Preparation for taking the UPCAT...
UPCAT Tips: A Test Day Survival Guide Pressure usually peaks on your UPCAT testing date itself, when you have to go up and see if all that reviewing was worth it. Many take this aspect of the test for granted, often preferring to just look at the all-exalted review process. But what you do on the day itself can have as big an effect on your performance as all the reviewing you‟ve already done. The UPCAT-Day Diet
A good number of test-takers find out too late that what and how you eat for test day can factor into your performance on the UPCAT. Eating too little will have you hungry and impatient during the test, while being too full will have you groggy and sleepy, wasting those all-important test minutes. ▪ Eat a good breakfast. A lot of test takers don‟t bother with breakfast due to nerves or stress. Ignore all those reasons and have a hearty (and hopefully balanced) meal in the morning. Breakfast jolts all your body systems awake, and will improve your performance over the course of the day. ▪ Take something before taking the test. Remember, that test is hours long, and you won‟t be able to leave at any time during the test except to go to the washroom. Having a small meal (or a big snack) up to half an hour before the test will keep those hunger pangs from disturbing your focus halfway through. ▪ Bring chocolates and water. Test takers are allowed to bring snacks into the room so you should make the most of the concession. Bring along a few pieces of easy-to-open chocolate and a bottle of water. Chocolate is easy to nibble and can give your brain a good wake-up call, especially when you‟re in the home stretch. ▪ Junk food and coffee are a no-no. Many make the mistake of bringing junk food and coffee into the testing room, in an effort to keep themselves awake. Junk food has carbohydrates that lull you to sleep when you‟re not in motion, while coffee is a diuretic that will make you pee like crazy during the test.
Plan all these out at least a couple of days before the test. You‟ll have much more pressing things to worry about on your testing date, and you really
don‟t want to waste time over a pack of chocolates.
An UPCAT Strategy
Countless people through the years have gotten by the UPCAT simply with a good test-taking strategy – even though their review was less than optimal. Truth of the matter is, a good approach to tackling the questions can get you through much of the UPCAT. It‟s a skill you‟ll have to master if you‟re serious about making the cut. ▪ Make a first run on the easy items. The questions in the UPCAT aren‟t arranged by difficulty; easy and hard questions are scattered all over the place. Go through the entire test one time, answering all the items that you can recall immediately. Should you run into trouble somewhere else in the test, you already have those initial items to give you some semblance of a score. ▪ Don’t fuss the difficult ones. No matter how hard you reviewed, you‟ll probably come across a trigonometric identity you forgot or an element you can‟t recall. Just leave it blank and move on. Worrying about it wastes precious minutes. ▪ Review, review, review. It‟s not just about checking if you answered all the items. Some of the items are interrelated – they use the same formula, for example – and answering one will give you a clue on how to answer another. ▪ Got time? Guess. But that doesn‟t give you license to do eeny-mineymoe. Pick the answer that seems to make the most sense to you. Remember, though, that each incorrect answer costs you ¼ of a point. If you‟re absolutely clueless about an item, you may want to just leave it blank instead.
None of these strategies will work unless you have sufficient review time to back them all up. Don‟t expect to be able to pull through the UPCAT with just a test-taking strategy and none of the topics that you were supposed to review in the last few months.
Psyching Yourself for the UPCAT
As much as the UPCAT measures your academic ability and achievement, it‟s also a test of how well you can handle pressure. And no day is more pressuring than test day itself. Learn to deal with pressures – both from you and from others – and you‟ve already got a big part of the battle down. ▪ Eat. Hopefully, you‟ve got a few snacks along with you. The UPCAT takes an extremely long time to finish, and there‟s no point in your getting hungry. ▪ Don’t panic review. Few things are as detrimental as a panic review – that strange practice where test takers cram in as many facts as possible in the last few hours before the test. Doing so will muddle up whatever you‟ve already reviewed, and distract you during the test itself. ▪ Find your way. Unless you know the campus or testing center like the back of your hand, do a test run of your route at least the day before. Find out where the important rooms are. Nothing is more stressful than getting lost on UPCAT day. ▪ Be early. Don‟t think that just because the test starts at a particular time, you can arrive at exactly that time. There are usually a lot of instructions and corrections to be given out, and there‟s an advantage to coming in at least a half hour early.
