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Last minute exam cramming advice?
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Nodnarb
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Jan 24, 2007, 02:40 PM
 
At the last minute my teacher told us we can use a cheat sheet on the exam- a full sheet of paper. We are allowed to type on to the paper.

My question: What is the best way to put loooooooooooooads of information on this page...like reaaaly small font, so i can fit everything onto this paper (front and back). Should I just edit in word, or is there some easier way to do this?

Thanks for the help guys.
     
TubaMuffins
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Jan 24, 2007, 02:48 PM
 
This seemed to work pretty well. In all seriousness, when I have a cheat sheet, i load it up with equations and defintions (whatever the case may require) and also put an explanation next to it else I can get confused in scrambling through my cheat sheet
     
realmeatychunks
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Jan 24, 2007, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
At the last minute my teacher told us we can use a cheat sheet on the exam- a full sheet of paper. We are allowed to type on to the paper.

My question: What is the best way to put loooooooooooooads of information on this page...like reaaaly small font, so i can fit everything onto this paper (front and back). Should I just edit in word, or is there some easier way to do this?

Thanks for the help guys.
What type of class is it? My strategy would vary greatly depending on that. Definitions and equations are important, but sometimes worked examples are nice. For example, in basic quantum mechanics there are only about 4 types of problems. I'd put solutions to the basic types, which would help with more demanding questions.

Really though, most of the benefit you get from the cheat sheet is just making it... not actually using it. I think you'll find yourself referring to it very little.
     
Railroader
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Jan 24, 2007, 03:00 PM
 
Use pro photo paper and a high quality printer.

You can buy two sided photo paper as well.

If you can find a printer that prints borderless prints, that would also allow more data on the page.

I'd use pages or illustrator. You have a lot more control over the fonts that way.

As a future teach, most of my test will be open book. The test will be much harder as well.
     
kmkkid
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Jan 24, 2007, 03:15 PM
 
Last minute exam cramming advice?

Don't Cram.

     
Nodnarb  (op)
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Jan 24, 2007, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by realmeatychunks View Post
What type of class is it? My strategy would vary greatly depending on that. Definitions and equations are important, but sometimes worked examples are nice. For example, in basic quantum mechanics there are only about 4 types of problems. I'd put solutions to the basic types, which would help with more demanding questions.

Really though, most of the benefit you get from the cheat sheet is just making it... not actually using it. I think you'll find yourself referring to it very little.
The class is a math course, with lots of theorems and formulas...pretty much you said, about 5 different types of problems and about 5 different ways to do each one...graphs, shortest paths, time scheduling, apportionment methods, etc...it's a discreet math course.

Would microsoft word work at all to do this? I had pages on my old iBook but when that crashed and I got a macbook, I've been just waiting for iWork 07. And I don't have illustrator...I agree though, pages I could just like scan info and shrink it and then just drag and drop it right where i want.

I guess my problem is that there is just so much info (I have about 20-30 pages of typed notes with examples) and the exam will encompasss all of that.
     
shifuimam
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:21 PM
 
I was able to make a cheat sheet for a ridiculously hard statistics course. I used Excel and crammed my information into cells in the spreadsheet. I'd outline each chunk of information so that I could keep it sorted out, and I used the equation editor to draw out complex equations with the weird symbols and crap.

Then I kept making the font smaller and smaller until it all fit on one side of one page. I think I ended up using 7.5pt or something like that. I believe laser printers have the ability to print closer to the edge than inkjet printers, so don't waste any space on margins.

If I knew what I did with that old sheet, I'd send it to you - my classmates liked it so much they made copies of it before the exam.
     
iREZ
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:32 PM
 
condensed type faces will give you tons more room to type...especially if its a light face. remember to have a system of how your arranging your info, its no use to have the info on the sheet if you cant find it within 5 min of looking during an exam. i usually bold up major words and equations.
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Zarqawi's Eye
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:37 PM
 
You are doing your students a disservice with relying on open-book tests to evaluate their knowledge and mastery of subjects.

Open-book tests tell you only one thing - that a student knows how to search for information quickly and efficiently.

However, the most successful in life will have a mastery of the skills, and an active recall of the knowledge - telling your boss 80% of the time, 'I don't know, but I know where to look' won't cut it.
     
mitchell_pgh
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:38 PM
 
My Advice
Study AS you are creating the cheat sheet. So many people place tons of information on it, but can't find the information they need.

I would do it all in Word.
     
All_Insane
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:48 PM
 
One word... well, two, but they're hyphenated... colour-coding. When I was in Stats *shudder*, my printer was out of order, so I had to write out my cheat-sheets by hand. I did different formulae in different colours, and no 2 colours together, so I didn't get confused as to which variable goes with which formula. Helped immensly.
     
Nodnarb  (op)
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zarqawi's Eye View Post
You are doing your students a disservice with relying on open-book tests to evaluate their knowledge and mastery of subjects.

