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0.4 Self-evaluation by Benjamin Crowell, Light and Matter licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

The introductory part of a book like this is hard to write, because every student arrives at this starting point with a different preparation. One student may have grown up outside the U.S. and so may be completely comfortable with the metric system, but may have had an algebra course in which the instructor passed too quickly over scientific notation. Another student may have already taken calculus, but may have never learned the metric system. The following self-evaluation is a checklist to help you figure out what you need to study to be prepared for the rest of the course.

If you disagree with this statement…* |
you should study this section: |

I am familiar with the basic metric units of meters, kilograms, and seconds, and the most common metric prefixes: milli- (m), kilo- (k), and centi- (c). | section 0.5 Basic of the Metric System |

I know about the newton, a unit of force | section 0.6 The newton, the Metric Unit of Force |

I am familiar with these less common metric prefixes: mega- (M), micro- (μ), and nano- (n). | section 0.7 Less Common Metric Prefixes |

I am comfortable with scientific notation. | section 0.8 Scientific Notation |

I can confidently do metric conversions. | section 0.9 Conversions |

I understand the purpose and use of significant figures. | section 0.10 Significant Figures |

It wouldn't hurt you to skim the sections you think you already know about, and to do the self-checks in those sections.

0.4 Self-evaluation by Benjamin Crowell, Light and Matter licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.