you can often successfully find the answer with some knowledge and some logic. Somethingelse to remember is that All of the Above and None of the Above aren't as commonly correct, so don't be alarmed if you get twenty questionsinto the test and only have one E on your scantron. Another of my favorite tricks is a more complex means of eliminatinganswer choices. I noticed today that Dr. Chapman loves questionswith multiple parts answered at once, like this big fill-in-the-blanksentence: Marin is a(n) _______ major who plans to teach _______ in the future and is minoring in _______. (Word bank: math, chemistry, biology, physics, education,biochemistry) Suppose you don't know anything about me, but you know UNT doesn't offer a biochemistry minor. Eliminate any answer choice that places biochemistry in the third blank. Likewise, many of my friendsknow I want to teach chemistry, so you can eliminate any choice without chemistry in the second blank: a. math, biology, physics b. education,math, chemistry c. physics, biology, chemistry d. biology, chemistry, biochemistry e. biochemistry, chemistry, math This method usually creates a lot of redundancy, which is nice for feeling good about a question for once. Today on a test question like this with five blanks instead of three, I had two or three wrong words crossed out per choice. It's reassuring. Even if you don't know much, it can still at least narrow things down. This is perhaps my favorite application of the idea that if part of an answer choice is wrong, the whole choice is wrong. Sometimes we get questionsthat look like that but are more about the order or sequence, like ordering five numbered steps of a process. In that case, it's hard to recognize which number should be nth in the list, besides maybe first and last. However, knowing that one should come before another helps--cross out answers that don't put the right one first relative to the other. Knowing one should come immediately before another really helps. Let's say you know 3 has to be somewhere before 5 out of these choices: a. 1, 5, 2, 3, 4, 6 a. 1, 5, 2, 3, 4, 6 b. 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 1 c. 1, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4 d. 4, 2, 3, 1, 6, 5 e. 5, 2, 3, 6, 1, 4 That narrows it down to C or D. What if you know 1 comes immediately before 6? Coincidentally, that also gives you C or D. Of course, real test questions'wrong answer choices probably won't be quite as random, but it's also likely that sheer logic, if not knowledge, will help you put at least a few pieces together. Sometimes these tests are seriously just logic puzzles. Being calm and collected and having the working memory to pay attention to everything confers a huge advantage, especially in the case of one question that answers another. Those were everywhere on this last test (did anyone else notice the question with one-letter amino acid abbreviations, which he said we didn't have to learn, but they were listed with the three-letter abbreviations in the genetic code table?), so I want to make sure everyone knows to look for helpful information in other questions. It might be easiest to circle questions you don't know, finish the rest of the test, and then glance through the test looking for information that has to do with each question you still need. Alternatively,if you see a question that presents a lot of extra information(like the genetic code picture with all the abbreviations,or a matching question that you can answer right by process of elimination),make a note of what question it is so that you can revisit it later if you need. These tests play dirty, but if you know their tricks, you can outsmart them. The last major piece of advice I have is to look at the sample questions on the section review, the quiz questions,and the in-class activities. Those questionsshow up a lot on the tests, some copied and some changed up. Make sure you know the material covered in a question, not just which answer to pick--some are changed in order to "catch" people who just memorized answers--but make sure you don't miss a question that you've already seen before. I'll make sure to emphasize material from quizzes and sample questions in my future review guides as well! All in all, passing this class's tests can be a game of "work smarter, not harder." The tricks on these tests are cheap. They're low blows. But if you know how to use those cheap question styles to your advantage, they can make these tests a lot easier. As always, thanks for reading, happy studying, and good luck!


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