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A checklist for problem solving like a boss

January 19, 2014

It’s final exam time around here, and I’ve spent a bit of time trying to think of ways in which I can help students avoid some of those careless mistakes that often prevent them from showing the level of understudying they’re capable of reaching. Taking a page from Atul Guwande’s The Checklist Maifesto, I put together the following “How to solve physics problems like a boss” checklist.

Screen Shot 2014 01 19 at 11 44 28 PM

link to pdf.

I’ve emailed this out to my honors physics students, and plan to give them a paper copy on exam day as well. I’d love any suggestions you might have for ways to improve it. Are there check-steps I missed? I have a tiny concern that something like this might make some really slow some of my students down and push them toward bossing over details. What do you think?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2014 8:22 am

    This seems like an incredibly helpful list. As a new college student slowly moving into Physics/Engineering, I take all of the help I can get. Where can one sign up to receive future advice and tips?!

  2. January 21, 2014 2:58 pm

    This a very nice checklist. Maybe you could include a check to use numbers in scientific notation which ease calculations in a lot of cases.

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