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Succeed at Exams

Choose study techniques for closed-book exams

  • Spend more time honing your recall skills. Review course material regularly throughout the semester to help you retain important information for your exam. 
  • If you’re used to untimed exams, practice working under time pressure by writing practice quizzes or exams in a timed setting. Keep your books closed to help you recall information.
  • Our Succeed at Exams: Study for Exams guide has specific suggestions for creating practice exams and spacing out your studying.
  • Our Study Effectively guide has ideas for how to review course material to deepen your understanding and test your knowledge.

Prepare for a new environment

  • The place where you write your exam may be different than the lecture hall. Consult WebAdvisor or your course outline for the exam location, and visit the location before you write your exam.
  • Be prepared to write your exam with many more people than you see in lecture. Students in different sections of the same course often write their exams together. Also, more students may show up to the exam than to lectures.
  • If you might get distracted by other students, study or write practice exams in a space with other students, such as the library. 
    • Studying for an exam in a place where you have to ignore distractions like noise or other students will help you prepare for dealing with distractions during an exam.
  • It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious about exams. Student Wellness has a range of services, from peer-to-peer counselling at the Student Support Network to Health and Wellness Program to help you cope with stress. 

Checklist for the day of your exam

  • Final exams may take place in different locations than your lectures. Consult WebAdvisor for your exam location.
  • If your exam is in a different location, visit it before you write the exam so that you know in advance exactly where to go. 
  • Arrive 30 minutes early, especially for large exams. 
  • Bring your student ID.
  • Bring your supplies, such as pens, pencils, calculator.
  • Bring a water bottle.

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