Preparing for Final Exams

Tips for studying on exams to succeed

Tips on how to best study for exams. Graphic Credit: A. Lawless/E. Howell-Leman

  With final exams right around the corner, both students and teachers alike are finding ways to prepare. By completing study guides, participating in class and spending time reviewing, students are able to increase their confidence in the subject and their chances of performing well on the exams.
  “I’m going to prepare for my exams by completing all the study guides that the teachers give me, completing extra work if I see necessary for the class, depending on what class it is, and just use all the opportunities available to me,” freshman Trey Stewart said.
  Being prepared mentally and physically is just as important as knowing all the material in order to succeed.
  “Students should not cram the night before the exam. It is better to get a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast, and be ready to think,” math teacher Mike Wilson said.
  The amount of time that should be allocated to studying varies from student to student, however the general baseline stays the same.
  “If students can take 20-30 minutes every single night for the week before the exam, kind of leading up to it, as well as focusing in class, that would be a good amount,” biology teacher Kate Heydlauff said.
  If feeling stuck, students can always turn to their teacher to ask any questions they want clarified before the exams begin.
  “The best ways teachers prepare students for exams include providing clear study guides, conducting regular reviews, offering practice questions, and addressing students’ questions and concerns,” Wilson said.
  Since the exams cover the entirety of learning done over the duration of the semester, teachers provide extensive study guides testing the student’s knowledge on each of the units they have learned.
  “I have a shortened exam review for every unit we’ve done over the course of the semester,” Heydlauff said.
  While exams aren’t always viewed as beneficial by the student, they have many long term benefits as well as showing them how they have improved over the course of the year.
  “While an exam is not the most important part of the course, only 20% [of the student’s grade], they allow students opportunities to reflect on what they have learned over the semester,” Wilson said.