Sunday, February 8, 2009

Preparing for Midterm #1

SI Midterm #1 Review I've been feeling pretty good about my economics class. I've been doing the reading and taking copious notes before each class meeting, during which I annotate my notes with additional insight from the lecture. I've done the homework, the supplemental instruction exercises, and the online problems, and feel like I've mastered the material. I've been looking forward to Monday's exam with confidence. But now I'm not so sure.

Yesterday our study group met to go over the review material provided by Dr. Hickenbottom, which included a list of exercises from the book that he said should match the difficulty of the exam. And they were hard. Not only were they hard, but they were significantly different than the questions I'd seen so far. In two hours, our group only made it through three of the four chapters to be covered by the test.

But there are conflicting signals. The review materials also included the first exam from last semester's class and selected questions from last semester's final. They were much more in line with what I've been expecting. If our exam is consistent with last semester's, I should do well. But just in case it doesn't, I'll be studying hard today and tonight.

I'll start with the problems that come directly from the instructor (including assigned homework and the previous exams), then work through the SI material, and finally complete the more difficult problems from the text. I'll also be attending the SI review session tonight (at 6:00pm in WEL 1.308).

The only real risk I see is being prepared for the more difficult problems but missing something easy. I have a tendency to over-think things, and I need to make sure I don't do that tomorrow.

Update: Our SI leader Juan just sent out his midterm review via email. It looks very straightforward and similar to the previous SI material and the assigned homework. I'll take that as an indicator that the exam will more closely match those than it will the relatively more difficult suggested exercises in the text. Tomorrow at 1:00p I'll know just how safe that assumption was.

Update 2: The SI worksheet for today's review has an error in it. For question 18, the values in the Supplier 1 column are in reverse order. From the top, they should be 12, 9, 6, 3. I sent Juan an email to let him know.

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