Almost every university has helpful guidelines and tips on how to study for final exams. However, in my experience this just overloaded me with more information at a time when I needed to focus on my exams, not more reading.
Here is my simple guide on how to study for final exams – I call it the NEW 3 R’s.
Read through the guidelines of the exam. You will usually get a little bit of a heads up on exactly what to expect in the exam room. Can you answer these questions:
- Is your exam multiple choice, short answer, essay or mathematical equations?
- How many questions will there be?
- Do you have to answer them all, or do you get a choice (eg. 1 from 2 questions)?
- Is it open book or closed book?
- Does your lecturer give you tips on which chapters of your textbook to study?
- Are they nice enough to narrow this down to exactly which pages you should study?
Familiarise yourself with what to expect in the exam room, so that there are no surprises.
Follow the advice of your lecturers ans revise the content you need to for the exam. This is where you will actually have to put in the time to revise the content that you were taught throughout your course. Generally, this can come from the textbook, online resources, readings, workbooks and photocopies or handouts you may have received throughout the semester.
You don’t want the first time you attempt a question to be in the exam room. Have a go at practice questions under exam conditions. Ask your teacher for past exam papers or practice questions. Failing that, attempt questions from your textbook. Set yourself a time limit and attempt the questions in the time you will have in the exam. You want this practice to be as real as possible. When you have finished, evaluate how you went.
- Did you complete all of the questions in time?
- Did you spend too long on one question?
- Did you have enough time to plan your answers?
- Have you answered the questions correctly?
If you can have somebody else review your answers this would be a great idea. Perhaps your tutor or teacher will check your answers and give you feedback. Have a friend from university read your answers and tell you how you will improve. Once you have some feedback, attempt a second practice, until you feel more confident.
Do you have any quick and easy exam tips to share?
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