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Synthesizer: Study Plan
M.Ed., Stanford University
Winner of multiple teaching awards
Patrick has been teaching AP Biology for 14 years and is the winner of multiple teaching awards.
Now, your teacher might have told you by now go back and study for the test. Study for the test well, I hear this from students all the time. "Oh I can’t study for Math test, you just know it, or you don’t." Nonsense. But you need to know to how structure what you’re doing to conserve your time. So if you’re going to go back and study, you’ll probably have a stack of notes about this big and you can’t possible read it all. You need to prioritize your time. The purpose of this synthesizer is to help prioritize your study.
The first thing I’d like you to do is download a copy of the synthesizer that is entitled review old test. Then go ahead and get all your old tests. You might want to print a few copies of the synthesizer. When you’re prioritizing, what you need to do is rule out the stuff that you don’t need to spend any study time on. Now this activity again takes you away from our course, and it has you do a broad review of everything that you did in AP Calculus.
The first thing to do is to look through your old test. Now, any problem that you’re going to write the first time, you might not need to review. Look at them again though quickly, because there might have been something that you knew a few months ago that you have forgotten. Make that a quick scan. If there’s some thing that you have forgotten well, write it down.
Let’s see I’m looking through one of my old tests and oh no there’s an integral. I had completely forgotten this thing. Oh no the problem asks me to do the integral of the secant of u, du. I’ve forgotten that thing dang! So look it up, write it down. This is one of the ones that you might want to memorize. They do show up on the AP test from time.
They’re not super common, but you might see it. This one is the natural logarithm of the secant of u, plus the tangent of u, plus of course your old friend the constant of integration. So I wrote that down, because I’m probably going to be needing that one.
This one was maybe your chapter 4, and it was problem number 12 on the test. So what you’re writing down is a list of things that you’ll want to review now and maybe briefly look at again the day before the test.
Next, and very important, is to look at any problem that you got wrong the first time. If you did, you definitely want to circle that one, and take a close look at it. You might have gotten it down since then, but you want to be sure.
The second page of this synthesizer asks you to research additional AP topics. Now we’ve done our best to make this course complete as possible. I’ve included practically every kind of odd AP problem that I could think of, that I could find. Still, we couldn’t cover quite everything. We skipped a lot of basic topics. The point of this course was to speed you up on the more complex topics.
There’s one additional complex topic that you’ll see from time to time; exponentials. That I didn’t really cover very well. When you download this, you’ll see a list of the topics that I’ve identified as ones that we haven’t covered thoroughly. Here is the one I just mentioned.
Compare relative magnitudes of functions such as exponential, polynomial, and logarithmic growth and their relative rates of change. So here is a possible example of a problem that you could do.
Your goal is to look for the list of additional topics that I made for you. Find where it is in your textbook or within your notes. That would be great too, and try some examples. You’ve probably covered them in your course, but I’m sure you can use the review.
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