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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

8 Exam Preparation Tips

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EXAMS ARE HERE! I hate this time of year. But there are some ways to reduce the stress. These tips/hints are some strategies that I use when preparing for college exams.

Conflicts: As soon as you know your exam schedule make sure there are no conflicts (i.e. exams overlapping or more than two in one day). Do not panic if this happens to you. It is usually very easy to change an exam date due to conflict. Contact either your professors or program coordinator immediately.

Create a Study Schedule: I find this to be the most crucial part. It is important, especially during high stress times, to have a structured plan of attack. Determine how many hours of studying you will need each day until the exam. And for every day write down specific study goals.

Example: Monday December 3rd: 2 hrs to finish writing notes for Organizational Behaviour, 4 hrs studying for Organizational Behaviour – Chapters 1- 7

Try to leave some flexibility in your schedule in case you underestimated your needed study time or something unexpected comes up. I try to leave one day a week open for an opportunity to catch up if necessary.

Writing Study Notes: It is always helpful to write concise study notes for each class. They can be really short (fitting the whole course on one page). You may only need to write keywords or phrases so you can go over as a refresher or to test yourself. But it is also a good idea to write a little more detail about things you have trouble remembering.

Remove Distractions: This is very important. While studying, do not listen to music, watch TV, play games, talk to friends, or think about anything but studying.

Study Groups: This is something I do not usually do because I prefer to study alone. But you may find it very effective to test one another after you have done some studying, or swap study notes.

Other Responsibilities: Don’t neglect your other responsibilities like your job or cleaning your apartment/dorm. Plan your study schedule around these duties.

Take a Break: Be aware of info overload. Studying for too long of a time can make your brain become numb so that you cannot possibly pack any more knowledge into your head. Plan to give yourself short, interval, and frequent breaks so you can refresh your mind.

Personalize: Use the study strategies and techniques that work for you. Everyone studies differently and that’s okay as long as your idea of studying isn’t drinking beer and gambling online.

Making a plan will allow you to put your studying needs in perspective so you will reduce the likelihood of running into problems. These techniques should help you to study without the panic attacks or pulling out your hair.

Good Luck on Your Exams!

Discussion: What studying tips do you recommend?
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