Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Okay, it's the week before the big exam. . .what should I be doing to insure I ace that test? In order to do well on your exam you need to KNOW WHAT TO STUDY.

I have several tricks up my sleeve and after reading this, you will too. First off, ask your professor for a sample exam. This is especially important for the first exam of the quarter/semester. Each teacher has a different way of wording their questions. You need to know how this teacher asks test questions. By reviewing a previously given test by this teacher you can discern their way of asking questions. Plus it gives you insight on whether this teacher uses "all of the above", "none of the above" or even worse, "A and B only" type answers.

When reviewing the sample exam, see if you understand clearly what the teacher is asking. Do they use words or terms that you don't understand? How confusing are the multiple choice answers?

Make sure to ask the professor for a breakdown on what will be on the exam: how many multiple choice questions, True/False, fill in the blank, short answer, essay. This is important because if the entire test is multiple choice you only need to study to RECOGNIZE THE ANSWER. Whereas with fill in the blank, short answer, essay you need to actually know your material.

Additionally press the professor to breakdown what percentage of questions will be about Chapter A vs. Chapter B. Assure the professor that you will be studying everything but that you want to put your studying time to best use and make sure you are putting the right emphasis on what the professor feels is important. Most professors want you to do well on their exams and will be helpful (if you ask!) in telling you where to spend your study time.

Finally, if in class the professor was not willing to discuss in detail the upcoming exam, visit the professor during their office hours and ask again. Reassure that professor that you only want to make sure you succeed in their class and that you want to target your studying to insure that success. Most professors will reward that initiative with good insider information.

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