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All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

Author(s): The Open University

The equation 23Â =Â 8 means that 3 is the index of the power to which we raise the number 2 to produce 8.

A logarithm is an index, and in this example, 3 is the logarithm of 8 to the base 2. We write this as

Log2 8Â =Â 3

These two equations are identical: 23Â =Â 8 and log2 8Â =Â 3

They express the same fact in the language of logarithms.

Author(s): The Open University

We are going to look at some of the basics of trigonometry relating to right angle triangles. So the first question is, What is a right angle triangle?

It is a triangle in which one of the angles is 90Â°, which is commonly referred to as a right angle. The sum of the angles in any triangle is 180Â°. So if the other two angles are Î± and Î² as in Author(s): The Open University

Simultaneous equations are pairs of equations that are both true (i.e. they are simultaneously true). They are both expressed as equations with two unknowns. By making one of these unknowns the subject of both equations, we can then substitute the subject in one equation and then solve for the other unknown. Then we can substitute back into the equation and solve for the subject.

Author(s): The Open University

This exercise is an emergency relaxation technique to counteract panic and the build up of tension.

1. Say sharply to yourself STOP! (aloud if the situation permits).

2. Breathe in and hold your breath for a moment before slowly exhaling. As you do so, relax your shoulders and hands.

3. Pause for a moment, then breathe in slowly again and hold. This time, as you breathe out relax your forehead and jaw.

4. Stay qu
Author(s): The Open University

Here is a rewording of some of the negative student comments from Section 2, which we have re-worded into positive comments.

Negative Positive
I am no good at exams, I
Author(s): The Open University

When you come out of the exam try to forget it. Going over what you have written with other students can make you worry about areas you haven't covered. Go and enjoy a planned treat as a personal reward for all your hard work.

Author(s): The Open University

You may find it useful to plan the way you will start your exam. Having a routine can be calming when under pressure. This is from a student who recommends a checklist:

I have a mental checklist of what I need to do once I've turned over the paper. I do this because I used to rush in and answer the fir
Author(s): The Open University

4.1 Arriving and getting ready

When you arrive at the exam centre, you may prefer to stay quietly on your own, rather than chat to other students. Do what suits you best and helps you to feel calm and positive. Once you are in your seat, try not to look around. Your senses can be heightened by tension and can fasten on irrelevant details, such as what other students are doing or wearing. Try visualising a relaxing scene, or relax using breathing exercises. Visualisation and relaxation exercises are described in Author(s): The Open University

3.6.3 Making audio tapes

Why not try recording material from your summary sheets, or cards, onto audio tape? Students who have a strong auditory memory find information sticks if they hear it rather than read it. You could play the tape back to yourself when travelling by train or car.

Author(s): The Open University

3.2 Stage 1: Finding out about the exam paper

As a first step, it is a good idea to find out as much as you can about the exam paper for your course. Find out how your exam paper is set out, the way the questions are organised, and what weight each question carries in terms of marks. Different papers adopt different formats. Some require multiple-choice answers. Others ask for essay or short paragraph answers. Some require technical or numerical answers. Reading the instructions on the exam paper is particularly important, as the followi
Author(s): The Open University

2.1 Finding out your key concerns

Each one of us has a different set of concerns about preparing for and taking exams. It is worth spending a little time reflecting on these concerns and identifying what your individual needs are, in order to set up good support strategies for yourself.

### Activity 1

Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

Do you feel that sometimes you don't do yourself justice in exams? Perhaps you've never taken an exam and are wondering how to prepare yourself. It may have been a long time since you took an exam, and you feel a need to refresh your technique. You may be looking for reassurance and advice because you've had a bad exam experience in the past.

This unit aims to help you to improve your own revision and exam techniques and reassure others who experience anxiety and stress over exams.

Author(s): The Open University

7.2 Learning from feedback

This is actually quite a difficult thing for any student to do. It is most effective when your assignment is returned, but by then you may have moved on to the next part of the course. Even so, you do need to make time to re-visit your assignment when it is returned and take note of your tutor's comments. It is the one time when your tutor is able to give feedback and advice to you as an individual student so it is well worth taking time to really absorb their comments. Try to separate
Author(s): The Open University

4.1 Preparing

In the preparation phase you should pause before starting a new section of work and think about it as a whole. What needs to be covered? What are the various components of this block of work? What are the learning objectives or outcomes? What will you need to know and be able to do at the end of it? What is required in the assignment?

There are two main activities during this phase, both directly related to your course work and assignment:

• analysing
Author(s): The Open University

2.4 Organising your study - keeping a learning diary

If you have found this approach to learning interests you, you might like to take the analysis a stage further. To do Activity 4, you need to be studying a course so that you are engaged in learning on a regular basis. To examine your learning patterns, try keeping a 'learning diary' over a short period of time - at least a week - or maybe during the period that you are studying a particular section of your course.

Author(s): The Open University

2.1 Introduction

In encouraging you to think explicitly about how you learn, as well as about what you learn, we are drawing on research about learning which has shown that this approach can actually improve your performance. Certainly it can and will make you a more efficient and effective learner. Before we start to explore the process, let us consider two general points about learning.

1. There is no single method of learning that guarantees success. How
Author(s): The Open University

Learning outcomes

The broad aim of this unit is to provide a framework for learning-based activities and reflective exercises. More specifically, it is designed to offer you the opportunity to:

• think about and understand how you learn;

• apply the ideas and activities in this unit to your own learning experiences;

• learn how to become a reflective learner.

Author(s): The Open University

Acknowledgements

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5.2 Thinking for yourself

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask in order to read critically. As a higher-level student, you don't read simply to â€˜find out factsâ€™. It is assumed that you will think for yourself and question what you read and hear. The â€˜truthâ€™ is taken to be uncertain, so you weigh up ideas and arguments as you read about them. According to Marton and Saljo (1997, p. 49) research shows that successful students read as if they are constantly asking themselves questions of the kind: â€˜
Author(s): The Open University