The written exam is the most prevalent means of evaluating
student learning, at the university. So -- Be
A large portion of the Learning Skills Program can be applied to
exam preparation, since, in effect, everything you do in a course
(except possibly work on assignments) will contribute to your
performance on the final exam: this includes taking lecture notes
and reading, as well as more deliberate review and study
Guidelines and Tips
(1) Target Your Studying
Figure out what is important and will likely appear on the exam,
by looking at old exams and analyzing what the professor
emphasizes in class. This includes not only content, but also the
level of learning of the
questions, and the learning channel .
(2) Practice Appropriate Activities
Studying for an exam should be seen as practicing the activities
you will have to perform in the exam, under exam conditions. For
example, if you will have to do problems, practice doing problems
from memory, within a time limit. Or, if you will have to write
essays, practice writing essays from memory, within a time limit.
(3) Keep Up Throughout the Term
Keeping in mind the two guidelines above, review regularly
throughout the term. Without regular review, you may have to
re-learn a large portion of the course in the week or
two before the final -- when you are most likely to be finishing
up major assignments and studying for other courses. With regular
review, you will likely do well on the exam even if you do not
have much time to study.
Towards the end of each term, we usually offer workshops on exam
preparation that also cover exam anxiety, and strategies to apply
when you are actually writing the exam. However, we urge you to
get off to an early start with exam preparation, by keeping the
exam in mind, and reviewing throughout the term. If you
anticipate difficulties in this area, make an appointment
to see a Learning Skills counsellor -- as soon as possible. Or if difficulties arise
toward the end of the term, we may be able to help you develop
and apply efficient strategies for "damage control." Check out
our schedule of activities for this month.
The Modular Learning Skills
Course covers a number of skills that will contribute to
successful writing of exams, either directly or indirectly,
including three specifically on exam preparation.
The following handouts on preparing for and writing exams are
available at Counselling Services. .
A major problem that some people face in dealing with exams is
anxiety. For tips on dealing with anxiety and stress, check the
following Counselling Services materials:
Updated: May 2012