Tips for Preparing for an Exam

Every student needs a strategy for studying. You want to develop study habits that will last throughout your student career and that will result in a high grade point average. Here are some tips to get you prepared as well as how to proceed once the exam is placed in front of you.

What Your Brain Needs

  • Your brain reacts best when it is rested and hydrated.
  • As you study keep hydrated – with non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Try to keep yourself stress free as it is difficult to concentrate when stressed.
  • Repetition helps your brain remember, and if you remember you are halfway to understanding.
  • Find a way to enjoy studying. Team up with friends or listen to your favourite music if it doesn’t interfere with studying.

Use SMART-F Targets
Your targets are:

  • S – strategy to set you goals
  • M – measure so you can tell when you’ve met your goals
  • A – achieve by setting realistic goals
  • R – realistic goals that you can achieve
  • T – timing that leaves enough time to study
  • F – flexibility to adjust to the unexpected


Be Note Savvy

If you learn good note taking habits your studies will become that much better. Use abbreviations when taking notes much like you use for texting. This way you can concentrate on the important points and abbreviate the non-incidentals. Share notes with friends in case you missed something.

Team Up
Nothing beats the boredom of studying better than doing it with friends as long as you’re all focused. Exchanging ideas, sharing notes and quizzing each other is a great way to learn. It also makes you feel good to know you’re not alone.

Don’t Cram
Cramming forces you to learn too much information too quickly. Instead have both a long-term and short-term strategy.

Face the Exam
Use these strategies during the exam:

  • Answer the easy questions first.
  • Return to each missed question and answer them if you can. If not move on to the next one.
  • Use memory to identify key words and phrases in the questions and allow yourself time to collect your thoughts and prepare your answer with each point answered.
  • Be careful with multiple choice. Some are worded very similarly and you can get the answer wrong because of one word or phrase.
  • If you aren’t sure decide if each choice is true or false, This is especially important when all of the above is one of your choices.