How to ace the exam period in three simple steps

It is never too early to start studying!

You don’t have to wait until the exam period to start studying, in fact the earlier you start the easier it is! We have a few tips to help you get started below.

1. Take notes

As you’re learning material, think about how you can structure and organize ideas into meaningful notes to help you remember at a later time.

2. Create a mock exam

As you’re learning new material, try to create or collect possible exam questions that you can use to test your knowledge. For example, at the end of a study session, put all of your material away, except for the questions you have created, and then see if you can answer those questions as a way to test what you have learned. Then add those questions to a bigger list of test questions you have created that you can use for review.

Depending on your instructor, you might look to your course syllabus or lecture slides for learning objectives or learning outcomes. It’s there that you’ll figure out if you’re expected to understand concepts (for example, being able to describe them, or classify them, or identify them), or are you trying to make connections between ideas (be able to compare, contrast, or apply ideas), or are you expected to be able to extend your thinking (for example, be able to argue, review, critique, or formulate new ideas). Becoming familiar with the kinds of thinking that you’re expected to demonstrate about the material you’re learning can help you to create good exam questions.

3. Study in increments

Try to start studying now. Do not wait until exam season to try to cram in all of your studying. Instead, try to distribute your studying across the weeks in short 1-to-2-hour studying intervals. What this will do is give your brain more opportunities to encounter concepts and retrieve what you already know to help strengthen those neural pathways, so then when it comes time to do the exam, it’s much easier to retrieve that information.

Choose any of these three strategies and see what works for you!

We are here to support your learning!

Contact one of the Learning Strategists to support you in your learning. They can help provide resources such as: developing best practices for studying online, adopting test taking strategies, building productivity as a student and refining literacy skills.

If you are needing additional support, UVic has several virtual services for students offered through University of Victoria Student Support Services.

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