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Three Easy-Peasy First Exam of the Year Tips

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.

Test Yourself

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:

photo by lusi

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stefan |  |  October 3rd, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Practise tests is the best tip you can get. Stop studying the day before the test and make old tests only. It will work out, you will learn so much and you train in taking tests!

  • 2. Alexis  |  January 10th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    As far as flash cards, if you’re a slow writer (like me) and/or if you’d like to have different ways to study your flash cards, Quizlet ( allows you to make online flash cards and play various games with them. It’s free, easy, and fun to use!

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