Tips for Preparing for Exams

During your time as a university student, you will have to go through exam periods at least twice a year. While this may be a stressful prospect, there are strategies that you can adopt in order to successfully face your exams.

General tips

Time management skills are essential when it comes to preparing exams. University terms are usually programmed so that you will have a “revision period”, during which no other classes are held. This normally takes place a week before the exam period. As much as possible, try to keep your revision period free of other commitments, so that you can concentrate on the task of preparing for the exams.

It is recommended that you break down your revision sessions into periods of 30 minutes each. Also, think about whether you are a day or a night person, and program your study sessions accordingly.

Study techniques

It is important to know what type of a learner you are. Experts claim that learners can be divided into three categories: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. There are specific study techniques for each type of learner.

Visual learners learn better when they can see things. But, how can you see abstract concepts, like the ones you are likely to learn during your course? Make ideas visually stand out by using coloured highlighters. You could use a particular colour for the main ideas, another for supporting arguments, and yet a different one for additional information. Prepare index cards (or flashcards) with vocabulary words and key concepts and keep them with you, so that you can take a quick look at them often.

Auditory learners benefit from hearing things. If you are an auditory learner, you could try recording your lecture notes and listening to the tapes throughout the day. If you have a study partner, meet up for “talking sessions”, during which you can tell your partner the information you are revising. You could also do this alone, as talking about your study notes and hearing the information will help you memorise it. Repeat out loud keywords, concepts and theories.

If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you can maximise your learning skills by incorporating some kind of movement into your study routine. Try to have many different types of study materials, including lecture notes, index cards and diagrams. When studying, walk around your room switching between the various materials as often as you need. Use a computer to type notes and to look up additional information. Having your own board could also be useful, as you can summarise information and write it on the board as you are revising. Some kinaesthetic learners benefit from playing background music while they study.

General tips for improved study techniques

Organise the information logically. Write summaries of your study notes, but do not just copy the information already written. Think of each topic as a whole, and then break it down into a topic overview, a few main points, and a conclusion.

Minimise the amount of written information as much as possible. Become familiar with diagrams, mind-maps and mnemonics, and gradually expand the amount of information they contain.

Exams do not only test your memory. If you want an excellent mark, you will need to show that you can think critically. This means that you should be able to put forward arguments for and against the topic being examined. Impress your lecturers by going beyond the textbook and include information from additional readings and secondary sources.

Finally, to make exam preparation less daunting, you must work reasonably hard during the school year. Attend seminars throughout the semester, as usually lecturers will use these classes to give out tips on what topics will appear in the exam. Remember, consistency pays off.

About Author
Lisa Gray is writing on behalf of City of Glasgow College, one of the largest colleges in Scotland. The City of Glasgow College offers a wide range of courses including evening and weekend courses.


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Oracle Apps Guy: Tips for Preparing for Exams
Tips for Preparing for Exams
Oracle Apps Guy
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