It's final exams time - check out these last minute tips

The Learning Assistance & Resource Center at West Chester University of Pennsylvania is pleased to offer the following tips to help students who are preparing for final exams:

  • Review should come early while material is still fresh in your mind.

  • The first reading of the material should be followed by a break of several hours before a second reading of the same material.

  • Predict exam questions using as many as possible resources including questions the textbook, chapter headings, class notes, and previous quizzes and exams.

  • Keep all previous tests and review them prior to taking the final exam.

  • Several days before the final exam, plan four or five assigned times in which to cover all of the term's material.

  • The last session should be spent looking over the material of the whole course.

  • Review the main points, especially those you find most difficult to recall.

  • As a rule of thumb, go through the main headings of the text or your notes and see if you can remember the content.

  • For the week before and during exams, life should be as normal as possible and normal habits of sleeping, eating, exercising, etc. should be maintained.

  • Get rest. A clear head is important for the efficient taking of exams.

  • Eat a nutritious breakfast (or meal) before the exam, but do not overeat. Complex carbohydrates are better than foods high in fat content.

  • Arrive early and choose a seat where latecomers will not disturb you. Do not sit by a window or next to the door; you will be distracted and will lose your train of thought.

  • Look over the entire exam to see how long it is, which parts count more in scoring, or which parts may be easier to answer or require more time.

  • Answer the easy questions first! Attack only one question at a time without worrying about the ones to come.

  • Outline before answering essay questions.

  • Leave a few minutes at the end to review your answers. Do not second-guess your answers to multiple-choice questions; your initial "hunch" is usually right.

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