2009 Honors Precalculus Final Exam Study Guide

Tuesday, June 2nd 2009


As with any test, the most important thing is that you demonstrate as much good mathematics as possible. This is your opportunity to show me what you've learned this semester. Use your time wisely- 80 minutes is a long time, but you will probably want to use it all for working and checking. You may finish early. If you do, take a break and then start checking answers and re-doing those that are incorrect. You can use multiple solution techniques to check your answer- if you solved a question algebraically, check graphically or numerically.

Coverage & Exam Format:

The exam will have 25 multiple choice questions assessing all the material we studied this semester. Our two units covered chapters 4, 5, and 6.1 & 6.2 in your text book. You will be able to use your graphing calculator on the first half of the exam. Partial credit is available as follows:
  • 8 points for correct
  • 4 points for 2nd choice correct
  • 2 points for 3rd choice correct
  • 1 point for 4th choice correct
Don't waste time ranking your choices, but a good strategy to ensure some credit if you are unsure of a question is to rank an obviously incorrect answer as your 5th choice.

To review:

  • Skim through the relevant portions of the text to remind yourself of the topics. You may find the Chapter Summary to be the best overall revision of what you need to know, but pay attention to bold definitions and boxed results. This site has some very good advice about what you need to memorize (it's not much!) and what you can derive from your memorized information. Although you will have a notecard, it's still a good idea to look for connections.
  • Go to the Archive and use the links from the semester to revise concepts.
  • Take a look at your Supercorrections from the Unit 4 test- do you feel more confident now?
  • Rework some of the problems from that test and the quizzes- can you do them all now?
  • Do extra problems: The Chapter Review Exercises are organized according to the Chapter Summary, while the Chapter Test problems are mixed up. Page 487 has a good Cumulative Test covering chapters 4-6 (ignore the later material from chapter 6. You will find additional problems from the worked examples at hotmath.com .
  • As you review, ask yourself what problems you should expect to see on the exam.
  • Take notes on your note card. Your note card can have formulas, definitions, reminders, words of wisdom, etc. There are only two requirements: 1) you may not include worked examples and 2) all work on the note card must be in your own handwriting. You will submit your note card with your exam- a good note card can earn you extra credit.

On the day of the Final Exam:

  • Make sure you're well rested- don't stay up late the night before and then try to compensate with an energy drink. Energy drinks do not focus your mind- studies show they make it more difficult to think and concentrate.
  • Get to the exam early if possible.
  • Don't forget your note card!
  • Bring a ruler, pencil, eraser, graph paper, and calculator.

During the Final Exam:

  • Don't panic.
  • Remember that the only way to get a zero on the exam is to skip it, do nothing, or cheat.
  • Check, double check, triple check your answers.