If you’re new to the quarter system, you may be surprised that you are already approaching your first midterm exams. Some of you may even have some this week!
There are many ways to study for exams. If you already have a system that works for you, that’s fantastic! If you’re interested in some new ideas and tips, read on and we’ll walk you through some recommendations.
1. Review your syllabus for exam dates, proctoring requirements, points awarded (what percentage of your class grade) and format (essay, multiple choice, etc.). If you are unclear on any of these, reach out to your instructor or TA for clarification early. You’ll want to make sure they have enough time to respond, and you still have time to take action based on what you hear back.
2. Develop a study plan for each exam. Determine what resources you’ll need, many many days/weeks you have to prepare, and about how much additional time you’ll need to plan for on top of weekly course requirements to fit in exam preparation. Check out the exam preparation worksheet and the 7 day study plan for some ideas on engaging with this process.
* if you are using a proctor, make sure you know when to be at the location, how to get there, where to park, where the building is located, what materials you can bring, etc.
3. Engage with the material in active and variable ways. This is an important part of the memory and recall process. While reading and reviewing notes is important, incorporating additional methods will help with retaining the information. You can create your own study guide or outline if one isn’t provided, create and use note cards, complete the practice questions in your textbook, and/or teach someone else about what you are learning. Review the Active Studying worksheet for some ideas.
4. Organize a study group. Although you might not be in the same town as your classmates, study groups are still an option! If you haven’t yet, check out the student page on Google Apps for OSU (Links to an external site.). Google Hangouts (Links to an external site.) is a great option for holding virtual study sessions, and all students can log in with their ONID email. Need some ideas on how to make the most of a study group? Take some tips from the Academic Success Center on How to Conduct a Successful Study Group.
5. Take care of yourself! Managing stress, getting enough sleep, and other self-care items go a long way in exam performance. Pulling an “all-nighter” isn’t likely to improve your test scores, and isn’t recommended. Check out our Ecampus Student Success blog post on Beating the stresses of exams.
The video below take a more thorough look at test preparation, and discusses some ideas for incorporating exam review into your daily study habits as an ongoing process.
If you have an exam in the next day or two that you’re feeling unprepared for, read over some recommendations for Emergency Studying (Links to an external site.). Do your best, and think about how you can take a more proactive approach for your next exam.