Previous Lecture Complete and continue  

  Answer what's asked

For some students -- maybe for you -- this will be the most important thing you get out of this course.

If you are answering a question other than the one they asked, you will get the problem wrong.

I imagine that this seems obvious and hardly worth mentioning, but let me point out a few things that may make it clearer why I think that this is worth thinking about and acting on.

  1. They know what kinds of questions you are used to seeing, and they will not hesitate to throw in something a little unexpected just to see whether your brain is actually on auto-pilot.
  2. They are allowed to try to intimidate you any way they can, but the questions still have to be specific and objective. So when you see a difficult-looking question, it’s worth stepping back for a moment and remembering that it means exactly what it says.
  3. Building on that point for a moment, they are almost certain to ask at least one question involving a function you have never seen before; indeed, chances are good that they will have made it up for this test. In that case, they are obliged to clearly define whatever part is made up. They will use words like “Let so-and-so be defined as follows” so that a careful reader will learn exactly what he or she needs to know in order to answer the question.
  4. They know what kinds of questions you are used to seeing, and they will not hesitate to throw in something a little unexpected just to see whether your brain is actually on auto-pilot.
  5. Just testing: did you notice that #1 and #4 were the same point, or were you on auto-pilot?

Discussion
0 comments