Friday, November 21, 2014

Public Service Announcement


Hello?  Is this thing on?

[brief squawk of feedback]


May I have your attention please.

Now that the semester is drawing to a close, several of you have asked me how you should prepare for the upcoming final.  
At this stage, there are essentially two possibilities...

Either you've paid attention in class, 
kept up with the coursework, 
and you know the material...

[draws breath]

Or ya Tea Partying didn't
and ya Tea Partying don't!

That is all



  1. I often made all sorts of efforts to make students aware of what they were responsible for in upcoming exams, especially when they requested it. I sometimes held tutorial sessions. I put books and old exams on reserve. I even gave them a brief overview of the key topics and concepts.

    But you know what? There was, inevitably, somebody who'd whine after the exam that I tested them on material I didn't cover or that I made it too hard. Often, that person would be someone who pleaded for tutorials and reserved material. Guess who often never bothered taking advantage of it?

    You can lead a horse to water.....

  2. That's certainly how it worked when I was in school. Even though we had after-Christmas exams, I managed to have a fairly relaxing break from Christmas to New Year's, because I was 90% caught up, and could fill in any holes and review during the reading period. And I considered myself (with some justification) a pretty bad procrastinator. There was some privilege involved (I didn't have to work for money over the break), but still -- all those little ungraded or lightly-graded assignments that some students think are wastes of their time? Doing those is how you go into the final exam prepared. As with much of life, doing the little stuff more or less regularly does add up in the long run to completing/being ready for big stuff.

  3. I'm finding that one of the interesting parts of online homework is the number of students who get 92% on the online homework but don't have a clue how to do problems that are identical to the online homework.

    It is, of course, entirely due to test anxiety. What else could possibly explain it?