The UPCAT can be a long and stressful experience for you, so you should work to lessen your stress levels in the days and hours leading up to the test. A little preparation and a few preventive measures should help keep you focused and ready for the UPCAT. As any UPCAT passer will tell you, it‟s not as hard as it looks.
UPCAT Tips: Preparing for the Test At this point, one thing should be clear: there‟s no sure-shot, magic-bullet method to pass the UPCAT. Most test passers, however, will tell you that adding a few simple steps to your test prep should help improve your chances of making the cut. It‟s time to stop just preparing and start preparing smartly. Smart Memory Work
Too many people nowadays think that memorization is the key to passing the UPCAT. While keeping a fact or two in your memory can be helpful, memorizing every factoid is way too hard to be practical. Here‟s how you can
optimize all that space in your head: ▪ Don’t memorize, understand. When you‟re going through the book or reviewer, look at the concept instead of just the facts per se. You‟ll be able to answer more questions while memorizing less, especially for science-related topics. ▪ Use Analogies. This is a very effective way on memorizing science concepts as well as new vocabulary. For the layers of the earth, you can use egg as an analogy, for volcanism – your bowel movement, etc. ▪ Memorize one, then derive. Math involves all sorts of long equations, but that doesn‟t mean you have to be able to recite all of them from memory. In fact, you can get almost all of the formulas from just a handful of fundamental equations. Focus on that handful, and then derive as necessary on test day. ▪ Practice. Many have problems with English vocabulary words because they merely use rote memory to pair words with definitions. Try using new words in sentences or regular conversation so that their meanings come to you naturally. In practice, you‟ll do better by memorizing as few things as possible. Rote memory works only on standard questions; once you get to a tricky or more advanced item, you won‟t know what to do anymore. Working with concepts, meanwhile, will keep you versatile enough to answer most anything that comes your way. Neater Note-Taking
Once you‟ve simplified how you work with your head, it‟s time to clean up your act with respect to your notes. Notes are an all-important part of the test prep process because they are good last-minute resources and reviewers. Every person, though, has a different style when it comes to taking notes. But whether you work with all text or draw pictures, here are some tips that should work for you: ▪ Don’t just copy. You probably work with a textbook or some other source that has information in paragraph form. Not only is it pointlessly difficult to copy all that into your notebook, but you‟ll also find those notes hard to review. ▪ Use imagery. Have you heard the saying about how images are worth a thousand words? They‟re worth even more in your notes. Pictures and diagrams could be a little tedious to make, but they‟ll make your reviews much more efficient. ▪ Put everything in an outline. Bullet points and sub-points help show you how different ideas are interrelated. At the same time, you don‟t have to read through all the extra words that typically go into sentence
Just like with memorization, your goal with your review notes should be to minimize and to optimize. That means getting the most benefit out of the least amount of effort exerted in this area. After all, you still have your regular academics to worry about.
You‟ll have less and less time in the weeks leading up to the UPCAT. Scheduling and time management become more important than ever during those days, as you have to get all your reviewing and regular school requirements done simultaneously. ▪ Prepare a calendar. It seems like such a small thing, but having a visual reminder in front of you at all times helps you stick to the schedules you set. ▪ Focus on just one area. When planning your review sessions, don‟t be ambitious and clump your Math, English and Science topics in one day. You‟ll have an easier time by focusing on just one or two major topics from the same subject per day. ▪ Call up your friends. Studying all by your lonesome can be demoralizing. Call up some of your classmates and organize a group study session every so often. Just make sure that you have a schedule or facilitator to follow so that you don‟t end up gabbing the whole session away.
Don‟t think that you can go on an academic marathon and study for three weeks straight. Experts suggest that you give yourself a day off every week or so to give you a little incentive and some time for your mind to rest from all that reviewing.
Style and Studying
Each person has his or her unique way of learning. Of course, you can still learn using other styles and methods, but using the one best suited to you
will optimize the speed and effectiveness of your review. ▪ Visual learners learn best through seeing. Whether it‟s a printed diagram of the water cycle or a video on geology, having everything visually in front of you will help give you a better grasp of the concepts. Prepare notes in a structured outline form to help play to your learning strengths or look for instructional videos on YouTube to help you with some concept. ▪ Auditory learners pick up things from hearing them. Lectures and oral reviews usually help you best if you‟re an auditory learner. You may want to try reading your notes aloud, or going with a review group that does oral discussions. ▪ Haptic or kinesthetic learners use touch or actions to get a literal grasp on the concepts at hand. It can be a little difficult as a kinesthetic learner because you‟re often on your feet and on the go. Give yourself hand gestures to signify certain facts or equations you want to remember. Little props like a Styrofoam ball model of atoms should also improve recall. I once taught a tutee about coplanar and collinear points by using pins and a shoebox.
