Succeeding in an Online Course

Be Active While Preparing For, and Taking, Exams

Before you take an exam, try to get as much information about it as possible. For instance, find out what kind of test it will be (multiple choice, essay, short-answer, etc.), what material it will cover, and how many points it is worth.

When you begin studying for the exam, try to study in one- to two-hour time blocks to help keep your mind fresh. Also, take breaks between study sessions. Simply getting up and moving around can help refresh your mind and body.

Some other pointers include:

  • Review actively. Pay attention to troublesome points or questions, and ask your instructor to clarify them before the exam.
  • For an essay exam, practice writing short paragraphs on topics covered in class.
  • Anticipate the kinds of questions the instructor might ask. Make up a test yourself, and see if you can answer the questions correctly.
  • Set up a study group or schedule study sessions with your group if you already have one. Ask each other questions, and discuss important concepts. Stay on task; this is not time for socializing.

If you have to come to campus for a proctored exam, get to class a few minutes early because this helps to reduce stress. Also, be sure to bring the appropriate materials: pencils or pens, paper or bluebooks, a dictionary (if allowed), and your text (if it's an open-book exam).