M-IV Mat. How to maximize our chances of success when taking an exam:

Some valuable lessons I learned while teaching

I. How to maximize our chances of success when taking an exam:

  1. Read the entire exam before starting to answer it, ignoring the thought that at the beginning assails us, that we were wasting time.
  2. If you find some question with which we initially you do not know how to proceed, stay calm and make a mark in the margin, and continue reading the others.
  3. Answer first the questions with which you are most familiar; That helps to strengthen your confidence, giving you calm.
  4. Do not spend excessive time trying to solve a question in which you get stuck when answering it; rather, continue with the others calmly and return to that one when finished.
  5. Resist the temptation to turn in the exam as soon as you finish it, and if time permits, review your work calmly.
  6. Write your answers as organized as you can. The more organized an answer is, the easier it is a) to review it, b) to find the errors, if any, and c) to correct them.
  7. If the nerves assault us in a noticeable way, it is convenient to close your eyes and calmly take several deep breaths. The time it takes is minimal, and it helps us relax.

Clearly, by answering the most familiar questions first, our self-confidence increases. The human mind works in parallel, so it is common that, when answering a question, it occurs to you how to proceed with the one marked as «unknown.» When this happened, go to that question and make a comment on what you had thought of, then continue the one you were working on. This avoids the nerves that occur, and that often prevent us from thinking clearly, when we find an «unknown» question with little time left to finish the exam. Reviewing an exam helps us to assess how by expressing clearly and organized the process followed when answering a problem, dramatically facilitates its review. How many absurd and easily fixed errors are found when we review an exam calmly. I must clarify for the readers of this note, that when I finished university in my country, I did not know what multiple choice questions were, nor those of true or false, but this technique helped me incredibly during all my years of career both in Spain and in the United States.

The central ideas exposed above I learned from Mr. Manuel Bravo, my mathematics teacher in the Pre-University course, I have added some points based on my experience over the years.

Por Antonio R Quesada

A esta altura de mi vida reconozco que lo que creo saber es ínfimo comparado con lo que desconozco. Usando mis experiencias, trato de profundizar en algunas ideas espirituales básicas que comparto con toda humildad a fin de animar a otros a que hagan lo mismo. Agradezco de antemano cualquier sugerencia o corrección que reciba. ________________________________________________________________________________ At this time of my life, I acknowledge that what I think I know, is minimal compared to what I don’t know. Using my experiences, I try to deepen on some basic spiritual ideas that I share with all humility, with the purpose of encouraging others to do the same. I thank you in advance for any suggestions or corrections that I receive. ________________________________________________________________________________ Dr. Antonio R. Quesada, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The University of Akron. Ohio Teaching Fellow. Director of Project AMP. T^3 International Emeritus Professor.

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