Exam time is about to hit us this semester, I thought I might hit everyone with some of my tips for surviving this super stressful time.
Tip #1: Do the math!
The first thing I do is calculate my grade based on the evaluations thus far, then I forecast my grade by looking at different scenarios for how well I do on my final exam.
– The first scenario is doing exceptionally well
– The second scenario is doing alright
– The third is doing below average
These scenarios are pretty routine, however, depending on how you are doing you may want to calculate the lowest mark you need to pass OR the lowest mark you need to achieve to get the grade you desire.
Doing these calculations help you prioritize which courses you need to spend more time on and those you can afford to cut back on. This plays directly into the second part of “Do the math” which is allocate your study days.
-Figure out the date of each exam
-Time before the first exam
-Time between exams
-Time you need to dedicate to study for each exam
Doing the math is crucial for figuring out where you stand and planning ahead.
Tip #2: Free up your schedule
We get it you have a life and are busy. Whether it be family resposibilties, social events, work or any other commitment, you will have an easier time studying if you have less gatherings and activities going on. Obviously there are going to be obligations that you cannot get around but anything uncessary should be prioritized after studying.
HOWEVER, this does not mean you forsake all activities. You have to take a break and have some fun.
Tip #3: Dissect the material and predict questions
I sit down with the course outline/lecture material and then first highlight the most important parts.
>NOTE: What is important is determined by certain criteria
– How long was spent on a particular topic, if a lot of detail and time was put into something, more often than not there will be a question.
– If your professor specifies that something is noteworthy then take NOTE of that topic and don’t be suprised if you see it on the exam.
– This may sound like a joke but if your professor says this would be a good exam question.
After highlighting important topics, I comb through the lecture material and then try to predict what kind of questions will be asked from the material I have just gone through.
It is important to note that when crunch time roles in I always put material I deemed important above the others. This is not necessarily the best way as I am essentially gambling so if you feel confident in your predicting abilities then you may want to try this.
Tip #4: Pace your self
In your final momments of studying for an exam you need to ask yourself what kind of pace is best. Are you going to take a slower pace and really go through the details of each section of the lecture material? or Are you going to speed things up and skim through the material because you still have 3 sections to finish and the exam is around the corner.
This is something I always ask myself in my final hour. Obviously the best pace is the goldilock’s pace, not to fast and not to slow, but when the anxiety starts rolling in sometimes you gotta take drastic measures.
Tip #5: Stay calm, cool and collected
No matter what whether you think you are ready or not, there is nothing worse you can do than panic. Even if you think you are totally not ready and area going to bomb, it WILL be much worse if you are not thinking straight.
You have to make the best of a bad situation sometimes and just accept that you aren’t always going to be on top.