The Importance of Grades
Exam Strategies + for help taking standardized tests.

Return to Test Passing Help  Updated 2/3/18         Please link to and 


Improving Grades

1) Test type is important. Multiple choice tests require familiarity with tested material. Exam Strategies + provide procedural help. Essay and math tests are difficult because organization and analysis are important. Introductory courses tend to be memory driven with advanced course requiring organization and analysis

2) Determine material being tested. Is the test on the lecture notes. Are the notes from the book? If from the notes, you had better have good notes. My U.S. History 101 tests were all from the notes. I actually knew the miles of railroad track laid for each decade of the 19th century. The Prof switched in 102 to questions from the book and buried most of us. I did not know how to build an adobe hut described under a textbook picture! Both example were questions were a waste although I still remember that economic friction was a basic cause of the Civil War.

3) Many teachers emphasize important material throughout the course. I can remember many students starring material they thought I was emphasizing. Two very good students used to meet at 7AM before class and guess the questions I might ask and possible answers.

4) Are the test generic-basic history, sociology, economics, statistics, chemistry?  If so, there are many free notes at


Setting Goals

1. Long run economic success is maximized by concentrating on  what you do well. An accounting major with an A in accounting and a C in American Literature will be more in demand than a student with a B in both courses.  I want my CPA to save me money and really don't care if they are well versed in Eliot's The Waste Land. I used to quote the late Peter Druker on the subject.

"Delivering literacy--even on the high level appropriate to a knowledge society--will be an easier task than giving students the capacity and the knowledge to keep on learning, and the desire to do it."
..."All it requires is to make learners achieve. All it requires is to focus on the strengths and talents
of learners so that they excel in whatever it is they do well."
 ..." But schools do not do it. They focus instead on a learner's weaknesses."  
Leaders Educational Advise

2. Mark Cuban is big into soft skills.

Cuban's forecast of the skills needed to succeed in the future echoes that of computer science and higher education experts who believe people with "soft skills," like adaptability and communication, will have the advantage in an automated workforce. Cuban highlighted English, philosophy, and foreign language majors as just some of the majors that will do well in the future job market. "
Mark Cuban Bloomberg Interview:



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