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Using Practice Problems as Reference

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I've read that a lot of people bring tons of worked practice problems to use as a reference. I feel like this would be too hard to manage during the actual exam trying to sift through hundreds of problems to find a similar one. Furthermore, I feel like the time spent writing out neat solutions would take valuable study time away from actually working through fresh problems. I plan on only bringing solutions to practice exams - am I the only one who feels this way?

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The key is to be familiar with the problems. I was able to quickly find similar problems in a few cases but it’s not a good strategy to rely heavily on them. Someone just printing out practice exam solutions and taking them with them will run out of time blindly flipping through.

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I took the Dr. Tom class, and his method relies heavily on you having worked out example problems. The idea is that it's faster for you to follow an example problem that you're familiar with than it is to figure out how to work the problem. (I agree with that in theory, but when I took the exam it didn't work out like that. Another story.) That being said, he also has you create tabbed and indexed binders with everything, so it's pretty fast to find a related problem.

In my opinion, there's no one-size solution that work for everyone. Listen to everyone suggestions and then figure out what will work for you.

Edited by jean15paul
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I had time to go through 5-6 practice tests as a hail mary during the AM/PM to hope to find a problem that could spark some thought process on certain problems. I tabbed sections on the practice tests for Structures, Geo etc to speed up searching time. 

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I sorted every problem I did into 'sections' of a table of contents I created. The TOC grew, changed and morphed as I studied and realized what 'went together' and what didn't. (Power PE). I uploaded it on this website (PDF) so others could use it as a reference point rather than having to come up with their own from scratch. It needs to be revised/tweaked obviously as the exam topics change slightly each iteration.

I found that with my TOC and disciplined sorting of problems, I was able to keep track and use the crap out of my practice problem solutions during the exam. A highly recommend this method.

 

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19 hours ago, ItsStudyTime! said:

I sorted every problem I did into 'sections' of a table of contents I created. The TOC grew, changed and morphed as I studied and realized what 'went together' and what didn't. (Power PE). I uploaded it on this website (PDF) so others could use it as a reference point rather than having to come up with their own from scratch. It needs to be revised/tweaked obviously as the exam topics change slightly each iteration.

I found that with my TOC and disciplined sorting of problems, I was able to keep track and use the crap out of my practice problem solutions during the exam. A highly recommend this method.

 

I just bought some dividers so that I could sort through my solved practice problems by section and put them in their own binder. There were times when I'm sitting there looking at a problem and I can imagine that I completed a problem that looked just like it but I couldn't locate it right away. So I know this resource will come in handy.

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I just took a few specific solved problems. Things that were simple, but outside of my main comfort zone, and not intuitive to me. That way I knew exactly what solved problems I had, and didn't have to flip through. 

On 9/14/2019 at 4:50 AM, Ranger1316 said:

The key is to be familiar with the problems

Absolutely.

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Make an table of contents (TOC) and put page numbers on your worked problem and you can easily find them through your TOC. My TOC for Wastewater TRMT is shown below. Everything that are in parenthesis are the given values. It makes it quick and easy to find what I need and what I have. 

image.png

Edited by Fisherman504
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I definitely took my practice exam solutions with me, but most of the other problems I did became too disorganized to be useful for me. If I were to go back and nicely write every single problem neatly, maybe it would have worked, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

I would agree with what others have said; be familiar enough with common problems that you can repeat the process to solve similar ones. It might be more helpful to draw out a flowchart or list of steps for yourself for types of problems you have a hard time with.

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This is the output of the Dr. Tom's Classroom prep course. (See pictures)

These binders are approximate 65% worked problems and 35% notes, theory, and formulas. Binders by broad subject and tabs with Table of Contents for specific topics. And yeah, by the end of the class I was very familiar with all these problems.

 

20190927_103416.jpg

20190927_103442.jpg

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