Online reading assignment question: helpful/unhelpful physics midterm study tips

Physics 205B, spring semester 2015
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

Describe something notable that either helped or did not help with studying for this midterm. Selected comments may be discussed in class. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"Doing practice problems over and over again.”

"I do not know what some letters are standing for."

"Going over the past midterm questions with the explanations helps clarify concepts."

"procrastinating does not help. studying helps heeps."

"Practice problems always help me when I'm studying."

"The general review questions posted for the midterm was helpful. The in class review was also helpful in clarifying my issues with the electric forces question."

"I still think that the fact that you post the questions we need to focus on is really helpful"

"What helps me to study for this midterm is youtube."

"The only thing that helps me study is to do lots and lots of practice problems. The questions on the blog are great for review as well as the blog itself. I also like to review quizzes, class notes, and do the worksheet questions for each unit."

"Reading over the online material and doing the practice problems."

"Sometimes I wish we could have had some verbal explanations/notes to write down with our worked out problems to understand why we are going through the steps. I think think this would make studying our notes much more productive. I spend more of my time looking at the notes and wondering what we are even doing."

"Review notes from class as well as the blog for the midterm."

"I tell you what. Studying for physics is one of hardest subjects for me. I've tried so many different methods. Most other subjects (exception of chemistry. I put chemistry and physics almost of the same pedestal of hardness) I can figure out a solid good way to study, but for physics I am still kind of figuring it out. But what seems to work best for me so far is doing as many problems as possible. It helps me to do the same problem over twice. The second time through I try to 'test speed' because on exams it like we have to rush on our exams and not take our time. So the first time on a problem I go slow and really try to explain logically why it all works, then the second time through the problem I try to go faster. Having a really good answer key is very helpful. Otherwise I don't know if I'm doing the problem right. I want to see the explanations as much as the answers. Trying to do all the variations a problem can be presented helps, too. Bottom line, I find that you can't just read your notes or the book. You have to actually work out problems."

"the blog"

"It helps to look at all the past quiz and midterm questions."

"Taking short breaks in between studying helps a lot and writing notes down to help organize topics."

"Just going over the narrowed list of things that could be on it...rather than trying to cram everything."

"The practice questions assigned from previous midterms really help me study for the midterm. I find taking the subjects covered in the questions and reworking them to study every way the question could be asked, really helps me fully understand the subjects, and helps to be prepared for anything I am asked."

"Knowing how the equations work with each other, how they are either inversely proportional too each other or changes the outcome of other equations."

"I really like the examples given for the study guide because it does a good job of letting me know what I really need to focus on in order to do well on this midterm."

"Something that helps me is setting a timer for 25 min. I tell myself I can't get up or let my mind wander for 25 min. Then for five min I can take a break: go to the bathroom, get a snack, check facebook, do pushups. Then another 25 min of good concentration."

"Something that really helps me is all the practice problems you post. Since the problems in the book just confuse me your samples are the best way to go."

"Tutors help clarify things."

"Reviewing old quizzes and midterms are immensely helpful, as they give me a rough idea of what topics will be covered, and what areas I need to work on."

"looking at problems is not enough. They have to be worked out."

"Khan academy is helping me out. They dumb it down for me to understand the basics."

"I found that printing out the Quiz Flashcard questions prior to lecture helps immensely. I work on them along the way as we cover the topics in class, and then I use them as a study guide for the exam."

" More midterm- like questions should be practiced in class rather than just multiple choice. Free response questions require a completely different studying pattern than multiple choice."

"Going through all of the blogs to refresh, then working on practice problems, and getting all the equations down."

"Having the practice questions help."

"Have some examples to pratice will be very helpful."

"Posted example problems on waiferx helped out big time."

"Work every problem out until you can successfully do it without looking at the answer. Then do it 3 more times."

"helpful: the posted midterm from last year. Now i feel like i have a better grasp at how the exam will be set up."

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