Tips You Need to Know on Preparing for Exams (in college)
1. You need to know the format of the exam. Is it multiple choice, essay, open response, oral presentation? It really helps to know the format because you can start from there.
2. You need to know when the exam will be. Its usually in the syllabus, but if not, as your professor. Write in down in your calendar. Circle it in big, bright colors. If you miss your exam, you are doomed! Know as you are studying throughout the weeks and count down to the exam so you know how much time to spend studying.
3. You need to know where the exam will be. Is it going to be across campus in a building you have never heard of? If so, you need to go see it for yourself exactly where it is at least the day before, because you will panic when you don’t find it 5 mins before the exam starts because you ‘thought you knew’ where it was, but there was no one in there or you walk in on a psychology class looking stupid as you ask, “I thought this was my Calculus 127 Exam class.” The professor will not care that you got lost. She or he will expect that you know it or at least ask a day before the exam.
4. You need to know that you have to schedule your study time however you need to. Yes, you, all by yourself, need to go to the library without your mom calling you, and telling you to go make something of the thousands of dollars she is spending on you. You know your schedule. Make time to study, or you will fail.
5. You need to know not to have an anxiety attack the night before. Did you do everything you were supposed to? Did you space out your studying and spent enough time and effort into it? If the answer is yes, then don’t stay up late worrying, or worse, pulling an all nighter because you think you will learn more information. All nighters are terrible before the test. You are better off going to the gym the night before, shake off some nerves, and sweat it out.
6. You need to know to eat before the test. Hearing your stomach growl as you are trying to concentrate on passing this class is not going to help you, only put you in a bad mood, which is scientifically proven reduces test scores. So, go eat and be happy. Also, keep a water bottle with you, so you don’t have to go find a water fountain on the other side of the building and save time. Finally, go to the bathroom before the exam starts, that saves some more time :)
7. You need to know to come prepared for the exam. Do you need certain books? Are you supposed to hand in an essay due before? Bring extra pencils and pens, you’re not in kindergarten anymore. Are you allowed to bring a calculator? Does your teacher let you have some helpful stuff for it, such as class notes, etc?
8. You need to know specifically what will be on the exam and what will not. Sometimes students try to learn everything when the professor told them the specific pages/chapters/lecture slides that will be on the test. Don’t waste your time memorizing or reading things that are never going to be asked of you.
9. You need to know to go to class review sessions. Students often think this is useless because its only an hour or two, but this is so not true. I had a professor who went over the actual exam in the session and people who came to the session scored As and the ones who didn’t show, maybe because they thought they could study better on their own, scored much lower. Ask specific questions that you need to clear up. But also, if you didn’t go to class all semester and you show up asking, “so what is calculus?”, the professor will not be so amused by you.
10. You need to know that the first exam actually counts, and is most likely the easiest test out of the whole semester. If you fuck this up, you will need to try so hard to balance it out with a good grade, however exams get typically harder as the semester goes on.