7 Ways to Prepare for Exams
Seven ways distance learners can prepare for exams. Whether you’re prepping for end-of-semester finals or a midterm test or exam, the following list will help!
Exam Preparation for Distance Learners
If your professor hasn’t given you detailed information about the exam, ask for it now! Be sure to find out:
- What material the exam will cover
- Type of format (short answer, multiple choice, etc.)
- Whether there’s a time limit (ex. you have 60 minutes to complete it once you start it)
If your professor has given you the details about the exam, sweet! Review the information and ask questions to clarify what you don’t understand.
Create a Weekly Schedule
Start planning for your exams NOW! Create a weekly schedule that outlines exact days/times you will study for an exam and/or work on a final paper or project. Post the schedule so you and your family or roommates see it. Stick to your schedule!
Use an Exam Study Guide
Some professors create and post a study guide for exams. Check to see if you are provided with one. If you do have a study guide, review it and ask questions about things you don’t understand. If not, create one for yourself.
Start studying as early as possible. Cramming limits your memory and consequently, limits your ability to recall the correct information. Jennifer Williamson, in her DistanceEducation.org article, also suggests to get enough sleep. Preparing ahead of time will lower the likelihood of having to cram and as a result, you will get enough sleep.
Study Often & Use Variety
Review/study often. The more you work with the information, the likely you will learn and remember it.
Use 2-5 different methods to study/review the material, such as:
- Write Chapter and/or Section Summaries
- Recite Aloud Examples
- Rewrite Notes
- Recite Aloud Definitions
- Teach Someone Else How to Do It
- Tell Someone About the Material
Start & End with Information You Know the Least
While you study, start and end with the content you know the least. Doing so will improve your ability to remember it.
Practice problems from class, the book, and homework assignments. Determine the problems you need more practice with and start doing them. The practice problems are there to help you build your skills in solving them.
Tell us how you’re doing with getting ready for exams! What tips are you using? What are some other ways you prepare for exams?