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We learned how to test-drive the repository back in Section x.x, Creating and Reading Records, on page xxx.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Back is not a preposition here, it is an adverb. It means at a previous time, as JSBangs said.

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Thanks for your answering! I am really confused about the structure of the sentence, now I get it clear! –  Liu Jan 10 '11 at 4:55
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This is a colloquial way of saying, We learned how to test-drive the repository in the previous section x.x, Creating and Reading Records.

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Thanks for your answering! –  Liu Jan 10 '11 at 4:55
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