Starting Exam Preparation Early: Effective Tips
The best exam advice is to maximise the effectiveness of your exam preparation. So when should you start preparing for exams?
- You will be given a course outline that includes details on if and when you will be sitting an exam, and how much that exam will contribute to your overall grade. If you miss getting the outline, a copy is usually available on the course Blackboard website. Once you have this information you can begin setting your exam goals.
- From your first day of lectures, you should start taking lecture notes. Good notes are vital to successful exam preparation. If you are already well into the semester, don't panic when you read this! It's never too late for you to start taking better notes, or making those notes into comprehensive summaries. If your lecturer puts their notes or PowerPoint slides on Blackboard before the lecture, make sure you print them out no more than three slides per page, so that you can add notes to them. For on-campus courses, lecture notes or slides only give an outline of the material covered, so be careful not to rely on the slides alone. You will still need to attend to write down the explanations and examples given by lecturers.
- Make sure you keep up-to-date with your summaries of your lecture notes, text chapters and other reading material throughout the semester. In your revision time, make a summary of all the summaries. This process will form a key part of your exam preparation.
- Attend any revision sessions given by your lecturers towards the end of the course. Make sure you have been through all the course materials before the session, and take questions about anything that you don't understand. This should be nearly at the end of your revision, not the time when you start to think about it!
Aim to get as many marks as possible in your assignment tasks throughout semester to take some of the pressure off your exam performance.