One thing you should never do is force yourself to conform to a style that doesn‟t suit you. If you notice that you‟re not making a lot of progress with one method, switch over to another right away so that you don‟t waste time. You‟ll likely have to make a switch or two, but you‟ll be thankful you did come UPCAT day.
You have a lot of things to do for UPCAT prep: pages of notes to dig up, books to go over and countless topics to review. In the end, those who do best with UPCAT review – and ultimately the UPCAT itself – are those who can do the most work in the least time
Improving Memory for Better Grades Even if your teachers and professors implore you to “understand, not memorize,” your memory abilities are still crucial to get better grades in most cases. Whether you‟re trying to keep track of all the characters in a Tolstoy novel or struggling to name every branch in zoological nomenclature, having great memory can make a big difference. Here‟s how to add some edge to your memory – and maybe a notch or two to your grades.
How Memory Works
Unfortunately, your brain is very different from a computer; you can‟t just store all the data you lay your hands upon. In fact, just reading a page of information most probably won‟t be enough for you to recall half of it for a test the next day. Making the most of your built-in capacity to memorize takes more than mere reading. You have to turn all that information into bits and pieces that your brain can both easily store and quickly retrieve. There are many techniques to help you do this, but the extent and effectiveness of each one varies from person to person. In the end, it all boils down to three things: ▪ how you organize the information to be memorized ▪ how you take in all that information, and ▪ how you ensure that you retain what you memorized Once you‟re able to give time and practice to all three, you‟ll notice a significant increase in your memory and – hopefully – your grades. Memorizing by Organizing
Effective memorization always starts with your putting all the information into logical order. Information isn‟t stored in discrete, fixed units like building blocks you pile one over the other; it‟s best viewed as a jigsaw puzzle where every fact and figure is a piece that somehow fits into another piece. Organizing information makes memorizing easier because you can better recall one fact based on its relationship with another. You could, for example, arrange information into logical groups. Find a common theme among multiple elements and then focus on memorizing them by theme, not individually. Say you had to memorize a list like ▪ Javanese Tiger ▪ Snow Leopard ▪ Silver Shark ▪ Thomson‟s Gazelle ▪ Boa Constrictor It seems difficult because the elements look unrelated at first glance. But aside from the fact that all of the items are animals, you can further
subdivide them into groups. You could, for example, clump them as endangered (the first three items) and non-endangered (the last two items) species. Alternatively, you could group them into predators and prey. The advantage of grouping information is even clearer with larger sets of data. The human brain, although it‟s quite inefficient at storing information per se, is good with recognizing and recalling patterns. Grouping the facts you have to memorize gives your brain a pattern to remember, essentially a framework to help you recall things later on. Another effective strategy is to put things in a logical progression – that is, you order them from largest concept to the smallest detail, from abstract to concrete, and so on. For example, if you‟re studying for a chemistry test on carbon groups, you‟d do well to study the properties of carbon as an element first. From there, you can branch out to individual groups and their respective properties and characteristics. Regardless of the test topic, arranging things in a logical progression is effective because the larger ideas are often easier to remember than the nitty-gritty. In turn, you can recall the smaller facts faster thanks to their association with the more general concepts. Methods for Memorizing
Now that you‟ve prepared the materials you want to memorize, it‟s time to get down and put them all in your head. Again, the whole paradigm of haphazardly stuffing information in won‟t fly here. You have to be methodical and efficient with the way you memorize. Start by finding out your learning style, if you‟re visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Visual learners, for example, get to memorize best when they prepare visual aids like flowcharts and bulleted lists. Auditory learners, meanwhile, will benefit more from techniques like memorizing aloud, which better suit their learning style. Haptic or kinesthetic learners will be aided by creating physical associations for all the items to be memorized. Another great way to help you recall is to put the information into your own words. The way things are phrased can have a huge impact on recall. Imagine yourself as a teacher and you‟re presenting the material to a class. By rephrasing the information, recalling is easier because you‟re remembering the sentence structure and the phrasing you typically use. That is, it‟s technically your information that you‟re trying to memorize. The added value of rephrasing information is that you also get to process all
