Regular study rather than just before the exam
The earlier you start, the more time you will have to prepare for the exam. You
don’t have to wait until exam time approaches; try to set the stage from the beginning
of the course by reviewing the material after each class. By starting early and
studying on a regular basis, you will have a better opportunity to absorb the information
and life will be a lot easier when it’s time to put it all together for the exam.
Studying for the Exam
You are now armed with a plan and ready to start studying for the exam. Try to study in a location where you can concentrate and won’t be interrupted. You can work with others or join a study group if you find it helpful, but be careful to keep it from turning into an inefficient use of your time. Some proven study tools and techniques are listed below – people respond to different learning styles, so use what works for you.
Revising with Summary Notes
Make a condensed version of your readings and class notes by creating summary notes.
Pinpoint the key terms and concepts and make sure that you understand them. You
can identify key terms and concepts by paying attention to what has been emphasized
in your classes, textbooks and course syllabus. For example, if a particular topic
has taken up a lot of time in the classroom, it is more likely to be on the exam
and you should have a good understanding of it.
Memorizing with Flashcards
Flashcards (or “index cards”) are a good memorization tool. Reduce your summary
notes into bullet points, keywords, lists, formulas and diagrams and place them
onto a card for each topic. (Some people like to use flashcards to prepare their
summary notes in the first place, while others find that it leads to information
Practicing under Exam Conditions
Knowing the course material is necessary but not sufficient to guarantee success
on the exam – you also need to be able to communicate the answers effectively under
exam conditions. Practice using sample questions in the same format as the exam
and answer them in a simulated test environment. The sample questions can be sourced
from old exams and assignments, which are often similar from year to year with small
changes. Even though you are only practicing, it is better to write full answers
to the questions so you can work through the entire thought process.
Taking Care of Yourself
Don’t forget to take care of yourself during the exam preparation. It is very important
to be in good mental and physical condition for the exam. A small amount of stress
can get you psyched, but too much mental or physical strain can be detrimental to
your performance. The last thing you want to do is to sabotage your efforts by ignoring
On the Day of Exam