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How many times have you sat down to review for an exam and not known what to study or began to study only to become frustrated by the amount of material which needs to be reviewed. Preparing an exam is a skill which can easily be mastered. There are three phases for successful test taking:
  • Preparing to TAKE the test, e.g. review
  • Taking the test
  • Performing a test analysis once the test is returned.

Preparing Test taking Test analysis
Plan a time frame Read through the exam Perform an analysis
Complete & organize your notes before reviewing Develop a time plan Identify type of question knowledge
Know what material is being covered
Know the test format
Use appropriate strategies for answering different formats Identify what your task was
Seek clarification/help on confusing material Don't panic - breathe Identify location of correct answer
Review previous test analysis Do what you know first - return to others Identify why you missed the answer
Utilize study & review groups - Ask questions Do bonus questions Seek help for problem areas
Monitor yourself Monitor your time & your work Develop a plan for reviewing for next exam
Take care of yourself Get a good night sleep & Eat a good meal Begin reviewing new material - Don't procrastinate !!

As you examine the chart above you will note that there are some elements which consistently cross all phases. One of the most crucial skills in planning to review for and taking an exam is time management. Preparing for an exam begins the first day of class - to be successful you should make a commitment to yourself, setup a schedule and stick with it. Join or start a study group. Have members who are committed to their academic success. Beginning with the first lecture - review your notes as soon as possible following the class, completing missing information, clarifying confusing areas and identifying relationships. Procrastination is your worst enemy because if you procrastinate, by mid-terms or finals you will have an overwhelming amount of material to review and try to understand. The second critical skill is monitoring your efforts. Are you understanding your material as you collect it, organize it and review it? Are you making connections? Another aspect of test preparation is taking care of yourself - "balanced" meals, rest/sleep and finally brain and body breaks. If you plan your review well you shouldn't have to pull late nights before exams. As you plan your review sessions start four to six weeks before the exam and block out a short review period each week. As you encounter fuzzy material you will be able to easily access your professor for help.

Ask and make sure you understand what material is being covered - cumulative or recent material and the format of the test - essay, multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc.

Look for Test Taking Modular 2 for specific test taking strategies and Modular 3 for test analysis tips

 

 

 

   
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