Professor Kate Poirier | D772 | Spring 2023

OpenLab assignment: How’d you do it??

Comment on this post due Monday, May 1

A character from the Simpsons wearing glasses and a necktie speaking into an old-fashioned flip phone saying, "Hello, and welcome to success."

This assignment is similar to My Week in MAT 2680, but more focused specifically on your test preparation.

As a group, your Test #2 performance was overall very good! For a number of you, there was a significant improvement over your Test #1 performance (the class average increased almost 20 points). What we want to know now is: how’d you do it??

  • If you were one of the people who saw an improvement in your performance, describe in a paragraph in the comments on this post what you did differently between Test #1 and Test #2 to see this improvement. Be as detailed and specific as you can be.
  • If you are someone who did well on both tests, then whatever you are doing is working for you. In a paragraph in the comments on this post, describe in detail what you did to prepare for each test. Did you change anything between Test #1 and Test #2? Be as detailed and specific as you can be.
  • If you are someone who wants to improve for Test #3, describe in a paragraph in the comments on this post what you did to prepare for Test #1 and Test #2 and how you plan to prepare differently for Test #3 next week.

Why are we doing this? As mentioned a number of times, your group is one of the hardest-working groups I have encountered at CityTech and your hard work is evident in your performance on tests and on projects. A lot of the time, that hard work is invisible to your classmates, but it’s important for everyone to share what works for them, so that other people can see that hard work too.

I plan to use your responses when I teach this class again, so please be as detailed as you can be so that you can help future students succeed!


  1. Javier Garcia

    Javier Garcia

    The first test is and always be what many call the testing grounds, having a feel of what to expect, see and teach us. Because of the first test, now, as a team and class, we have an advantage of what to expect and how to get around it. Angles, as in working together to share HW so we get prepared and communicate effectively on group application software that allows us to get together and speak to one another via voice chat on a Discord site.

    When students feel hopeless and see that “man, I didn’t do good on the first one, I really need to bring it in the second one, or I will fail,” that is what brings us together as a team. We couldn’t allow ourselves to look back and let it be a second hiccup. When we got that first test, I could see everyone’s reaction and how they looked like they wanted to give up. With my encouragement, I didn’t want people to look back and say ” I don’t think I can make it,” so I did my best to push everyone on Discord to push it all the way to the end. Why give up when you can use this knowledge for the next semester? Now, with this second test being our highest score, we have a chance and opportunity to encourage one another to do good on the third and even final.

    • Kate Poirier

      Love this, Javier. Teamwork makes the dream work!

  2. Ameer Shadick

    Exams themselves are very nerve racking and a lot of people tend to get so anxious about exams that they end up over thinking or just forgetting certain parts of topics that they were studying for. In my opinion as someone who did well on both exams is to not overthink it, to be calm during your exam rather that thinking to yourself that you can’t do it or its to hard. Start a studying regiment, pick 20-30 minutes out of your day to sit and go over one topic, not all just one, pace yourself don’t do all and overwhelm yourself. This is very important because if you look at all the topics on Test 2 as a whole it is very overwhelming but if you take one topic at a time it becomes looking easier. So study hard and use all your resources provided to you for help.

  3. Jocelyn Nacimba

    The day before an exam can be very stressful because one is trying to cramp a lot of material last minute which includes memorizing formulas, figuring how to solve the problems and trying to understand certain topics. And on the day on the test, there is more anxiety due to the fact that sometimes you feel unprepared. What I did to prepare for both tests was one day I spend reviewing and understanding the material. And the other day I practice the material by resolving the HW questions on Webwork. Preparing days in advance has been helpful because then you have more time to analyze each topic in depth.

  4. kevin

    For me, its all about preparing for the exam. Thinking about the exam makes me nervous, but what helps calms me is knowing I prepared. I cannot do what many people do by studying for one exams 2 weeks in advances and study everything everyday. That makes me more nervous because It makes me feel like the exam is bigger then what it really is. So for me I like to review notes in a simple way. Getting closer to the exam I break it down. So for example in exam 2 we had like 4 or 5 things to study. I would start 6 days before. I would study 1 topic a day. The night or two before the exam I would then study everything in the one night. This allows me to focus on each topic and get a good understanding then try doing all at the same thing. This helps with my nerves. I would also make sure the night before I am not up late studying. I feel like If i go to sleep directly after studying I will not sleep well and most of what I just study will be forgotten. So I would make sure i study then have an hour for myself before bed. That’s what I been doing and it helps.

