Contrary to what you may have heard, the time to prepare for your exams in college is not the night before!

Really, you should start thinking about your exam-taking strategy on Day One of your classes. Think of those tasks on page 1, like note-taking and class participation as tools to help you get ready for exams.

  • Read over your syllabi and plug quiz and test dates into your calendar right away.
  • Create your own "exam." Take concepts from your notes and readings and create questions for yourself, kind of like Jeopardy! (tm) You can revisit those questions periodically through the semester to quiz yourself and your study group.
  • Even if your class doesn't include discussion, approach reading assignments as if your professor was going to point to you to answer a question in class. "What would I say if she asked me about ...?"

These are some examples of ways that can help the information "stick" so that you can retrieve it later.

It's helpful to look over previous exams and assignments (even if they were for other classes) to help you prepare for future tests.

  • See if you can find patterns: Did you look over the whole test before starting?
  • Did you spend too much time, or not enough, on any items?
  • Did you skip items and leave them blank?
  • Did you launch into writing an essay response without doing a quick outline?

These worksheets from Beyond Accommodations are useful for going back over past exams and figuring out what to look for next time.

Maximize Your Exam Accommodations