Tutor profile: Molly G.
Subject: Study Skills
How can I finish my math tests on time?
I think confidence is key here. Instead of trying to rush through the problems, which can spiral your anxiety and maybe even make you slower, try building confidence in your practice and smoothing out the process of solving the problems while you're studying. I recommend a lot of practice problems because they help you learn the process without having to think too much about each step. Testing yourself as you study by timing some practice problems might also help because you will get a better sense of the pacing.
What is operant conditioning?
Operant conditioning is simply rewards and punishments meant to shape behavior. Any reward (or reinforcement) will increase the behavior, any punishment will decrease the behavior. A reward or punishment can be positive or negative, which refers to whether a stimulus was added or taken away. Positive punishment involves adding an undesirable stimulus (such as hitting) in order to decrease the behavior. Negative punishment would be taking away a desirable stimulus, for example, withdrawing attention. Positive reinforcement increases behavior by adding a desirable stimulus such as praise, whereas negative reinforcement increases a behavior by removing an undesirable stimulus such as a chore.
What is a confidence interval?
When we collect data from a sample, we know that the sample is probably different from the entire population that we want to study. Confidence intervals are our way of coming up with a range of likely possibilities to reflect the true population data. That way, instead of having an unreliable sample number, we can be 95% (or whatever % value is requested) sure that the population value is between two numbers. You can see this in the real world with political polling. The news will say "Candidate A is polling at 46%, with a 4 point margin of error." A confidence interval is simply a value plus or minus a margin of error, so in this example the pollsters can construct a confidence interval to say that Candidate A likely has between 42% and 50% of the vote.
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