Prepare for your exams sooner rather than later
Getting set for mid-trimester and final exams can begin at the start of your trimester. Explore our tips for becoming exam-ready during the trimester, through study week and on exam day. We also have some helpful tips on how to beat exam anxiety.
Preparing for exams during trimester is much easier than it sounds. Here are our top tips:
Read your course profiles
All your course profiles can be found in Learning@Griffith, with outlines of all the assessment items for the trimester, including exams. It’s super handy to know if future you will have to prepare for an essay, short answer, or multiple choice exam. Do you know about the different exam types?
Get the inside scoop on exam content
You can get little nuggets of knowledge from your lecturer. Here’s some hard facts: they set the exam and they teach you the content, so it’s highly likely they will emphasise the important topics during the trimester. If they make a song and dance about a particular fact, principle or point during class, they will probably include it in the exam. But you’ll have to attend class to gain these valuable insights.
Take awesome notes
If you develop an effective note-taking technique early on, it’s going to be a breeze when you put together your study notes at the end of trimester. You don’t want to have to rewrite your scribbled, chaotic notes during study week.
Become a time-management expert
When you have mastered the art of planning, you can achieve so much more in a day, let alone a whole teaching trimester. Become that person who has a complete set of highlighted, indexed and bookmarked notes before study week begins.
How to prepare for exams
Exams don’t have to be scary. The students who get the highest marks are not necessarily the ones who are the smartest, but the ones who are the most organized and well prepared throughout the semester! Griffith University student, Azaria Bell discusses how to prepare for exams during the semester, study week and during the exam.
During study week
Don’t freak out about exams just yet. You have a week to prepare. It’s time to put your head down, your brain into gear and hit those books hard. Study Week can be a stressful time for students, so we’ve put together a few tips to keep you on track. Remember, staying organised and healthy is key, so get some sleep, avoid caffeine and limit your social media procrastination.
Prepare your study notes
This is the moment when you’ll be super pleased with yourself for going to class and taking awesome notes. Go grab those notes; it’s time to make them work for you. Basically, you want to condense your notes and present them in a visual format. Have you heard of a mind map, concept map or flowchart? According to Patrick Sharrat in Passing Exams for Dummies (2013), your brain thinks in pictures, so creating keyword pictures and patterns can help with memory retention. For more study tips, check out this Buzzfeed video for eight essential study hacks or Wengies video on seven study tips to help you ace your exams.
Teach the topic to someone
Teach the topic to your mum, friend or flatmate's dog. The best way to test your understanding of a topic is to try to teach it to someone else—even a class of stuffed animals will do.
When the big day is finally here, remember the hard part is over. The content is in your head—it’s ready and waiting to be unleashed onto your exam paper, you just need to set it free. Follow our exam day tips below to help you perform your best.
Exam day tips
Read exam questions carefully
Under stressful exam conditions, you may be tempted to skim over the question quickly so you can get on with drafting an answer. The danger with this is that you may misunderstand, misread or simply miss a vital part of the question. Take your time and make sure you know exactly what you are being asked for.
Review your answers
Finished your exam with minutes to spare? Don’t leave early. Instead, use that time to review your answers. You will kick yourself if you accidentally missed a multiple choice question, or the short essay question on the back page that you didn’t see because you rushed out of the exam room.
Tips to beat exam anxiety
No matter how prepared you are for an exam, it’s hard to avoid some anxiety.
Here are seven scientific tips from ASAPThought to help you beat exam anxiety.