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Preparing for Exams

One of the old jokes relating to the old crooked political machines was the admonition to their constituents as Election Day approached. " early! often!" The key to preparing for exams is to start early and to review often. Cramming the night before and filling your body with stimulants while depriving your body and brain of rest just doesn't work well. You are much better off starting early in the term with regular reviews of notes and flashcards and planning your time to allow sufficient rest the night before an exam so that you go in refreshed and energetic and ready to take it on and perform well. Being prepared in advance gives you much more confidence and a better outlook going into an exam.

In fact, the whole purpose of all of the process you have been going through to become a better student and learn more efficiently and thoroughly has been to get you to the point of taking an exam when you are better prepared to take it. You have learned more material on a regular basis and committed it to recall and memory.

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If you have followed your weekly schedule and given priority to your study period times and have worked diligently using some of the methods and techniques shared here, you are a better student. You are better prepared. You need to do your final reviews as part of your regular weekly study periods, get your regular exercise, continue your quest for nutritious feeding of your body and brain, and get your rest before your test. You are a better student. You will perform well on your exams.

There is another thing that a good student does when preparing for an exam. A good student will have a good understanding at least a week before the exam of what material will be covered on the exam and what type of exam it will be. Most instructors will make it a point to make these two things very clear during class period or through the use of hand-outs. Make absolutely sure you are clear on these things before launching into a period of review. If you have any questions about what you are expected to know or what form the test will be, make it a point to stop and talk with your instructor to get clarification. Then schedule your review time to make sure you cover the topics indicated. If the test is to be essay or short answer essay, you may want to include some writing answers to questions as part of your study review.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013


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