Visit the Office CU 1010

Before the Office

When I went to meet with one of my professors to review an exam, I immediately thought of math. I had just recently taken an exam in that class and had yet to fully go over the questions I had gotten wrong. This gave me the opportunity to go over the questions with my professor and understand the what I had done wrong.

Exam Preparation Details: “I spent about 3 days ahead of the exam – as well as the day of – to study using old tests provided as well as worksheets made by the PAL leaders. I didn’t actually go to any of the PAL sessions or study groups”

When looking at the questions I realized first that I didn’t get as many questions wrong as I originally anticipated. I had predicted to get 70% on this exam – I had, had a worse feeling about this exam the previous – and it turned out that I actually got a 78%. I had gotten 7 out of 26 questions wrong (with two of them giving my partial credit.) The reason behind getting most of the incorrect questions was because of carelessness/misreading it. There were three where I miscalculated it or I didn’t understand the question. Those ones are the ones I went over with my professor.

Meeting in the Office

When I met with him, he was very helpful and was able to explain to the reasons that I got some of the questions wrong. One in particular (the question I missed from unfamiliar material) he explained in great detail, and told me how several other students got stumped by this kind of question. He told me that my process was write, but the way the I was interpreting the answer was wrong, which lead me to choosing the wrong answer. He was even able to show me a quick calculator trick to use for the future that would make sure I wouldn’t make the same mistake.

Questions that I didn't understand

Test Taking Plan

For when I take tests in the future, I plant to implement a similar process, but to perform it at an earlier stage than simply 3 days. Also I didn’t know about the PAL worksheets until the night before the exam, so I only was able to use those as practice for a single day instead of in advance. For this upcoming exam, I intend to use more PAL worksheets in advance and even attend the sessions so that I get a better grasp on the material.

PAL Webpage on


Meeting with my professor was much less intimidating than I anticipated. It was actually very helpful to go over what I didn’t understand in a one-on-one setting. Also, going over the post-test analysis and filling it out told me that I actually understood more than I originally thought, and it was either carelessness in reading the question or miscalculations that were getting me. So from here on I feel much less intimated about talking with my professor and I need to be more careful when reading over my questions.


Created with images by UC Davis College of Engineering - "Prof. Xiaoguang “Leo” Liu"

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