September 29th, 2009 admin
If you’re feeling a little under-prepared for exams to begin, take it one step at a time–and start with these.
Spend Some Time at the Office
You veteran readers will already be pretty familiar with this one–and I’m not talking about heading to your job. That office can wait! You need to get to “office hours,” that hour or two each week when your professors and TAs are available to talk and help you work out problems.
This is your opportunity to get face-to-face with the person who best knows what you need to study for the test–and he/she can even help you figure out the tougher concepts of their class. After all, they love the subject enough to teach it!
And don’t think you’ll be bugging your teacher–many professors complain that no one ever shows up to their office hours!
Go to Work
Okay, this time I am talking about your job. Studying for a big test like a midterm or a final can be stressful. Throw in the pressure and commitment of a job, and you could have a recipe for a migraine.
If you have a job (or other regular commitment, like volunteering at a hospital, etc.), take a little extra time one day to discuss your upcoming exam schedule with your supervisor. If you’re going to need to work a little less the week of the test, plan that ahead. Also, if your test is being held at a different time than usual class so that it interferes with work, make sure you notify your superiors of that, too.
Remember, you’re a student first, but most offices are willing to work around you a little so you can keep the title of employee, too.
One of the best ways to really learn the concepts and info that just won’t stick is to take a practice test. You might have access to practice tests from your professors (you can always ask for one, or a previous year’s test, from your prof at office hours!). If you don’t you can quiz yourself or make up flash cards.
I’d definitely recommend flash cards if they make sense for your subject. They’re easy and cheap to make, you can start paring them down to the concepts you are really having trouble with, and they let you study whenever you have a few spare minutes on the bus or between classes.
For more tips, check out these handy study-tip posts:
- How to Stay Awake & Alert While Studying (without Coffee!)
- Study Tips: Memory Tricks to Remember What You Study
- Ridiculously Easy Ways to Kick Distractions (for Productive Study Time!)