  5. Juan Giraldo

    Exams are well known to be very stressful. I have found that stressing and being anxious over an exam is not gonna help, so if you know you’re going to do bad, is most likely due to lack of preparation. Now, if you studied hard and did bad, at least you knew you gave your 100% so no need to overstress. What I have done for this course to prepare for the exams is to constantly study 2-3 days prior to the exam. In those 2-3 days, I kind of analyze my ideas and figure out what is that I need more improvement on. After finding the weak spots, I make sure I understand where I am making the error(s). With help of ASAP tutoring and doing multiple problems, I find that I get better at solving those problems. To add on, having a “cheat sheet” helps tremendously because I don’t have that pressure to memorize so much stuff. I feel like that’s where students get overwhelmed, having to memorize tons of material, and then figuring out at the moment where to apply it is definitely lot of pressure. Having those formulas/theorems on paper really help you clear your mind while taking the exam. Having said that, constantly studying a few days prior, finding your errors, and fortifying them will really help you get a solid score.

  6. Ken Mei

    For Test #2 I didn’t perform as well as I hoped and I actually did slightly worse in comparison to Test #1. Although I didn’t fail either of those tests I do hope to do better for the upcoming Test #3. This to me was something I expected since for Test #2 I wasn’t actually able to complete all the questions on time due to my terrible time management when answering the questions. I also believe this decrease in performance was from the influence of being too relaxed during Spring Break and with the semester nearing an end, I’m starting to lose steam and motivation to try harder. So for the upcoming Test #3 I first wish to pick myself up again to push through till the end of the semester. As to how I would try to improve myself for Test #3, I would first try to look over my past tests cheat sheets to look for similarities and use that as a template to make one for Test #3. Second, I would look over the homework questions that corresponds to the topics for Test #3 and re-attempt to solve them or even asking my classmates to send their homework questions to have more practice. Third, I would attend any available office hours that fit within my schedule to either clarify any misunderstanding or to see more homework questions answered and explained in detail. For the current moment this is the approach that I’m planning to take as to prepare myself for Test #3.

  7. Javier Bonilla

    The test always generates that tension one day, to avoid feeling less stressed I prefer to study a few days ago before the test day. For the second test, I did every type of second differential equation using examples from the book homework set and then I prepared the review sheet using what I found more helpful to remember. Also, I tried to practice more the topics that I found more challenging to do, for example, I practiced two exercises from the variation of parameters from the book.

  8. Opemipo Odugbemi

    Unfortunately  there wasn’t an improvement for my second Test. If I were able to have my schedule in a way where I could go to office hours I would Have gotten a really high score. I would advise going to office hours it would make you 10 times better than going to class only.

    I did well in both tests but not as much as I wanted it to be. The easiest answer to give for this question is studying hard, practicing, and Taking notes in class. Adding office hours to this will be very helpful.

    I worked Hard for both test 1 and 3 and am willing to triple the work rate just to do better.

  9. Rubab Tariq

    Test sounds scary I always get so much panic and forget most of the stuff which I knew that my biggest issue. In Test 2 one of the questions I did so many times and I was happy when I saw on my test I knew how to do it but I totally get blank in the middle of solving that question. So this time I will try not to panic and do my test calmly. So as I’m preparing for test 3 I’m doing both webwork questions and the textbook. Watching youtube videos also to see how other people are doing these questions. I feel more practice and less panic to get good grades on my test 3.

  10. charlie

    Unfortunately I did not do as well as I wanted to on test #2. I know I could have done better but I let laziness get the best of me; I thought I was confident until I got the test and completely blanked out. The reason this happened was because I didn’t do the homework, I know this because I was a lot more confident for test #1 than test #2 since I did the homework. I never have been good with handing in homeworks but I know that it will help me, so for test #3 I will do my homework in order to help me get a better score. However, I definitely am also surprised by how well I did without getting much practice I honestly thought I bombed test #2.

