MY EXAM PHILOSOPHY

There are three basic types of questions which test the following:

1)  understanding of basic processes (e.g., the speed of light, orbit vs rotation, why we see the Moon in phases);

2)  applying basic processes to phenomena you have not considered before) (e.g., what would you weigh standing on a strange planet).  If you understand the process, you will be able to apply it.

3)  assembling of two or more basic physical physical processes in order to figure out how a phenomenon you have not thought of before works) (e.g., we see only one face of the Moon, the Moon is in tidal lock, therefore the period of Moon rotation equal its orbital period around the Earth, and therefore a day on the Moon is equal to one rotation period — about a month from sunrise to sunrise.)

There are NO TRICK QUESTIONS ON MY EXAMS.  To pass my exams you must THINK, REASON, and SYNTHESIZE.

Step #1:
 d) !!!!  it is gravity that attracts the Moon and Earth
 b) !!!!   any object that moves between the Earth and the Sun will be seen in phases on Earth

Uncover each multiple-choice answer one at a time. Read each carefully.  Do not select an answer until you have read all choices.  If two or more answers seem similar, then contrast them word-for-word.  What is the real (if small) difference between them?

Select a question.  Put your fingers over the multiple answers so you do not see them.  Read the question carefully, and think about what the answer might be.  By hiding the multiple-choice answers with your fingers, you are forcing yourself to concentrate on the question being asked and compelling yourself to come up with an idea of your own.  This way, you are not immediately lead-astray by the first multiple choice-answer you see, and are forced to think through the question.

Step #1:

** Remember that a multiple-choice question is NOT a true/false question unless it is specifically described that way.**  It is typical that a multiple-choice question will have some answer-choices which by themselves are truthful statements, but only one of those statements will answer the question which you are being asked.
Example #1:
Our Moon orbits the Earth because

a)  the Moon has no atmosphere
b)  the Moon makes 1 trip around the Earth each month
c)  the Moon is one quarter the size of Earth
d)  there is gravity between the Earth and the Moon

(TRUE)
(TRUE)
(TRUE)
(TRUE)
Example #2:
(TRUE)
(TRUE)
(TRUE)
(FALSE)

The phases of our Moon are caused by

a)  sometimes the Moon moves into Earth's shadow
b)  the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon
c)  the Moon's distance from Earth varies slightly
d)  the Moon is completely dark on one side