the data as you memorize. This kind of analysis – the “understanding, not memorizing” that your professors want – ultimately make recalling much, much easier because you understand the underlying concepts and related ideas. Last – and perhaps most effective – is to create memorable associations. If you‟re trying to memorize raw facts and data, associate each chunk with a memory or an image that‟s very strong in your mind. Remember your family‟s last trip to Arkansas when studying the Civil War, or what you were eating as you watched that show on endangered animals on Discovery Channel. It‟s these little things that make recalling a lot easier for you. Ensuring Recall
Perhaps the most critical part of this process is actually remembering everything you memorized when you need them the most, such as during the test itself. After you‟ve gone through all the information at least once using your memorization methods, it‟s time to reinforce the memory work you just did. Teachers and parents will often nag you to practice, practice, practice – and there‟s a point to all the reminding. Practicing what you memorized by listing all the information again from memory or taking a sample test is the surest way to recall what you studied for test day. Each practice session is as good as another round of memorization because you jog your mind through all the information all over again. Another good strategy is to make a reviewer or cheat sheet from the ground up. Besides giving you something to review at the last minute, making the reviewer or cheat sheet is good brain exercise because you‟re making your mind recall and organize everything you just memorized. In psychology terms, this is called consolidation and is seen as a major aid in recall and memory. If you‟ve got a friend who‟s taking the same test, you may want to discuss the material with him or her – or your whole class, for that matter. Discussion has the same effect as rephrasing the material or making a cheat sheet: you run through all the information, and you‟re forced to put it into logical and coherent order. Memorization is often hard, but it need never be as impossible as the way many would see it. As long as there‟s method to the way you memorize, you should be able to easily ace all those tests in school and give your grades a
major boost. It‟s a matter of knowing how to memorize efficiently and effectively, and practicing those methods regularly.
Strategies for Abstract Reasoning or Non-Verbal Test 1. Some strategies may refer to letters of the alphabet and numbers. On your scratch paper, make a list of the alphabet and write their corresponding numerical value starting from 1. Example, A-1, B-2, C-3, … 2. Answer the easiest question first, then go back if there is still time. This is good practice because next time you may already notice something you may have missed noting the first time you looked. Or you may have encountered the same pattern already. 3. Patterns that you are looking for may fall under three general types: a. Figure Problems: Watch out for repeated design elements, pairings, alternate progression of design, changes in size or shading spot deletions or addition of parts ▪ Take a good look at all the frames to take note of any progression pattern. ▪ Take note of repeated design elements or change/s in the design. ▪ Look for pairings among the given frames. ▪ Look for alternate progression in the design. ▪ Note changes in sizes or shading. ▪ Note deletions or additions of parts. b. Letter – number pattern ▪ Letters of the alphabet and their corresponding numerical value. ▪ Note the order of letters in an alphabet series. c. Number series ▪ A pattern of increasing value. ▪ A pattern of decreasing value. -> The increase or decrease may be any multiples. The secret here is to determine what number is added to the preceding set to get the next. Example: 14, 20, 26, 32, ? The series increases by 6, so the answer is 38.
-> Sometimes, the increase or decrease is not uniform but progressive. Example: 8, 13, 19, 26, ? The answer is 34, the increase is by 5 then 6, 7, 8… -> There are instances when the increase or decrease in not unifrom but retrogressing. Example: 8, 13, 17, 20, ? The answer is 22. The increase is by 5, 4, 3, 2, and all are retrogressing by 1 point.
Strategies for Logical Reasoning 1. Read the given statements carefully. Do not consider outside information or basic knowledge on the topic. 2. From the statement, draw a conclusion if it is not given in the statements. Ask yourself the following questions: What do statements prove? What is the author trying to make me believe? 3. Read all the choices first, then eliminate all illogical conclusions and choose the strongest argument or a logical conclusion.
Multiple Choice Exam Tips and Strategies Multiple Choice Exams: An Analysis Items of this type always have the correct answer as one of the choices, except where a „none of the above‟ option is given. Only one option is correct, save for those extremely rare cases where two of the given choices are considered right. As you‟ll see later on, knowing how to look at this kind of exam plays a part in strategies you can use for it.
