Tips for examinations?

Examinations for graduate studies are round the corner for me…how about for the rest of you?

I have a 16 days gap to my first paper and after which a 4 days gap to the second and last. I have put in reasonable effort for both (done the lab-work, 50% attendance for lectures and tutorials, caught up on recorded videos for those I have missed) - how should I study? With so many days, there’s a tendency to take it…really easy :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, a study tip to start - always keep your lecture notes in order. No fun to do last minute admin when the next paper is 3 days away.

Three things to keep in mind:

  1. It takes a couple of days for a memorized item to “take”. Give plenty of time allowance for this. Everything takes at least one good night’s rest to jell in memory.

  2. A really good thing to use is an exponentially decreasing refreshing memory technique. Look at what you want to remember. Come back a couple minutes later. Again 10 minutes later. An hour later. A few hours later. The next day.

  3. Do the exact opposite of the standard crappy student all-nighter crash study method.

I like to remind myself that there are worse things in life than doing badly on an exam.

I still study, but it keeps me from stressing and makes it easier to study.

Go to the cinema the night before an exam. Two hours of complete distraction, and therefore relaxation, then go home and go to bed.

My method was to compile notes from textbooks and lectures and assignments, and reorganize and recopy them according to the syllabus (by hand) over and over until they were presented perfectly. This helped me keep the information in my head and also made sure I understood how it all fit together (and also avoided the last-minute admin tasks you mention). In general I am the sort of person who learns best by reading and writing, so your ideal method may vary.

When studying I used to take periodic “cigarette breaks” altho I don’t smoke. I’d just go stand outside for ten minutes and come back in. The fresh air and break from thinking really helped me concentrate.

Stop studying before dinnertime the night before. It’s too late to learn anything useful at that point and your brain needs to relax and consolidate.

I once had a conversation after meeting somebody I hadn’t seen in a while. They absolutely, completely insisted that I used to smoke. They’d got this idea entirely from the fact I was friends with chain-smokers, the result of following advice such as yours!

Excellent advice.

Many of my classes in college (math and engineering) allowed you to bring in one page of notes. I found that preparing the notes was very useful, since it forced me to figure out what was important for the class. I did that even if we weren’t allowed to bring them in.

For some classes doing some of the problem sets again was useful, since it let me focus on what I understood or didn’t understand.