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To Cram or Not to Cram? How to Prep for the Big Exam


To Cram or Not to Cram?  How to Prep for the Big Exam
Danielle Mele, Clinical Director of the Diagnostic Assessment Program

Taking tests, especially large, comprehensive ones can feel overwhelming and daunting.  But, fear not because there are strategies to help you defeat those monstrous exams.  Below are 4 study tips to guide you to victory!

  1. Start early and break it down.  Everyone knows that the early bird gets the worm and the same holds true for studying: the sooner you start the better your chances for success.  If you know that you have a big exam coming up, create a study plan as far in advance as possible, and commit to studying for a few hours each week.  By studying over a longer period of time you increase the likelihood that you will remember the material.  Starting early, having a plan, and sticking to it are essential to your success.
  2. Do your homework and then do it again!  Whenever you have a test approaching, it is a good idea to review chapter or unit assignments, quizzes, and tests.  It is very likely that some of the information from previous tests will be on the big cumulative test.  If something from the previous tests is unclear to you make sure you get clarification from your teacher.
  3. Know what you know. Have you ever taken a test and received a much lower score than you expected? This happens to most people and it is because they don’t know what they know and what they don’t. Being aware of your own knowledge involves the use of metacognitive skills. When you are studying, make sure to spend time thinking about what you are reading and what it means. If you can’t remember the sentence you just read then you should go back and re-read the material. The SQ3R system, which requires you to survey the material, question, read, recite, and review can help to increase understanding and enhance metacognition.
  4. Take it easy.  Make sure to take breaks when you are studying to avoid feeling exhausted or overwhelmed.  But, make sure that the breaks aren’t too long.  If you study for 30 minutes, take a 5 minute break, but get back on track immediately after the break.  Also, get plenty of sleep when you are preparing for a big test.  Studies have shown that people who get more sleep remember more information that Studythey studied or learned.

 There are many more study tips and strategies out there.  What are some of the things you have found helpful when preparing for exams?




Chesapeake Bay Academy: Studying Tips:


Know what? I was caught by your title line. I really like the rhyme and all. Aside from that, I like how you break down into 4 easy steps the things that an examiner should do in terms of preparation. An exam is a big deal especially for a college student like me. Thanks and good job!
Posted @ Thursday, January 26, 2012 1:53 AM by Selena
Glad that you found it helpful and good luck on your next test!
Posted @ Friday, January 27, 2012 1:35 PM by Danielle
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