Grading Tips


Tests are based almost entirely on class notes, so they are your primary source for studying. Class notes are given out bits at a time, and that's the best way to study them. Being familiar with one day's notes will also make it easier to understand the next day's lesson. Spread your studying out over the entire unit; make sure you understand as you go along. Spending a few minutes a night reviewing your class notes is way more effective than trying to "cram" the night before the test, and it doesn't take more time overall. You should be preparing for the test from the first day of the unit. 

In addition to your class notes, the EC Crossword (in Docs and Links) and Review Game Q & A are designed to help you study for the test. Also keep in mind that there will be an essay question on the test, chosen from one of the Essay Questions.


How to Prepare for Knowledge Checks

Knowledge Checks are given at the beginning of the period, the day after the reading was assigned. Each KC consists of 4 to 6 questions based on the vocabulary terms and basic concepts from the reading assignment. KC questions will not be about nit-picky trivia, they are designed to assess your basic understanding of the material. Vocabulary terms are the basis for many of the questions.

Be sure to read the entire section, and examine every illustration, image, graph, and chart. Then go back and take brief notes on important, new information. Pay particular attention to the vocabulary terms. You can use your notes to help you answer tomorrow’s Knowledge Check questions.

Keep in mind that no one will ever grade these notes, they are only for your use during KCs. They can be messy, brief, full of abbreviations that only you recognize, drawings, whatever - it's up to you. Don't waste your time writing anything you already know, focus only on what's new. The more you learn from the reading the less you'll have to write, so if your notes are brief and you still ace the KC, you're doing it right!


Every lab group member is expected to submit a lab worksheet, but only one of the worksheets will be scored. Everyone in the group gets that grade. That means that you are expected to work as a team and carefully review each other's work. The most common mistakes on labs are often the easiest to spot, and they usually involve measurements; accuracy, precision, and units. These deductions can easily be avoided.


How to Prepare for Note Checks

Note Checks consist of 10 questions with 1 or 2-word answers that should be easy to find in your class notes. "Easy to find" assumes that your notes are complete, and that you are reasonably familiar with them. Since you will have only 8 minutes to answer the 10 questions, you need to be able to find things quickly. It is suggested that you tab and highlight major topics for quick reference, or you could create a table of contents if you prefer.

Keep in mind that the test will be based almost entirely on the notes, so as you prepare for the Note Check, you are also preparing for the test.

Extra Credit

EC Crossword Puzzles are worth at least 2 extra credit points added to your test, and up to 5 points depending on how your team performs in the Review Game. You are encouraged to use your notes to help complete the Crossword Puzzle; it is designed to help you review the important vocabulary terms in your notes. The EC Crossword for the current unit can be found in Docs and Links.

Review Game questions (and answers!) for each unit are posted in Review Game Q & A. You and your current table-mates will be your Review Game team, so it is recommended that you work together to prepare for the game well in advance. First place in the Review Game adds 3 points to your EC Crossword Puzzle, which then gets added to your test grade. Second place gets 2 points and third place gets 1 point. Notice that no EC Crossword Puzzle = no extra credit for the Review Game or the test.