Dec 12th 2007
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.