Analyze your weaknesses on the Exams

The exams are in five parts with different kinds of questions. The following constitutes advice on studying once you see where your exams may be weakest:

If you had trouble with matching:

You will not memorize all the speeches to be able to identify the speech from memory. The key to doing well on this portion is to identify the cues that tell you who the speaker is. That might be subject matter, style, iconic phrase, or issue/time period. I do not try to make these hard. There is an obvious cue in the text to who delivered the speech.

I recommend that you construct a table.  On the first column list all the speeches you have studied. Across the top create columns for the speaker, when the speech was given, the occasion for the speech, the issue addressed, what the speaker needed to accomplish, the subject matter of the speech, the rhetorical characteristics that stand out in the speech, memorable phrases, and what the speech teaches us about leadership.  Just doing such a table is an excellent review.

If you had trouble with multiple choice:

There are several kinds of multiple choice questions. They test your knowledge of leadership and how it demands certain things of rhetors, the rhetorical history of the century and the moment we are studying, important things about the speeches we study, and your understanding of important concpets we develop as the course proceeds.

Here are some suggestions if you did not do well on this part:

If you had trouble with the fill-in-the-blanks:

This section will test your control over options that speakers might face or in decisions they might make, and also the variety of speaking we encounter at various times of the century. By its nature the test strategy tries to get you to produce lists. So, it will test you where lists are present.

If you trouble with short answer questions:

These questions either ask you to go into some depth on an important concept or to relate concepts, speakers or times to each other. They lend themselves to comparison and contrast questions.

If you had trouble with the essay questions:

Essay questions require that you pull things from many parts of the course together, usually applying them to a speech or speeches. They test your command of the logic that governs the study of speaking and leadership.

Further advice is available.

Return to COMM 461 Home Page