  11. charlie

    Unfortunately I did not do as well as I wanted to on test #2. I know I could have done better but I let laziness get the best of me; I thought I was confident until I got the test and completely blanked out. The reason this happened was because I didn’t do the homework, I know this because I was a lot more confident for test #1 than test #2 since I did the homework. I never have been good with handing in homework but I know that it will help me, so for test #3 I will do my homework in order to help me get a better score. However, I definitely am also surprised by how well I did without getting much practice I honestly thought I bombed test #2.

  12. benyusufov

    the way I did it was by creating the best kind of cheat sheet enough for me to understand the different topics from the test, the test did help me to know that all the problems were second-order equations and spending over a month on these specific problems was tough but I quickly understood them throughout the classes, another thing that really helped was the discord with fellow classmates going over webwork questions and creating problems of our own, if I weren’t in the call that day I don’t think I would have done as well as I though I would. since I did do good I feel more confident then ever.

  13. Michael Krisno

    On the first test, I feel like my preparation for the test was lackluster. I did not study properly and failed to understand some of the concept. This is because I was preoccupied with other matters outside of college. The test as expected came out poorly, it even lower than what I initially expected. I learned my lesson to prepare thoroughly and not underestimate any test.

    On the second test, I made sure to prepare thoroughly, I learnt the concepts weeks before and to keep practicing until I get it. I made sure my notes also reflect what I learned during my study. As a result, my test score improved significantly. Even though it was not a perfect score or even a very good score, I’m still proud of something I achieved with hard work.

  14. Atta Tariq

    I experienced something in both tests, and I became anxious. Prior to the exam, I had prepared by studying, but when I saw them, I just became disoriented and forgot what I needed to do. In test 3, I’ll do my best to complete as many examples as I can, be prepared for the exam, maintain my composure, and present a conclusion. 

  15. Damian Kyle Brathwaite

    How I did it?

    Compared to test 1 my test 2 score was a drastic improvement. I expected this outcome because I know that I was more prepared for test 2 than test 1. I utilized my resources and I worked with my peers continuously in order to prepare for the test. All the examples from different people in the discord helped me gain a better understanding on each topic. I used that to practice and review for the test and in doing so I was able to get a much better score than the previous test. I plan to do the same in my preparation for our 3rd exam.

  16. JTruong27

    For me, my test 2 wasn’t that drastic of an improvement but it was an improvement nonetheless. For me what did helped me improved was being more sure of myself and the answers I came to. On the first test , as an example one of the questions I had. I kept second guessing myself and it took away from my time and made me lose time management. As for the second test I was more certain of myself and my answers, granted I did mistakes such as not keeping proper track of certain things but on the second test I think my biggest mistakes was time management for , two of the questions I ran out of time and had to choose one over the other.

    My focus on the next test is to improve on time management and being more sure of myself as well as making sure I have the proper work.

  17. Kunal Surujprasad

    For me, I improved with my test 2 score. This can be attributed to my better understanding of how the professor grades my answers more specifically on the “story” solutions which help me a lot since I tend to get stuck often because of basic algebra mistakes. This allowed me to pace myself better as the risk/fear of running out time was significantly reduced allowing me to spend more time on the complex stuff. Also this time I relied more other sources to help me understand the fundamentals such as math videos and what my other peers are posting as well as the textbook. To add, In my opinion I think my cheat sheet was a lot better this time around (not at as badly written and better quality of information)

  18. Ebtida

    what I did differently in test 2 compared to test 1 is that I studied harder for it and focused more on understanding the problem itself rather than just memorizing the formulas. I also took a lot more consideration into making my formula sheet compared to test 1.

  19. Shadman

    How’d I do it? Honestly, shoutout my cheat sheet. I binged through the content in day or two; I did the associated webworks, and I created a cheat sheet that had examples of the hard formatted questions and the basic theorems needed for test 2. If I had space, I included more examples of how to do the harder problems. Also, I have to give a ton a credit to the discord. We were in a huge study review session the night before. Shoutout them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *