Tips for Exams

Pre-test preparations:

Attendance: During the last lessons and practices of the semester, a lot of useful information might be given. Coming to those lessons can help you feel calmer and guarantee that you've done your best.

Organizing the material and catching up: All those tasks you promised yourselves to handle before the end of the semester, all the lessons you've missed on and said you would catch up on, now is the time! 

Monthly schedule: Monthly plan of the tasks and dividing the work throughout the days according to your tests. Make sure you mark the due-dates of your assignments and tests so you can plan your schedule around them. Also, checking boxes on your to do list will give you motivation to do the work.

Double dates: Make sure you check all of your test's dates in order to avoid having them on the same day. If they do happen to collide you are eligible for another date! Please note that you have to take one of the tests in order to receive another one.

Gathering information: Where is the test? When? How long? Is it multiple-choice or not? Does it include the article? Basically, make sure you have the answers to all the questions that make you nervous.

 

Studying:

Go for understanding: It is always best to make sure you understand what you're reading, and not just go over it carelessly.

Dividing to chapters: There is a reason the syllabus exists. Use it. It will organize the material, connect the dots and help you figure out what relates to what.

Understanding the connections between the subjects: Studying the subjects chronologically will help you understand the material and the connections between the different topics.

Tests from prior years: Courses can sometimes last years with the same structure, meaning tests from prior years are a great indicator for questions that might be on the test as well as a great way to practice.

Study groups and self-studying: You know yourselves - do what's most effective to you. Since it might be your first semester, studying with a group is highly recommended. If it works, great and if not at least you know not to waste time on your next test.

Watch the videos: If the option is there, watch the clips the professors show during the lessons. There is a reason they chose to show them. It truly helps understanding and sometimes there might be questions regarding the videos on the test.

Priorities: The most important thing is to know what more important and what's not and dedicating your time according to that. Time flies so you have to know how to manage it.

 

Processing information:

Active reading: Reading the same long text can be boring. Nothing will stick and it will basically be for nothing. It is highly recommended to highlight anything that looks important.

Visual organization: Organize the material in a way that's convenient for you, you can split it into folders (an articles folder, tests folder etc.).

Charts: If it helps, why not? It can help you see what happened first or at once. Who invented one theory or another etc.

Cards: Quizzes, clues, basically any tool that will help you remember.

A compressed page: You can have a simple page with everything important such as important names, theories etc.

Inventing questions: Saw a potential question? Something that came up more than once that is unlikely to not appear on the test? Write it down.

 

Memorizing technique:

Repeating aloud: It might seem funny, but it's extremely helpful.

Understanding and not memorizing: If you highlight important stuff, you remember there is the essence of the material and the extra. Try to reach max understanding with minimal reading. It just takes too much time.

Relating to prior knowledge: You can connect the material to your prior knowledge. There is a reason you chose that specific study fields, you probably have some background knowledge.

 

The night before the test:

Solving tests: Effective way not only to go through everything, but also practicing answers. It's also likely to run into a question that will be on the test.

Preparations: Make sure you have pens, highlighters, water bottle, tissue, erasers, and something sweet. It's also highly recommended to bring earplugs. You'll thank us when that girls in heels will walk next to you.

Id!: Make sure to bring your student card! If your card is the TAU credit card, bring another id such as a driver's license as well.

Mentally preparing: Be calm. It's not the final test of your degree, from one test to the other you'll get better, you've done your max and know that there's always another chance. It will be ok!

Sleep!: Don't be fools, especially not on your first tests. Not only there are tons of studies showing just how mush sleep is important, it's also the advice that's most fun so far…

 

The day of the test:

Do not study: It's pointless to try and go over the material again. You've studied enough, just have faith!

Equipment: Remember those pen and earplugs, don't forget to bring them!

Early arrival: Being late will make you anxious. If you'll show up early you get enough time to find a comfortable sit and calm down. Getting there last minute is no fun.

Finding the class and getting a seat: First thing you do is put down your bags and "mark your territory". It will help you feel more comfortable.

