TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR FINAL EXAMS
Preparing for Final Exams involves:
- Understanding tests examinations.
- Time and life management techniques to prepare for exams.
- Finding out about your exams.
- Gathering and organizing your course information for the exam.
- Drilling, rehearsing, and practicing for the exam.
Understanding Examinations -- What are exams about, and what are they looking for from you?
- True-False Format -- Testing for your knowledge of the facts.
- Multiple-Choice Format -- Testing for your knowledge of the material and enough comprehension to choose the correct answer for each question.
- Essay Format -- Testing for knowledge and understanding of material or being able to apply knowledge and understanding to answering a question.
Managing Your Priorities, Life, Time, and Place to prepare for your examinations:
When you begin to prepare for your examinations three or more weeks before the exam, your top life priority for that preparation period of time must be preparing for your exams, thereby earning your degree.
Scheduling -- Try to schedule large periods of time at the same time to prepare for your exams.
Place -- You need to find/make a place that is consistently quiet with few distractions.
Planning -- Plan steps for preparing for your exams so that you are not trying to take on too much at one time and so that you can see yourself steadily building strength toward taking your examination.
Get Help -- Your family, friends, and employers may be able and willing to help you with what you need to do to prepare for your examinations:
- Give a copy of your study schedule to your family and friends; they may be quite willing to help you to stay on schedule and on task.
- Tell your family what you need in the way of a quiet study space; they may be very helpful in designating a particular spot for you to study and making very sure that it is quiet and not distracting.
- Many employers value good employees and their employees getting a college education. Can you discuss your examination schedule and study needs with your employer? Maybe they would be willing to help you with schedule changes.
Finding out about your exams -- What do you need to know?
You need to gather all of the information that you can about your examinations so that you know what to prepare for:
- What type of exam will it be?
- How long will the exam or different parts of the exam be?
- How will the examination be organized; are there parts to it and what will they involve?
- What will be the rules for the examination and the procedures for doing it?
- What are the likely topics that the exam will cover; can you figure this out from your syllabus, the kinds of notes you have been taking, the categories of material that you have been covering?
- What is the professor looking for the exam to do; have you asked him/her?
Gathering and Organizing Your Information for studying:
Group your information (notes or note and reading summaries) into piles by topic of what be on the examination.
Make study guides for each pile of information to test yourself on that information.
What should be on each Study Guide?
- The key points of that subject.
- Key terms and vocabulary for you to make sure that you know.
- Two or three self-test questions for you to answer. Think of what you would ask if you were the professor.
Drilling, rehearsing, and practicing for your exams:
- Learn your important terms and concepts with drill cards, also known as flash cards.
- Answer your self-test questions in outline form. In other words, write down an outline of the points that you would make if you encountered a question like this on an exam. What order would you answer in? This helps to fix and organize information about key subjects in your mind.
- If you cannot easily answer one of your own questions, that is the time to look up the subject in your notes and text and answer it.
- For performance exams, practice simple problems or exercises repeatedly until you
have the procedures down.