Preparing for Exams

Preparation for exams begins when courses begin. Good study habits, time management, frequent review of course material and, if possible, relating course materials to everyday life will go a long way toward preparing students for final exams.

Parents can help by reminding students to:

  • Prepare a written study schedule which includes meals and sleep.
  • Take advantage of help and resources. If a professor offers a study guide, use it. If they offer a review session, attend it, and if previous exams are available, study them.
  • Do not pull an all-nighter…. Studies show that this does not improve results and may, in fact, have a negative effect due to lack of concentration.
  • Attend all classes, tutorials, review sessions and study groups.
  • Do not cram. Cramming at the last minute often fails because it involves absorbing a vast amount of information in a short period of time. Students then feel overwhelmed which contributes to more anxiety. Students cannot expect to perform consistently well with this form of preparation because it doesn’t allow sufficient time to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts.

Sometimes students have difficulty preparing for exams because they lack time management, note-taking and reading-for-comprehension skills. Coping with anxiety may also be a factor. For academic workshops and assistance, visit The Student Success Centre.