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Succeed at Exams

What tools can I use to help me prepare for exams?

How can I succeed at exams?

New students often find university exams to be different from the exams they had in high school.  University exams may require you to:

  • Go beyond material that was covered in the textbook and lecture
  • Link together material from the text and lectures and think about the relationships between key concepts and ideas
  • Apply the theoretical concepts covered in the text and lecture to new situations.

Browse the Guides in this series for advice on how to prepare for different types of exams, and how to improve your marks by analyzing your exam errors.

Workshops on exam preparation are available in the Library close to the final exam period, and you can also book a free appointment for individual assistance, tailored to your needs.

Top 10 Exam Tips

  1. University exams often require you to go beyond material covered in the lectures and textbook and cause you to think about relationships between concepts
  2. Pay close attention to examples, scenarios, sample questions or stories in lectures and texts because these may highlight important relationships or concepts
  3. Make concept maps to recognize relationships and help you to compare and contrast ideas and content
  4. Don't just redo the examples you were given in class - practise doing questions similar to the examples, because it's likely the concept behind the questions is important
  5. With your classmates, formulate sample test questions that apply the class material to new scenarios
  6. Get enough sleep, have all your materials ready, dress comfortably, and avoid panicky students to help you stay calm on exam day
  7. Look over the entire exam first to give you an idea of what types of questions you will be answering
  8. Write down any formulas, processes, and keywords in the margins as soon as you get the exam
  9. Create a time budget by taking the total time you have and dividing it up by sections or questions
  10. Start with easy questions first to build your confidence and calms nerves. 

Resources to Help with Exam Preparation

Guide: Succeed at ExamsGuide: Study EffectivelyHandout: Study Smarter Not Harder

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