Stay afloat at the end of the semester with final exam study tips

Kate Snyder and Kate Snyder

With finals approaching in less than a week, students might be wondering how they can get the most out of their study habits.

The Study Skills Center, Writing Center and Math and Statistics Tutoring Center located in Moseley Hall provide study tips and tutoring services for students.

Mary Paler, a graduate student who tutors in the Math and Statistics Center, said in addition to following their own study tips, students can always come to the different centers for extra help.

‘Sometimes people forget what happened at the start of the semester,’ Paler said. ‘The people here can help them and guide them.’

Below are some study tips compiled from pamphlets and brochures written by the Study Skills Center and Writing Center.

Study groups:

-Distribute tasks and write agendas for future meetings to avoid wasting time. (Tasks could include reviewing and sharing lecture notes.)

-Read the textbook before meetings and work on assigned problems as a group or divide specific questions between members.

-Work on material giving group members trouble.

Time management:

-Look over notes directly after class, checking for information you don’t understand.

-Start studying early, and study material as the semester progresses.

-Study near your professor’s office during office hours so you can ask him or her any questions you might have.

-Swallow your pride and ask questions if you need help.

Strategies for writing:

-Break a long paper into smaller parts to give yourself more control over your writing.

-Once you finish a draft, take a break and maybe sleep on it to give yourself a clearer perspective for editing.

-Read your draft out loud. When you hear what you write you can make sure it doesn’t sound clumsy.

-Have others read your draft and get feedback.

Stress management:

-Arrive at the exam early, but not so early you’re uncomfortable.

-Schedule your time wisely.

-For problem-solving exams, do small problems right up to exam time.

Multiple-choice tests:

-Read the question carefully and make sure you know what is being asked.

-After reading the question, think about what the answer should be.

-Look at all the options before you decide.

-Guess smart. Just because you heard ‘C’ is a popular choice for the right answer doesn’t mean it works all the time.

-Read questions carefully and look at all the options before deciding.

Essay tests:

-Before the test, identify and understand general concepts covered in lecture and learn the vocabulary.

-Predict essay topics from syllabus topics, chapter discussion questions and old exams or quizzes.

-Pay attention to key words.


Analyze your test afterward:

-Find out why you missed the questions you missed.

-Find out what worked in each particular class, and reuse useful study methods.