There are three main steps that you can take to ensure that you have studied effectively for your tests
- Prepare a study checklist.
- Make summary sheets.
- Do practice tests.
Preparing a Study Checklist
- Look through notes, textbooks, course outline.
- Prepare a list of major topics covered.
- Divide each heading into sub-topics:
- Major topic: Types of exam questions
a) Objective exam questions:
- Multiple Choice.
b) Subjective exam questions:
Making Summary Sheets
- Look at each sub-topic from your checklist.
- Write down a key word or phrase that will help you remember the entire concept.
- Use question form where possible E.g., “What are the three types of objective questions?”
- Include definitions, vocabulary, calculations, points emphasized in class on your sheets.
- Do this for each sub-topic.
- These will serve as your study notes!
How to Use Summary Sheets
- Ask yourself exam questions you have prepared ALOUD.
- Rehearsing is the fastest way to learn.
- Reading over and over is the slowest way to practice the exam.
- Increases number of questions on exam that will be familiar to you.
- You will be giving your study sessions a focus so you will be less likely to waste time.
- Best preparation for an exam is to practice exactly what you will be doing when you write it.
- Eliminates stress of exam because the practice will make it seem ‘old hat’ to you.
How to set one up
- Use questions from old exam and textbook reviews.
- The internet and senior students are perfect source.
Types of Exam Questions
- More detail oriented.
- Recognition based.
- Multiple choice.
- Matching Questions.
- Sometimes easier because partial marks are rewarded.
- Require a broader understanding of material.
- Short-answer questions.
Take-home / Open-book exam
- Performance expectations are higher.
Objective Exam Questions
Multiple Choice Questions
- Try to answer before looking at options;If you can’t, then look at ALL options before answering.
- Answer the questions you know first.
- Your first instinct is usually correct.
- Take questions at face value – tricks are rare!
- Watch out for double negatives (e.g. “Not studying for exams doesn’t help”)
Cross out both negatives and then answer
E.g., “Studying for exams helps”
- Rephrase question in your own words.
- Look for answers in other exam questions but, don’t waste time.
- Cross out answers you know are incorrect.
- Never leave a question unanswered.
- If two answers are similar, choose one of them.
- If two answers have similar words, choose one of them.
- If two answers have opposite meanings, choose one of them.
- Choose the longest answerTrue-False Questions.
- Don’t spend too much time on any one question.
- Look for qualifiers in questions, E.g., most, sometimes, rarely. They are always true.
- Questions that contain “always” or “never” are usually false.
Other Objective Exam Questions
- Eliminate options that do not result in grammatically correct sentences.
- Look for cue words (eg., an, as, that, the, these)
- Make sure the answer makes conceptual sense too.
- Determine whether any option could be used more than once.
- Do all match-ups you are sure of first.
Subjective Exam Questions
- Read the entire exam first.
- Make your exam easy to read; This puts the marker in a positive frame of mind.
- Read directions carefully.
- Plan your answer; Make a mini outline – if you run out of time, this could provide partial marks.
- Get right to the point; Be concise, clear, compact. It is better to know a little and present it well, than to know a lot and present it poorly.
- Keep to the point.
- Don’t forget to include the basics.
- Use examples or diagrams to show you understand.
- Keep your eye on the time – don’t spend too much time on one question.
- Always write SOMETHING – even if you don’t know anything.
- Use all of the allotted time – it’s not a race!
- Proofread, proofread, proofread.
- If exam time runs out, don’t be afraid to use point form to finish.
ON EXAM DAY
- Realize that you won’t know ALL of the answers.
- Accept yourself & what you know.
- Read through the entire exam.
- Plan your time well.
- Answer the questions you know first.
- Answer the questions that are worth the most, second.
- Mark up the exam & use scrap paper to guide your thinking.
- Analyze = examine in detail; make judgments.
- Compare = Show similarities and differences.
- Contrast = Show differences.
- Define = Explain meaning in short answer.
- Describe = tell all you know; use details.
- Discuss = write everything you know in logical progression.
- Evaluate = examine positive and negative aspects; draw a conclusion.
- Illustrate = use examples and details.
- Justify = give reasons to support a proposition.
- Outline= Using main ideas, give an overview.
- Prove = use facts and evidence to support a position.
- Summarize = give main ideas in a short answer.
I wish all of you the best in your exam preparation.