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Preparing and Taking Tests
Test Preparation Tips:
  • Do your homework when it is assigned. Attempt sample problems for extra practice. You cannot hope to cram 3 or 4 weeks worth of learning into a couple of days of study.
  • On tests you have to solve problems; homework and sample problems are the only way to get practice. As you do them, make lists of formulas and techniques to use later when you study for tests.
  • Get to know your professor. Study a copy of the exam of a previous class if available. Talk with someone who has taken the professor before for clues and insight.
  • Ask your professor, TA, or study group questions; don't wait until the day or two before a test. The questions you ask right before a test should be to clear up minor details.
Biology Forums - Study Force How-to Tips:
  • Preview examples of test type questions from archived practice exams.
  • Take a practice exam before your midterm or final.
  • Participate in our Practice Problem Project and create your own test type questions from material you expect to be on your exam.
Test Taking Tips:
  • Begin reviewing early.
    This will give your brain time to get comfortable with the information.
  • Conduct short daily review sessions.
    You can ease into a more intense review session prior to major exams.
  • Prioritize assignments.
    When studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task.
  • Read text assignments before lectures.
    This will help you identify concepts that the professor considers important.
  • Review notes immediately after lectures.
    This will help you identify information that you do not understand while the lecture is still fresh in your memory--and other students' memories as well. When you review immediately, you'll have time to clarify information with other students.
  • Review with a study group.
    This will enable you to cover important material that you may overlook on your own.
  • Conduct a major review early enough.
    This will allow you time to visit the instructor during his office hours if necessary.
  • Break up the study tasks into manageable chunks.
    Studying three hours in the morning and three in the evening will be more effective than studying at a six hour stretch. Studying while you are mentally fatigued is usually a waste of time.
  • Study the most difficult material when you are alert.
Helpful Links:
Adapted from On Becoming a Master Student by David B. Ellis and How to Study in College by Walter Pauk.
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