Exam Preparation

Before Exam Day:

1. Manage review times

  • Daily reviews
  • Weekly reviews
  • Major reviews

2. Create review tools

  • Study checklists
  • Flash cards
  • Mind-map summaries

3. Plan a strategy

  • Do a dry run
  • Ask the professor what to expect

Exam Day

Just before the test:

  • Arrive early
  • don’t ask people how much they studied
  • Pay attention to verbal instructions
  • Scan the entire test first
  • Evaluate the importance of each section and plan to spend appropriate time on them
  • Read the instructions slowly and carefully
  • Jot down memory aids, facts, mnemonic devices, other memory techniques that you have created

During the test:

  • Allow yourself some panic time, but keep it to a couple of minutes
  • Answer the shortest and easiest questions first
  • Next answer multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank questions
  • Move to short answer and essay questions
  • Use memory techniques when you are stuck
  • Pace yourself and watch the time
  • Leave space between answers to add information if you need to
  • Look for answers in other questions

Types of Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

  • Check the directions to see if they call for more than one answer
  • Answer each question in your head before you look at the options
  • Use the method of elimination - cross out answers that you know are not correct
  • Be sure to read all the potential answers before you select one
  • Mark the questions you could not answer and come back later
  • If you have no idea as to what the answer is and if incorrect answers are not deducted from your score, then here are some tips:
    • If two answers are similar, except for one or two words, choose one of these
    • If two answers have similar sounding or looking words (i.e. intermediate & intermittent) then choose one of these
    • If answers cover a wide range of numbers choose one in the middle of the range. In the same way, avoid answers with extreme language (i.e. "never" or "always") unless you are very sure about them.
    • If there is no penalty for guessing and none of the above thoughts work, then close your eyes and go for it!!

True or false Questions

  • Answer them quickly
  • Read carefully
  • Look for qualifiers and circle or underline them
  • Watch out for double negatives

Open Book Exams

  • Write down definitions, ideas, pictures on a separate sheet
  • Place post-it notes onto important pages of the textbook
  • If using notes, number the pages and write out a short table of contents

Short answer & Fill in the Blank

  • Concentrate on key words or facts
  • Overlearning will benefit here; it will help quickness

Essay Questions

  • Write legibly
  • Use a pen
  • Be brief; avoid filler sentences that say nothing
  • Write on one side of the page only
  • Double space your answers
  • Review your answers for grammar, spelling errors, clarity, and legibility