Before the exam:


Organize your notes — beginning on the first day of the quarter / semester. Organize your time — set aside blocks of time to study. Find out as much as you can about the exam — ask your teacher. Anticipate exam questions.

Study actively.

Summarize, write, recite and practice problems.

Prepare needed materials.

If the exam is open book or notes, highlight information that you might like to cite in an answer. If you can use a sheet of notes, create the sheet early and use it while studying.

Get a good night’s sleep.

Arrive on time, but not too early — listening to others cram may confuse or panic. Think positively.

During the exam:

Get materials organized.

Listen for last-minute instructions. Make quick notes about facts you think you might forget. Read all instructions and problems carefully.

Organize your time.

Don’t spend too much time on one problem. When finished, go back and read the directions to be sure that you followed them. Check and double-check your answers. Use all the time allowed.

After the exam:

Use the exam as a learning experience.

Go back to your notes and try to answer the exam problems. Look for a pattern in the type of problems you do very well (or very poorly), and try to assess why this is true. Determine which study techniques worked for you. Discuss your performance with your teacher. Rework problems you missed.

If you are allowed, keep the exam.

Keep it to study for finals or for future reference.