Avoid "panic" talks: Yeah.. highly unrecommended. If you are those anxious people, try to think positive and if you aren't, try to avoid those conversations. It will only make you more nervous.

Avoid taking new medications: If you don't usually take it, why start now? Try to come as you are. That's the only way to have you full knowledge show on the test.

 

Your first test, congrats!

Write notes and ideas: Anything you can think of, write it down on the form. Otherwise, you're likely to start forgetting things.

Go over the questions: First question, ok it's fine. Third one, pretty rough. Tenth is so easy and so one. This way you'll know where you stand and answer the questions faster.

Plan your time: By going over the questions you can see how much time you have to dedicate to each part of the test. A multiple-choice question will take less time than an open question. Make sure you also take the number of points each question holds into consideration.

Plan the order of answers: See what you know best, what will take less time etc. you don't have to go by the order of the questions.

Answer accurately: Save the double work, answer exactly what you're asked about. Go with your line of thought and show what you know.

Mark  any misunderstanding: Mark questions and parts of the test that are unclear and move on. Make sure you've read the whole thing. Sometimes waiting for the professor to explain something can take time so make sure you understood as much as you can.

 

Answering:

Go easy first: Start with the easy questions, that way you'll guarantee points for what you know.

Stick with the questions: Don't go overboard, don't look for the answer that's almost correct but not quiet there. Stay focus and if you're not sure just move on.

Be aware of the time: There's not always a clear watch in the class where the test is held. Make sure to bring a watch, it's a tool that will help you manage your time wisely.

Know the different answering options: People in the academia are trying to be smart, be smarter. Try to show where the question can be tricky, but don't be too suspicions. Always answer with the most accurate answer. If there is an "all answers are correct" option, make sure that real all of them are. Not just A and half of B.

Focus on yourselves: At the end of the day, you leave with the score of the test. It doesn't matter if you finished 2 minuets before time was up or before. Always check yourselves, reconsider answers you're not sure about.. everybody does their max, so even if you can't see it, know it and do the same.

Ask for help: It is your right to ask for help is a question is unclear. 

 

Open questions:

Read the question carefully: Important and effective!

Organize the answer: Write on the side the general ideas you want to include in your answer and save some work. All you'll have to do later is organize the answer.

Divide a complicated answer: Don't be afraid to divide the question into sections. Show that you understood all the parts of the question and that you answer all of it.

Write clearly: There are a lot of tests to check, if you'll give your professor easy life they will probably give you more points.

Mark key words: Just like it will be easier for you to read a text that marks key points, it's easier for the person checking your test if you mark key points. It sure won't hurt your grade.

Answer at the start: You know the answer, why not show it from the start? It will give you some extra points.

 

Multiple-choice questions:

Answer before looking at the options: You know the answer, so why not? It will also feel really good.

Watch for key words: For example, "no" or "all" can change an answer from A to B.

Stick with the first option, unless you're confident with the change: You don't know and guessed C? stick with it. Only if you remember some new information that shows it's A, go for it.

Follow directions: Don't mark more than one answer if you weren't asked to.

Avoid "easy": Be skeptical. True, you've studied a lot, but it's possible that something that looks easy is actually far trickier than that.

 

Dealing with a "blackout":

Exist the room: It's okay to leave for a few minuets and it's not a waste of time. It's better to waste one or even five minuets to be focused for the next hour.

Drink water and eat something sweet: Always affective and delicious.

 

After the test:

Resting and refreshing: That's really important. Go out and do sports, go to a restaurant or just walk on the beach.

Organize the material for the next test: If you feel up for the challenge, go for it. It's a great use of the time and you don't have to put your brain to work again at this point.

Go over the test to study and improve: We all want to be geniuses or at least close to it. Try to see how you can improve for next time.

Make your conclusions for next time: Saw that charts are helpful while group studies not so much? Keep doing it. 

Go for the first test date: Isn't it a waste to miss a test? Even if you don't plan on studying, just to see how the test is. If you fail it doesn't really matter since you've planned to go to the second one anyway.

Notebook scan: The time to see what were your mistakes. Use it.