I met a science teacher who has his students log how much time they spent preparing for his tests as such:

In case you haven’t brushed up on math, lately, this is the notation for the number of hours spent studying to the power of the number of days. He with the largest total value is he who spent his time the most efficiently and effectively.

Writing down your prep time is part of your grade in his class. Honesty is encouraged, as exaggerating the time you spent studying earns the same credit as avoiding such a foolish lie. Over time, he says, students figure out that the highest grades on the tests tend to go to students who don’t cram in the last day, instead spreading their 24 hours of studying over several days.

It isn’t a perfect aid — it falls through with the student who spends less than half an hour studying — but it’s close enough. I’m tempted to crib it off of him, and I teach social science.

I knew there was a use for this math stuff.


  1. i love this idea. I’m going to use it as apart of my tests next year. It seems that this would make a GREAT conversation piece at Parent teacher conferences!

  2. I only wish I came up with it.

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