Open-book tests tell you only one thing - that a student knows how to search for information quickly and efficiently.

However, the most successful in life will have a mastery of the skills, and an active recall of the knowledge - telling your boss 80% of the time, 'I don't know, but I know where to look' won't cut it.
I disagree. In an advanced mathematics/science course, the actual formula's tell you nothing. It's being able to interpret/use the information relating to actual problems that is being tested. Your way emphasizes memorization as opposed to practical usage.

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm either going to try it in word or excel, not quite sure which yet. I'm sorting through all my papers first and making them in different categories for different sections of the cheat sheet.
     
zerostar
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Jan 24, 2007, 05:52 PM
 
Stay off the NN and GBTW!!
     
Nodnarb  (op)
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Jan 25, 2007, 12:06 AM
 
Well I finished. Type 10 font, no margins/borders on page. and everything is filled. Like you said, I probably won't even need to look at after spending all that time on it, but it has 30 pages worth of notes condensed into one. Semi-organized, I guess in a way that I will understand. Just hope I can find everything when the time comes.
     
DeathToWindows
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Jan 25, 2007, 12:10 AM
 
Yeah, I've done that. Good luck

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centerchannel68
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Jan 25, 2007, 12:28 AM
 
I scan in all my notes, shrink them down, and arrange them on the page. IT takes a while, but it's the ultimate cheat sheet. Just make sure you crank up the DPI. One time I fit about 25 pages of notes on one side of a 8.5X11 printout.
     
Nodnarb  (op)
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Jan 25, 2007, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by centerchannel68 View Post
I scan in all my notes, shrink them down, and arrange them on the page. IT takes a while, but it's the ultimate cheat sheet. Just make sure you crank up the DPI. One time I fit about 25 pages of notes on one side of a 8.5X11 printout.
Just got home from the exam, and that is exactly what the kid next to me did. Great idea to do it that way, but mine worked fine and I'll be surprised if I didn't get an A on it. Thanks for the help everyone.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 25, 2007, 10:42 AM
 
My advice is: don't copy your notes in a ridiculously small font, but create your cheat sheet as you study. Just creating the cheat sheet is a very good way to study and people often find out that they don't need the cheat sheet at all, but it gives them additional confidence.
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Eriamjh
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Jan 26, 2007, 08:52 AM
 
The time you waste making the cheat sheet could have been used studying. Oreo is right. Make it as you go. They stuff you can remember, you don't write down. The stuff that confuses you gets put on the sheet.

Odds are, you will remember the info just from making the cheat sheet and actually not need it as much as you think. If you make a cheat sheet so small, you will not even be able to find the info during the test.
( Last edited by Eriamjh; Jan 26, 2007 at 08:59 AM. )

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centerchannel68
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Jan 26, 2007, 11:49 AM
 
I dunno... if you take good notes, scan them in, and shrink them down, I can find the info pretty quickly and easily.
     
awaspaas
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Jan 26, 2007, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
My advice is: don't copy your notes in a ridiculously small font, but create your cheat sheet as you study. Just creating the cheat sheet is a very good way to study and people often find out that they don't need the cheat sheet at all, but it gives them additional confidence.
I let my students use a 3x5 notecard front and back sometimes. Not enough space to put entire chapters worth of notes but enough for the important stuff. I watch the students and most of them usually spend only a few minutes looking at them maybe once or twice during an exam. Their major benefit is during the studying process where they have to really think about the concepts to decide if it's important enough to go on the card.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jan 26, 2007, 01:08 PM
 
We were allowed one sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper in my P. Chem class in Grad. School. I used to fill 4 four sheets and shrink them so all four fit on the one piece of paper. I actually remembered most of what I put on the sheets so I rarely used them. Making the sheets themselves is a good study aid.
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centerchannel68
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Jan 26, 2007, 01:45 PM
 
Just use your existing notes. If you create new study sheets, you;re going to remember most of it anyway. The only way to make a cheat sheet useful is to scan your existing notes, because it takes less time, and has way way way more information.
     
Gossamer
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Jan 26, 2007, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by centerchannel68 View Post
Just use your existing notes. If you create new study sheets, you're going to remember most of it anyway.
This is a big reason a lot of teachers use cheat sheets. It tricks students into studying.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Jan 26, 2007, 05:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
I let my students use a 3x5 notecard front and back sometimes. Not enough space to put entire chapters worth of notes but enough for the important stuff. I watch the students and most of them usually spend only a few minutes looking at them maybe once or twice during an exam. Their major benefit is during the studying process where they have to really think about the concepts to decide if it's important enough to go on the card.
my high school algebra teacher let us put the proofs down on 3x5s, and one kid got into trouble because he taped a whole bunch of them together and made it so that when they folded up they looked like one. the teacher was not pleased


 


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