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January 2010 Math B – last minute tips

January 26, 2010 am31 9:00 am

The exam is less than two hours away. Is there anything else you can do?

1. There are formulas in the back of the test. Look at them. Use them.

2. There will probably be a problem that asks for the area of a triangle, and involves an angle. Look at the formula, and use it. There’s usually no way to give partial credit for \frac{ab}{2} when it is not the appropriate formula.

3. Don’t rush the multiple choice. Try as many of them as possible. Do them a second time. Cover your answers, and try them again. The multiple choice give no partial credit, so it is worth going slow enough to really maximize credit.

4. Plug in the multiple choice answers, and see which works. If they ask something like “Which expression is equivalent to \frac{8x^2 - 8x - 6}{9x - 4x^3} go ahead, pick your favorite values of x, (think: 0, 1, 2, and 10) and plug them in. Plug them into the answers as well. Probably, only one answer works…

5. No blanks on parts II, III, or IV. Write something for each question. State facts that are important. State formulas that you will use. Ultimately, garbage will earn nothing, but in scraping around you may hit a key concept. Give the graders something to look at.

6. If you do work on the calculator, explain it on the test paper, or transcribe it onto the test paper. If you figured something out from a graph, make a sketch and show the window settings.

7. Don’t spend all your time on the hardest questions. If you are pretty sure you have something right, make sure to go back and check and recheck. Sometimes it is more important to fully claim points that should be yours, to maximize your points, than to struggle for points that you probably won’t get.

Good luck.

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