Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Exam Time!

Today during third period, I finally had my English Dorian Gray test — my last assessment before the exams. This means that from tomorrow on (since it's already pretty late today), my sole "duty" for school would be to study for the exams.

This semester, I have four exams, meaning that I have one exam for each subject that I have: English, chemistry, math and chemistry. And for the rest of the post, I will just briefly describe each exam that I'll be writing next week.

English (morning, January 24th)
The format of this English exam will be similar to the ones from previous years. I will have to read an essay and then answer questions, as well as write an essay on either Macbeth or The Picture of Dorian Gray. There will also be some short answer questions on the novels that the class has studied.

The length of the exam, however, have been increased from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. Does this mean that we'll get more reading comprehension questions for the first part of the exam? Or would the teacher expect a more-beautifully-written essay from me? Well, I hope it's neither— I hope that the lengthened exam is merely an act of generosity from the department, to give the students more time to complete the exam.

On another note, the teacher seems quite unwilling to tell the class about the exam and help the students study (better). From what I can remember, she has only spent about five minutes talking about the exam, telling us that we'll have to read an essay, write an essay, and answer some questions. She wouldn't tell us which book we'll have to write an essay on, and nor would she tell us the kinds of short-answer questions that we can expect.

With such little information, all I can do is to make sure that I know both Macbeth and The Picture of the Dorian Gray well. The latter I shouldn't have to worry too much about, since I just did a test on it today. So in short, I'll probably just spend a few hours re-reading these texts as well as their textual analyses.

Chemistry (afternoon, January 24th)
Chemistry is the most important subject for this semester, since it is my only grade twelve course— the only course whose mark will affect my university admission.

Anyway, the format of the exam is pretty standard: multiple choice, true/false, short-answers, as well as some calculation questions. The scope of the exam is pretty broad though, covering all six units that the teacher has taught (with one or two that I have completely forgotten...).

So for the preparation of this exam, I will have to go through all my notes, and make sure that I know all the theory stuff. And more importantly, I will have to re-do the homework questions to make sure that I will have no trouble solving any problem on the test.

With enough studying, I am sure I can get a 95+ on the exam. However, in order for me to get as high a mark as possible, I'll have to make sure that I:

  1. read all questions carefully; underline all important information in a question to avoid a mistake
  2. spend as much time on the communication questions as possible, for the teacher is extremely picky and would always deduct marks for not mentioning things that are considered as common sense.
Physics (morning, January 24th)
Physics exam should be easy. How? Well, there are several reasons
  1. There is only going to be one or two questions regarding the history and development of certain physics theories. But besides those, the entire exam is testing your understanding of the physics concepts. 
  2. An aid sheet is given: even though there are only about 15 equations required for completing the exam (and many of them are as simple as Δv=a*t), we are given an aid sheet with all the equations on it.

This being said, I'll still need to study for the exam; I will need to review on magnetism (the newest unit which I am not very familiar with), and make sure that I haven't forgotten anything else.

Math (morning, January 25th)
Math exams have always been my favourite, for I have never really needed to study for them; all the equations/concepts were so simple that I didn't even need to practice for them. For example, factoring a simple quadratic equation really required nothing but some mental math.

However, this year's math exam is going to slightly different. With a huge portion of the exam being based on trigonometric functions, I will have to spend quite some time studying.  Especially the graphs, which I will have to make sure that I can graph in a reasonable amount of time.

Also, I've heard that this year's math exam is going to be time-consuming. So even though I have no problem solving any math problem, I'll have to make sure that I can solve each of them fast. This means that for the less intuitive units, such as financial math, I'm going to have to do quite a lot of practice.

Note: This post was created in the first semester of grade 11.