HOW TO GET THE BETTER OF AN EXAM
Preparing for a test can be an anxiety-producing experience. Here are some suggestions to make the process more productive:
PREPARING FOR THE EXAM:
- Review and/or rewrite your notes after each class. Reading them soon after class will make remembering
them easier. Check for legibility and clarity.
- Try condensing your notes to one page. This exercise will help you to organize the main ideas
and to select the most important concepts and facts.
- If you do not understand the material, see your professor and/or the teaching assistant(s) during
office hours or make an appointment. You may also go to College Tutorials in 228 Covel Commons
(206-1491) for assistance. The longer you wait, the less time you will have to prepare.
- Prepare for the style of the exam being given. Multiple choice, matching, and true-false questions
tend to test for recognition of facts; short answer and “fill-in-the-blank” questions tend to
test your ability to recall material; essay and oral exams tend to test your ability to recall material;
synthesize material, and create your own conclusions [from Karen Martin, “Organizing Examinations,”
- Write some questions as if you were the professor. This exercise may help you to focus on the
most important material under examination.
- Budget your time. Include time to watch your favorite television program as you schedule your
time – chances are you will watch it anyway. If you budget time for it, you will be able to watch
it and still have adequate time to study [suggested by the Learning Resource Center, Miami University].
TAKING THE EXAM:
- Do not sit next to your friends. Choose a desk in the exam room that is as remote as possible
from students whom you know. It decreases distraction as well as the chance that copying may
occur or be suspected. This is particularly important if you studied together.
- Bring into the exam room only those materials, if any, which the instructor has expressly indicated
are allowed. Bringing in unauthorized materials, whether utilized or not, leaves you
vulnerable to an allegation of cheating.
AFTER THE EXAM:
- When your exam is returned, see what you can learn by reviewing your incorrect answers. If
you wish to submit your exam for re-grading do not alter the original answers, since that
would be interpreted as a dishonest attempt to receive additional credit. Many instructors photocopy
original exams and quizzes in order to compare them with those submitted for re-grading.
Be advised that instructors are required by the Academic Senate to refer cases of suspected cheating
to the Office of the Dean of Students. Penalties for cheating can include Suspension or Dismissal
from the University.