Because each choice has to be taken at face value as a possible direct response to the item question, multiple choice exams very rarely ask analytical or interpretative questions, focusing more often on objective ones. There lies their difficulty: you‟ll have to have a good grasp of definitions and fundamental facts for the exam. Bluffing and roundabout essays won‟t work in multiple choice exams, though certain strategies can help. To challenge students even more, many teachers and test makers often give two or more answer choices that are very similar to one another. But even when the makers create an exam to be straightforward, answer choices can also be ambiguous at times. This means your language and context must be more or less similar with that of the test designers. Although countless combinations of individual answer choices exist, they can be grouped into three distinct kinds: ▪ there are items where the choices look alike (shortened to CLA, for the purposes of this discussion). Items with CLA choices try to confuse you by giving a set of responses that are so similar in wording and appearance. ▪ And then there are items where the choices are different (CAD). Although these seem to be on the other side of the spectrum from CLA, they have the exact same requirement: your knowing exactly what to answer. ▪ Stand-out choices (SOC) do just that – stand out. In, say, a five-choice item, you are given four CLA choices and one that starkly stands out. Don‟t be fooled! The unique choice is just as likely as the others to be incorrect. ▪ Mix-and-match items have answer choices that are split up into two or more parts which are then mixed and matched between each choice. This can be confusing, and is usually used on questions referring to components and processes.
The four types are all subsumed under the multiple choice category, but there‟s a specific way to strategically deal with each kind.
When Choices Look Alike
Say you were given a question and corresponding answer choices that looks like this:
Which presents stages of mitosis in the correct order? a) Prophase – Metaphase – Interphase – Telophase b) Prophase – Metaphase – Anaphase – Telophase c) Prophase – Metaphase – Prometaphase – Telophase d) Prophase – Metaphase – Cytokinesis – Telophase
This is clearly an item with a case of CLA, as all the choices are identical save for each one‟s third stage. Even if you studied the terms related to mitosis, you‟d still have trouble getting to the correct answer if you don‟t know the exact process. Here‟s how to make an educated guess in this case.
If you read about interphase, you‟d know that it‟s the preparatory stage of mitosis. But if it‟s a preparatory step – that is, it occurs at the start – why does it appear as the third step? This eliminates A. Similarly, you‟d know that cytokinesis is the very last step, and so D would get disqualified as well.
The term „prometaphase‟ sounds like a portmanteau of prophase and metaphase, which in turn suggests that it‟s a transitionary phase between prophase and metaphase. But since it appears after both prophase and metaphase in the choices, you can eliminate C as the right answer, leaving you with B – the correct response. Consider only the important parts where the differences are placed; in this case, you only have to look at the third step of each process. Since the rest of the text in the choices are identical anyway, they only serve as distractions in CLA items. When Choices are Different
How would you deal with a multiple choice item that looked like this:
Based on the proposed timeline of evolution, which of the following structures are likeliest to develop first? a) head b) bones c) opposable limbs d) feet This is a good example of a CAD item, as each choice is different from all the others. It might seem that knowing the exact answer to this question is the only way to deal with the item, but there‟s actually another way to get points out of it. You could start by analyzing for any possible relationships between any of the choices. In this case of a Biology question, for example, you could use your common sense to say that bones (or at least some rigid support structure) are a prerequisite for both opposable limbs and feet to emerge. With this, you could immediately eliminate C and D and thus give yourself a higher chance of getting the right answer. Finding that correct answer requires a little more study on your part. Sometimes, though, the key to getting the right choice is simply finding an example that will support one answer or the other. In this case, you might want to try recalling that the development of a basic head – cephalization – occurs in groups as old as annelids, while bones emerge much, much later in evolution. This suggests that A is the correct choice. You can rely on the uniqueness of the answer for each item to help point out a plausible answer. Once you‟re able to create relationships between different, you‟ll also be able to eliminate one or two choices at a time because one is subsumed under the other. When One Item Stands Out
It cannot be stressed enough that having one answer choice distinct from the rest is never a guarantee that it‟s the right one. In the following question, for example, you can‟t be sure that A is the correct answer simply because it stands out. You are in the laboratory preparing a homogeneous solution made of two
different substances to a specific concentration. What would be the best course of action if you accidentally added too much solvent? a) Add more solute b) Add more solvent c) Add more solute and solvent d) Dispose of the solution and start over To the strategy-less test taker, D is the most tempting choice because it‟s the odd one out of the bunch. But if you take a few extra seconds to analyze the question and the choices, the correct answer should be fairly obvious. Since the problem is too much solvent, B and C are immediately wrong because they add even more solvent. And because adding more solute to fix the solute-solvent ratio is a valid remedy, there‟s no need to resort to D. Never settle for the odd one out just because it‟s the odd one out. Use other strategies that work equally well for SOC items. When you disregard the odd one out, for example, you can use the same strategy you did for CLA. If you‟re not able to get an answer that way, then chances are good that it‟s really the odd choice out that‟s the correct one. When the Items are Mixed and Matched
