Say the word exam and anxiety sets in for many people. Oddly enough, it is not necessarily the thought of getting a poor grade, but rather, the idea of putting in the time to study.
Exams mean long hours of dedicated work, extensive reading, and of course, memorization. For many individuals, this is too much to bear because you never know when your studying is done.
To be more clear, when you write an essay, you know when you have completed it. Likewise, with daily and weekly assignments, when all the questions are answered correctly, you are done, and you move on.
Examinations, however, are another beast altogether. Just how much time should you devote to preparing for them? The short answer is until you have mastered the required material. But to help you get there and provide some insight, we have compiled seven ways to successfully study for your online exams while at the same time keep your cool.
#1 Read Textbook Chapters When Requested
One of the biggest pitfalls of preparing for an exam is having to read all the chapters on which the test will be based. Unfortunately, it is human nature not to do the reading on the assigned schedule.
When this happens, students are left with an inordinate amount of work to do to get up to speed for the exam. Catching up on the reading will be a huge task and ultimately will require a lot of time. To avoid this problem, follow the schedule set out in the syllabus. Then, when it comes time to study the material, you will have already underlined the content and made notes.
Now, it is time to prove you understand it by making lists and redoing the assignments.
#2 Understand Exam Requirements
It is amazing how many students go into exams without even knowing what is going to happen. Long before preparing, there are several things you should know.
- how much of the final mark is the test worth
- what chapters will be included in the questions
- is the exam essay style, multiple choice, or short answer
- is the point value the same for each question
- how long will you be given to complete it
- is it open book or must you memorize formulas
- where will the exam will be held
#3 Check Your Equipment
If you are going to be doing the test online, make sure your equipment is ready to go. You should understand all the software needed and ensure that connections work. And don’t wait until the day of the exam. Do this in advance so that you can make any necessary changes.
#4 Remove Distractions
If they are allowing you to take your exam at the location of your choice, meaning your home or internet cafe, you need to make sure there are no distractions. Take the children to a family member or babysitter, turn the radio, television and cell phone off, and keep your focus on the test until it is done or the time is up.
#5 Inquire About Previous Exams
Sometimes, instructors make available tests from previous course years to help you study. Of course, they are not going to ask the same questions, but by completing these tests, you have an idea of your competency level. If you find that you have done poorly, then you have a good idea that you require a lot of preparation. On the other hand, if you understand most concepts, you will need to dedicate more time to the things you don’t understand.
#6 Have Someone Quiz You
If possible, once you have studied, have a friend or family member ask you questions. This is another way to determine how much you know about the course content. Then, you can go back and revisit the more difficult concepts. As we mentioned in another article, it is a good idea to make connections with other online students in the class. A group of you could set up a study session, so that all of you can improve.
#7 Read Questions Carefully
Once you have studied long and hard and the exam day comes, read each question carefully before answering. Look for clues as to what the professor wants in an answer. Often, they use words like analyze, examine, compare, describe and review. Each is a different take on a concept. You may understand the material, but if you don’t provide the content in the manner requested, then your grade will not be what you expect.
I think this fellow has written a lot of tests, because he sure is thorough with these study tips.