Preparing throughout the semester is the most effective way to get by on your end-of-year exams. Ultimately, there are no shortcuts to accessing knowledge. However, even if you’re on the eve of your end-of-year exam and don’t feel ready, don’t panic. There are things you can do that can help you pass your exams.
Prepare during the semester
Consult the programs. At the beginning of each semester, teachers or professors usually bring out a program presenting the homework and objectives for the current class. Be sure to read this program carefully so you know exactly what you need to do to pass the year .
Take care to pay attention to how homework, attendance and exams influence your level. This will allow you to prioritize the seriousness with which you must work and on what you must direct your attention.
If you have any questions about the program, ask the teacher. It’s better to ask a question from the start than to jump into it with no idea what you’re doing.
Be regular in class. You can’t succeed in a class or on exams if you don’t follow the courses. This will allow you to take essential courses and take notes, as well as understand your course readings and assignments.
Most exams are based on what is done in class, so it is never advisable to skip class. Some teachers penalize absences, which means you can’t even go to the next class if you skip class.
Teachers and professors usually talk about what you will have to do in exams during class, so if you are not present in class you will not be able to get this crucial information.
In case you cannot attend class, let your teacher know in advance. Ask what you’re going to miss and if there’s anything you can do to catch up and get the information.
Don’t ask your teacher or professor questions like, “Did I miss something that was done in class yesterday?” Don’t put yourself “out of the zone”. Sometimes you’re tempted to play solitaire or check your phone during class instead of listening, especially if you’re taking a class in a subject you feel you understand quite well. However, you might miss something important if you behave this way .
Lectures and discussions are central components of a class session and provide information you will need to pass your exams. By paying attention and taking notes throughout the semester, you’ll benefit from solid academic support that will allow you to study effectively without struggling to obtain additional information .
Prepare before you come. Use a binder or notebook and bring pens or pencils to class. If you have a book to discuss, bring a marker as well. Teachers often say things like, “this passage is very important in general understanding” or “take care to understand the information that is framed.” If your teacher brings up something specific in class, flag it immediately.
Note-taking is a delicate act that requires a balance between getting too little information and getting too much. Don’t try to write down everything the teacher says, but only the essentials. For example, it is less important to know the type of bomber that bombed Dresden in February 1945 than to know why this bombing is of great importance in the history of the Second World War.
Try using keywords instead of trying to rewrite whole sentences. Trying to have the teacher dictate the sentences to you could imply that you don’t know the main point that really needs to be remembered. Try using phrases and keywords instead of full sentences.
Take notes by hand. Studies have shown that people are able to retain more by taking notes by hand instead of typing them on a computer or saving them on a device .
Look for note-taking systems. There are a number of systems for learning how to take notes. Cal Poly provides details on several types, along with their pros and cons
Do all the reading homework. Most professors and teachers assign students a reading for the semester and then draw topics from that reading to compose exam papers. By doing your assigned reading, you will not only be able to participate in class discussions, but also have the information you need to pass the exam.
Take care to take notes on the texts while reading them. Just the way you will take notes while attending class, you only have to write down the most important information
Run through your readings again once every few weeks. You don’t need to read everything through, but going over the key points again will allow you to ‘freeze’ them in your memory, so you can recall them later in exams.