Survival kit for final exams
November 19, 2004
Filed under Archives
With final exams slowly edging in on us, student’s hearts and minds begin to swell with frustration, excitement, and fear. However, these feelings can be curbed by doing what many have avoided all semester: studying. Even though this won’t guarantee an A, it can give you that boost of confidence needed to prevent you from shutting down at finals.
Days leading up to exams
Thankfully our institution provides us with excellent resources like the Academic Skills Center as well as an accessible faculty. In conjunction with these resources, here are other steps suggested for proper exam preparation:1. Set up a realistic review schedule.
2. Give special attention to what is considered important in the course.
3. Try to predict questions so you can rehearse possible answers.
4. Utilize study groups.
5. The night before the exam, maintain a normal schedule by getting enough sleep.
6. Eat a light meal near the exam.
Day of the exam
As ASC Director, Sue Keith says, make sure to “eat, sleep and breathe.” On top of this advice other suggestions for the day of the exam include:
1. Be sober.
2. Get to your exam ahead of time, so you can be relaxed.
3. Be sure you bring all items needed.
4. Try to sit where you usually sit if possible.
5. Don’t cram at the last minute; this can do more harm than good
6. Avoid conversing with other students prior to the exam. Last minute discussions can cause facts to and ideas to scramble, which increases anxiety.
7. Read and reread the directions until you clearly understand them. Don’t hesitate to ask your professor for clarification.
8. Determine which questions are the easiest and do them first.
9. Carefully consider the weight of each question and be sure to do the ones that count the most; don’t waste time on questions that won’t count much.
Knowing how the test will be presented is key; most professors will tell you if the exam is composed of objective questions, essays or both. Some tips for acing essay questions are:
1. Be clear and specific in your answer: cut to the chase. Support your ideas and conclusions with facts using class discussions, texts, and lectures.
2. Portion out available time so you can answer all the questions. Leave enough time to read over your answers and make corrections.
3. Begin your essay by turning the question into an opening statement, then proceed.
4. If you draw a blank, jot down anything that comes to mind. The act of writing will often trigger ideas, leading to legitimate answers.
Some find objective questions as their time to shine, while others can become frustrated by all the options given; however, it is wise to:
1. Answer all the questions you are sure about first, saving the harder ones for later.
2. If you guess, put down the first answer that comes to you.
3. Don’t change your answer unless you are absolutely sure the other is right.
4. Read the questions over several times, explaining them to yourself; sometimes rephrasing the question can better your understanding.
5. Be sure to check your answers.
Overall “give your brain time to do what it does to prevent from scrambling information”, said Keith.
Hopefully these tips provided by the ASC are helpful to you in these coming weeks. The information provided in this article can be found in greater detail in the ASC located in Hege Library and online at www.Guilford.edu/services. Don’t starve yourself of the resources available to you, or you might find yourself purging on some hard to swallow questions come exam time.