in reply to Meditations on the Nature of Code Exams in thread Meditations on the Nature of Code Exams One of my professors was fond of saying that you can't study for a programming (or math) exam. If you don't know it by the night before the exam, no amount of cramming will help.
I'll give you some hope and tell you that it's partially wrong.
Even If one night of study won't give you as much as a constant learning
(especially if you want to keep the information learned for a long time),
It can limit the damages in the case you don't know anything, or even give you an easy success
(if you're lucky or if the exam is REALLY easy)
I can't stress it enough : It's definitly not the best way to learn (not even a good one...)
The best way to learn is through constant practice.
BUT never give up, it's never too late, when you're lacking time just, optimize it...
You have to remember that you'll be graded for your exam, not for what you worth.
You can optimize your learning process to be efficient for the exam :
coding the way the examinator like it, working on topics the examinator like and may use for the exam,
learn a lot of little details useful only for the exam that you'll forget later
(I recall I learnt 5 pages of number defining some protocols just for one exam,
I have of course forgotten them yet but, being able to cite large part of a protocol,
long series of technical numbers, was very impressive for the examinator if I refer to the grade I had...
It didn't made me smarter, It was just an 'exam optimization' but it really improved my prestation)
It's not cheating or fooling. I call it optimization for it's just that. You optimize your chance of having a good grade.
They make the rules (your worth is determined by your ability to pass an exam which has not much to do with the reality) you play with them ;-)
Final note : I really prefer true (long) learning, which is the most fullfilling for me (when I have the feeling that I'm efficient/skilled) but look around inner valour is often ignored in favor of the 'showing'.
I learnt to play with this fact, I just wanted to share...
"Trying to be a SMART lamer" (thanx to Merlyn ;-)