Mix-and-match items tend to be quite confusing, not in the least because all the items are so similar to each other yet have very different meanings. Try this question, for example Given a closed system, which pair of conditions will most likely accompany an increase in volume of the container? a) constant pressure, constant temperature b) constant pressure, lower temperature c) higher pressure, lower temperature d)
lower pressure, constant temperature
As you can see, the answer choices are split into two parts: the factor
(temperature or pressure) and the change in that factor (higher, lower or constant). In order to answer this question, you‟ll have to know about one of the more basic equations in Chemistry: PV = nRT. That fundamental concept will guide you toward D, the correct answer. The important thing to remember is that all of the parts of each answer must be correct in order for the choice itself to be correct. As soon as one part is erroneous, the choice itself becomes incorrect. Don‟t forget to also consider situations like the example above where the parts can go hand-in-hand with each other. Multiple Strategies for Multiple Choices
As a test-taking strategy, guessing is simply the worst way to go about answering a multiple choice exam, even when your study time was short of optimal. Strategy-based approaches are simply the best way to attack a multiple choice test and make sure that you get as high a score as possible. ▪ Eliminate choices as soon as you can. Even if you end up getting left with two choices that look equally correct, you have a higher chance of getting the right answer should you resort to guessing.
▪ Look at the wording, especially for answer choices that look very similar. Little changes in tense or object can alter the meaning of the statement in a big way.
▪ Question absolutes. These generalizations are rarely correct because there‟s often one or two exceptions to them. When you see buzzwords like always or never, be on your guard and check to determine any counter-examples.
▪ Do the easy ones first. Time pressure is very real in multiple choice exams, so don‟t give too much time and effort to any one item. Besides, this is futile because many exams give equal weight to both easy and difficult items.
▪ Allot time for multiple runs. It‟s highly unlikely that you‟ll finish all of the test questions on your first go. Split the test time up such that you leave yourself some margin to go back on all those questions you skipped the first time around.
Yes, the strategies outlined above can help you boost your score in any multiple choice exam. A good score, however, always starts with sufficient study and review prior to the test. Even if you‟re familiar with all the techniques above, passing will be difficult if you don‟t have a grasp on basic concepts to begin with.
Strategies in Taking a Math Test 1. Use your test/exam time wisely. Allow a minute per question for a 50 minute test with 40-50 questions. Remember that all questions carry the same point. 2. Read the question carefully. Be completely sure of what the question is asking. 3. Watch out for key terms or key words. If a question looks easy but you cannot find out the answer to the question, maybe you missed out on a key word, which maybe a word like subtracted by, square, even integer, scalene, area or perimeter. 4. Visualize a situation by making sketches or tables. Do not spend time making a work of art – just a pictorial representation of given and other information. 5. Make a representation using an equation if necessary. Make connections to Math concepts – rules, definitions, formula, specific relationships or theorems. 6. Take a quick look at the choices before doing computations. For example, if the answer is a circumference and the choices are 31 pi or 19 pi, it means do not multiply by 3.14 (value of pi) anymore. 7. Avoid any lengthy computations. Simplify your solution/s. Look for shortcuts or use mental computation strategies. Simplify fractions before using them in computations. *Your answer must be in lowest term and doesn‟t contains any negative exponents. 8. Move to the next question if you have spent 30 seconds on a question and
you‟re still in doubt. However, if you find the question easy or simple, make sure you take time to give the correct answer. 9. Use scratch paper when necessary. Number it and keep it clean to make it easier to review if needed. 10. Stay calm and focused. Go back to unanswered questions if time permits. Be sure to always shade the correct space specially if you are skipping a question. ** Don‟t forget to pray before exams. Do your best and GOD will do the rest. Specific Strategies 1. Mathematical Reasoning Example : If p, q and r are positive integers greater that 1; pq = 28 and qr = 52, which of the following must be true? a. r>p>q b. q>r>p c. q>p>r d. p>r>q e. r>q>p Analysis: pq = 28 -> p = 7 q = 4 Therefore, p = 7 ; q = 4 ; and r = 13 qr = 52 -> q = 4 r = 13
The answer is a. 2. Inspect for patterns and relationships and relationships and eliminate certain choices Example: Which is greater A: (16)(444)(10) or B: (15)(444)(11)? By inspection 444 is common; Mental computation gives 16 x 10 = 160 11 x 15 is equal to 165. Without multiplying each equation with the common term, we can conclude that the answer is B. 3. Finding the last digit of a number raised to an exponent. Example: What is the last digit of 632^47?
