July 13, 2021 | British Columbia
Exams are useful tools to gauge how well you are learning new skills and retaining knowledge in your courses. For many students, they are also one of the most challenging and stressful parts of taking a college program.
Because the content and structure of exams vary so widely, there is no one-size-fits-all way to prepare. Fortunately, there are general approaches you can take that will set you up for the best possible chance for success. To help you get ready, here are some well-established exam prep tips:
You don’t have to fly solo when it comes to exam preparation. Find fellow students taking the same course and work together to prepare. Schedule regular check-ins, talk through confusing concepts from your textbook, and maybe quiz each other. Being part of group focused on acing the exam can provide a boost of motivation to study.
Which topics will be covered? Which chapters should you review? What will the format be? Long before you take your exam, clarify key questions such as these with your instructor. Knowing what kind of test it will be can help you determine how best to prepare. Getting ready for multiple-choice questions, for example, requires a different strategy than preparing for a practical test of lab skills.
Absorbing new knowledge takes time. As soon as you know the date of your exam, start planning how you’ll prepare. You might not need to start studying immediately, but at least look ahead to when you should. Giving yourself enough time to prepare will help you fully digest the new information you’re learning. You’ll also have space to focus on any weak areas of knowledge.
Completing an exam is a type of performance. To perform at your best, you need to show up on the day feeling good and filled with energy. If you’re tired or rundown, your exam performance might suffer. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat nutritious food, and get adequate exercise.
While exams are challenging, they are also your opportunity to prove you’ve mastered your course material – both to your instructor and to yourself. Follow the tips above and you’ll be ready to shine when the big day comes.
Do you have any tips for preparing for exams? We’d love to hear them. Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.