Do the Readings. Consider annotating as you read, taking notes of key points. This will save time later.
Go to Class and take notes. Take down all key information. Consider using abbreviations, and key words that will spark your memory later. Highlight anything the instructor says is “important.”
Organize a study group. Share notes, develop outlines, and discuss the course content. This will help you get information that you may have missed.
Go to review sessions that the instructor may offer, complete review sheets, pay attention to what the instructor says about the format of the exam.
Review any supplemental material the instructor provides in class or on Canvas.
Identify key concepts and potential questions. You instructor may provide a study guide which will assist you. If not, go through your notes and think about what the big themes are.
Outline answers for the potential questions and themes you have identified and the ones your instructor provides. Include ALL of the material in your outline including class notes, reading material and other sources. Actively outlining the material will help you remember better than passively reading over the material.
As you outline the material, clarify your understanding of concepts and facts.
Review your outline and think about how you will answer the questions that you have identified.
TAKING THE EXAM
Read the entire exam. Pay attention to how many points are allocated for each question and plan your time accordingly.
Analyze the question carefully. Focus on the action verbs. These will guide you in terms of answering the question. (Define, Explain, Compare, Contrast, Prove, Asses etc.) Make sure you are respond to the specific prompt(s) listed in the question.
Plan your answer. Take time to organize your thoughts. Prepare a short outline before you start to write.
Make sure to answer all parts of the question if there are multiple parts or prompts.
Focus on what you know, not what you do not know.
Do not try to pad your answers or repeat information just to fill the space.
Pay attention to the time and do not spend too much time on one questions. For example, if you have an hour to complete the exam, and one question is worth 50 points and two questions are worth 25 points, divide your time accordingly spending about half of the time on the 50 point questions and a quarter of your time on each of the 25 point questions.
If you are running out of time, write down an outline of the remaining portion of your answer to demonstrate that you know the material and ran out of time.
If you have time go back and proof read to make sure your instructor can understand what you have written.