Test Tips Chapters 1 - 5
How to Answer Questions on a Test • Be thorough, but brief. Shorter is usually better. • Base the length of your answer on the value of the question. A twenty-point discussion question requires more thought and more writing than a five-point "short answer" question. • Be organized and precise. Answer the question that is asked. Don't write down everything you know about the general subject and expect the teacher to construct the answer for you. I reserve the right to deduct points if you add extra information. In addition, it takes more time and you may be rushed at the end of the test.
How to Answer Questions on a Test • If the question asks you to compare two concepts, or compare and contrast, don't just give two side-by-side definitions and expect the instructor to draw the comparisons. To answer questions of this sort, begin by giving a brief definition of each concept; then point out several similarities; then tell ways they are different. If the question asks for a difference, then make sure you give a true differentiating feature. • Don't expect to be able to memorize everything. Education is supposed to teach you how to analyze problems in addition to learning facts. The better you understand the issues, the more successful you will be at analysis.
How to Answer Questions on a Test • For multiple choice questions: read all the answers first. Be sure to choose the BEST answer; or, if the question gives you the option, choose more than one that applies. • Write as legibly as possible. Please. • Think before you begin to write an answer.
What is a Good Answer ? • The facts are right. • It is not just something you have memorized and regurgitated • It answers the question I asked, not the question you thought I would ask. • It addresses the main points and does not focus on side issues. • It is not vacuous • It is organized and coherent: not just a collection of key words strung together
Answering Comparison Questions • Question: “Compare an apple and an orange.” • Bad Answer: “An apple is red and crunchy while an orange is juicy, and a member of the citrus genus.” • Better: “Apples and oranges are both fruits and have a round shape. Apples are from the genus malus and oranges from the citrus genus. Apples are usually red, oranges are orange.” • In other words, compare by looking at the same attributes in both and deciding how they are the same or different.
Vacuous Answers Question: “Explain the three stages of translation.” Answer: “The three stages are lexical, syntax, and semantic. The lexical stage analyses the lexical elements, syntax analysis checks the syntax and semantic analysis verifies that the semantics are correct. All three stages are necessary and contribute to the final results.”
Test Format • Multiple choice and/or true false and/or fill in the blank. • Problems, as in the homework • Parse trees, abstract syntax, regular expressions, scope/lifetime/visibility, symbol tables • Short answers such as • Complete a sentence • Compare/contrast • Define/give significance
Final Tips & Comments • Go over the homework and study the things you missed. • If there are any questions that involve syntax analysis I will provide the lexical or syntactic rules • If there are any questions that require regular expressions I will give you the set of rules that were in the text book.
Review • The test will cover chapters 1-5 thoroughly. • You should have some familiarity with chapter 6. • Review homework: problems will be similar to those on the homework. • I will post a study guide by the end of the week.