While some people flourish in exams, completing their best work under stressful conditions, others need to work hard and prepare themselves in order to perform well during the exam period. Here are five tips for effective exam preparation:
- Review during the semester. Start reviewing course material after the first class by rewriting lecture notes or taking notes from the weekly assigned readings. This will help you remember the material during the exam while also making it easier to understand the lecture material as it is presented through the semester.
- Find out about the exam. Ask your teacher or lecturer what to expect from the exam. What topics will be covered, what kind of questions will be asked and how long is the exam? Make sure you have all the details and make a note of any exam tips your teacher gives through the semester. Go through past exams and ask for practice questions to prepare for the exam.
- Create a study schedule. Find out the dates and times of your exams and prepare a study schedule. Your schedule should allocate specific days to the revision of each topic. Try and allocate revision time during the periods when you concentrate best. If you are a morning person, spend some time studying in the morning and save your social coffee or an exercise break for the time of day when you feel flat or distracted.
- Maintain your usual routine. If you start drinking an extra coffee or two, working well into the night or give up workouts to devote yourself to study, you are more likely to increase your stress levels and adversely affect your exam performance. Maintain your regular diet, sleep and exercise patterns to stay healthy and alert during your exam.
- Pack your bag. Make sure you have everything you need for the exam from your student ID to pen, paper and calculator. For open book exams, make sure you bring the relevant notes and textbooks for this exam. Don’t forget to pack a clear water bottle and stay hydrated during your exam.
This extract is taken from the Communication Skills Guidebook. This book is designed to equip students with the essential communications skills they need to succeed at university, including: essay writing, researching, referencing your work, public speaking and working in a group. It is easy to navigate, with lots of tips and examples, and will be students’ trusted resource throughout their entire degree.
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