Memo to students with disappointing test grades

MEMO
TO: Students who have been disappointed with their test grades
FROM: R.M. Felder

Dear student,

Many of you have told me that your test grades don't reflect your understanding of the material and asked me what you should do to keep the same thing from happening on the next test. This is my response.

Below you'll find a set of questions about how you've been preparing for tests. I suggest that you print this memo and respond to the questions as honestly as you can, and then refer back to the memo and the questions several times before the next test. The question "How should I prepare for the test" becomes easy once you've filled out the checklist. The answer is "Do whatever it takes to be able to answer `Yes' to most of the questions."

Good luck,
Richard Felder

Test Preparation Checklist

Answer "Yes" only if you usually did the things described (as opposed to occasionally or never).

__ Yes

__ No

1.

Did you attempt to set up every homework problem
solution before your group met?

__ Yes

__ No

2.

Did you make a serious effort to understand the text? (Just
hunting for relevant worked-out examples doesn't count.)

__ Yes

__ No

3.

Did you participate actively in team meetings? (Contributing
ideas, asking questions, helping to resolve conflicts,...)

__ Yes

__ No

4.

Did you ask teammates to explain things you didn't
understand?

__ Yes

__ No

5.

Did you understand ALL of your team's problem solutions
when they were handed in?

__ Yes

__ No

6.

Did you consult with TA's during office hours when you
were having trouble with something?

__ Yes

__ No

7.

Did you consult with one of the course instructors during
office hours or by email when you were having trouble?

__ Yes

__ No

8.

Did you ask in class for explanations of homework
problems that weren't clear to you?

__ Yes

__ No

9.

Did you attempt to set up lots of problems without looking
at previous solutions?

__ Yes

__ No

10.

Did you carefully go through the study guide and convince
yourself that you could do everything on it?

__ Yes

__ No

11.

Did you do 9 and 10 with other students (for example,
your homework team)?

__ Yes

__ No

12.

Did you attend all or part of the review session before
the test?

__ Yes

__ No

13.

Did you ask questions at the review session about
anything on the study guide you weren't sure about?

__ Yes

__ No

14.

Did you get a reasonable night's sleep before the test?