Analysis: Since that the last digit of the number is 2, check the last digits of the numbers with base 2. 2^1 = 2, 2^2 = 4, 2^3 = 8, 2^4 = 16 2^5 = 32, 2^6 = 64, 2^7 = 128, 2^8 = 256 The pattern is 2, 4, 8, 6, which repeats every 4 times. Divide the exponent by the pattern: 47 ÷ 4 = 11 remainder 3. The third number in the pattern is 8, therefore the answer is 8.
Strategies in Taking An English Test 1. If there is a sentence, read it twice and look for context clue/s. 2. Ask yourself if you can relate the word with an object, an idea, a person or an experience. For example, solemnity is associated with praying, mass or church. Therefore, any word that suggests roughness, loudness or improper action must be eliminated. 3. Test for consistency in part of speech. For example, a noun will require a synonym that is also a noun. The other choices that are not nouns may be eliminated. This concept, particularly when used in constructing sentences, is called parallelism. 4. Determine the tone or mood of the word. Words may suggest a good, positive or upbeat tone. Its synonym must exhibit the same. 5. Try to replace the word in the sentence with the choices given, then do a final process of elimination. Choose the best answer. Finding the Error 1. Remember that there may or may not be an error in a given sentence. 2.The error must be in any of the underlined parts of the sentence. 3. Look for the most common errors first. Start by checking the spelling of words. You should also watch out for redundant words.
4. Check for any possible error in grammar by checking the subject-verb agreement in the principall as well as the subordinate clauses. Other errors in grammar maybe verb tense, pronoun-antecedent combination, comparative forms of adjective or adverb, wrong conjunction or preposition, punctuations, and wrong usage of words like these, this, its, it‟s, etc. 5. Read the whole sentence again and check for any error in sentence construction (parallel construction, logical construction). 6. Always assume that the test questions have undergone proofreading, and are therefore completely accurate. If there is an error, it is probably not a typographical error and is therefore intentional. Reading Comprehension 1. Scan the paragraph to get the main idea before turning to the questions. Others look at the questions first. This is a choice one has to make based on his experience or what works for him/her. 2. Read the questions. Identify the kind of question. Is it a main idea question, a detail or an inference question which requires logical thinking and reasoning. 3. Search for the specific details for a detail question. Make sure you answer this correctly. 4. Read the sentences and recognize the clues that can help state the implied idea. 5. Always consider all choices. Do a process of elimination and choose the best answer. If the passage is hard to understand, answer the detail questions and move on to the next passage. Remember to go back if time permits.
Strategies for Word Analogy 1. Form a sentence that clearly expresses a relationship or connection between the first pair of words. A list of possible types of relationships can be used to determine the connection.
Example: Acrobat: Cartwheel: ___________: ___________ a. Singer: sing b. Artwork: painter c. Tenor: aria d. Clown: circus Relationship:
Sentence: An acrobat performs a cartwheel. 2. Test this relationship for the same pairs of choices in number one. a. A singer performs a song; not sing. b. Cannot form the same relationship c. A tenor performs an aria. d. Cannot form the same relationship 3. Try to narrow down or particularize the relationship. Express in a sentence showing a clear and specific relationship between the pairs of words. Sentence:
A tenor sings an aria.
4. Watch out for tricky questions. The choices will purposely include confusing answers. Example: a. Check the parts of speech. Acrobat: cartwheel is noun: noun. Therefore, the answer cannot (a) since singer: sing is noun: verb. b. Look at the order
Acrobat: cartwheel is person: action Therefore, the answer cannot be (b) since it is action: person. 5. Do a final process of elimination by looking at all the choices, eliminating the non-choice which maybe pairs of words that do not form a clear and definite relationship.