Nontrads - - you CAN do well on your exams. You don’t have to cram and lose sleep. Try these 10 suggestions to help you get a good grade.
1. Go through your notes for each class (and hopefully you will have GREAT notes…) and mark the important parts that your teacher or professor wants you to know. BE THERE for any review - - sometimes you can know ahead of time just what will be on the exam.
Type up your written notes if you have not already done that.
2. Study with your Study Group that you have made ahead of time. Quiz each other. Take flashcards with you. Make note of what questions others bring.
3. Get plenty of rest the night before each exam.
4. De-stress before the exam. Imagine a restful place. Take deep breaths. Believe in a positive outcome. Give yourself positive affirmations like “I know this material” and “I will stay calm during this test and will do well.”
5. Highlight important sections or points in your textbook with a highlighter pen. You can also type up these highlighted sections and study them between exams.
6. Bring two pens and pre-sharpened pencils with you to the exam. This will save you time in case one does not work. Arrive at the exam early, so you can pick the best seat for you.
7. Check the two best professor checking sites, ProfEval and PickaProf. Check each teacher or professor to see what has been written about them there. Often, you can get clues about their exams there.
8. Use mnemotics to remember important dates, facts, or names. Making a new word out of the first letters of a “chain” of information, and learning a concept by associating it with a picture are two kinds of mnemotics. See the link below to learn more about this great remembering tool.
9. Instead of just cramming the night before the exam, space your studying through the month or, at the very least, the last two weeks before the exam. This will “set” the information much better in your mind, making a much better grade.
10. Use all the common “tricks” for answering questions if you do not know the answer. This includes ignoring obviously wrong answers, and answering only questions you know first on a timed test, and going back to answer problem questions only after you have completed the test.
And (very important): ALWAYS answer every question, even if you don’t know the answer.
Here are some more blog posts about Exams and study tips:
10 Tips for Tests
The 2-column Note Page
Study Groups for Nontraditional Students
More about Study Groups
Check the sites below for even more tips.
The University of Pennsylvania’s 10 Tips!
9 Types of Mnemotics for Better Memory
Lifehack’s How to Do Well on a Final Examination
(includes a suggestions to wear a wristwatch – good advice)
Do you have more suggestions?
Please leave a comment at the end of this post so that I can include this on the next Exam Tips posting.