Some Meta-Skills:   ---  How to Tackle Written Exams

Keep a clean desk/tablet:  Only the exam, your one page of notes, and writing implements are allowed.
Put all electronic devices into your backpack --
out of reach.

-- and make sure you understand what it says !
-- sign it!

  1. Find out what the question is all about.
  2. Ask yourself why the Prof. is asking this question -- what concept s/he is probably wanting to test.
  3. Read the fine details and specifications -- and follow them !
Also, in my exams, where you cannot ask any questions  (-- as on SAT's, GRE's  etc.),
state your assumptions, but don't make assumptions purely for your convenience ...
E.g.: If, in a problem concerning barycentric coordinates,  I wanted to make things easy for you by having a+b+c=1, I would have said so;
thus you must assume that these parameters are NOT normalized, and take care of it yourself.

On the other hand, don't make things more complicated than they need be.
E.g.: If I specifya sweep but don't give any twist or azimuth information,
you may safely assume a rotation-minimizing frame (RMF).

Make sure that I know what your answer is, don't burry it in a lot of random text!

Check your
arithmetic and your signs.

Page Editor: Carlo H. Séquin