Intro: Learn how to study for university examinations. If you’re a student in college, graduate school, or a doctorate program, you know that preparing for a university exam can be challenging unless you have a photographic memory. Since there are many different ways to test people on their knowledge of the subject, college professors have created several kinds of exams to determine how much you’ve learned. The most common exams in college are essay exams, multiple choice exams, fill in the blank exams, and oral exams. Professional students have discovered several ways for you to earn high scores on these types of exams.
Step 1: Become a good note taker because preparation for doing well on essay exams, multiple choice exams, oral exams, and fill in the blank exams begins with excellent note taking. Taking notes increases your mental retention of the significant material, while allowing you to ignore irrelevant information. After you have taken your notes by hand, you should type your notes on your computer because this increases your ability to remember the important issues and stores this information for writing a paper later.
Your note taking will help you determine what chapters you should read in a large book with too much narrative without you having to read the whole book. Your notes should be organized around how you remember information. The acronym note taking system is an excellent way to remember information for almost any exam. For example, the acronym PMAT means prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and tele-phase. This acronym reminds biology students of the four phases of mitosis cell cycle, while the acronym ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) reminds astronomy students of the colors on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Step 2: Practice writing essays before taking essay exams. You will usually take these kinds of essay exams in history, English, philosophy, theology, military, and political science courses. Writing these essays should be based on the notes you have taken in class because your notes will forecast what kinds of essays will be on the exam. The types of essay exams you will probably have to write includes answer the question essays, argumentative essay , cause and effect essays, comparison and contrast essays, definition essays , descriptive essays, division and classification essays, evaluation essays, example essays, historical analysis essay, literary analysis: terms, literary analysis essays , and narrative essays.
However, most academic essay exams are definitive, analytical, and argumentative in nature. The best essays offer the reader the most information about their subject and this tells the professor how much the student has learned. Therefore, students who write down much relevant data to complement their superior writing skills tend to score high on these types of essay exams.
Step 3: Study the strengths and weaknesses of a multiple-choice exam. You usually find many of these exams in math, business, and science courses. These exams are easy for some students and difficult for other students because some students with a good memory, a focused mind, and a familiarity with these multiple choice questions can do very well, while other students think too hard on every question, which causes them to miss the correct answer.
The good thing about a multiple-choice exam is that the correct answer is always there among other false answers. The bad thing about a multiple-choice test is that the additional information on the test is designed to confuse students. It takes a specific kind of mental discipline to do well on many multiple-choice exams. Therefore, the best ways to prepare for these types of exams includes studying your notes, practice answering exam related questions, find old multiple-choice exams that may be similar to the exam you are preparing for, and use flashcards and group questionnaires for memorization of certain facts.
Step 4: Learn to master oral exams. Oral Exams are generally held in advanced academic environments such as graduate school program, PhD programs, law schools, and medical schools. You must prepare by anticipating what kinds of questions you’ll be asked by people who know more about the subject than you. Although these oral exams are stressful to introverts, they are less stressful for extrovert’s partly because students are sitting in front of professors who will ask them hard questions on the spot.
A student must respond with clarity, succinctly, and fluidly. Since you will have no opportunity to makeup answers to questions that you don’t know, you must be armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of the issues. The best way to prepare for oral exams include outlining your responses to likely questions on paper, practice answering questions aloud to yourself, and practice aloud with an audience that involve other classmates, tutors, or friends.
Step 5: Finally, never prepare for any exam alone, but with other students taking the same courses because working together is always better than working alone. If you are an introvert, then study alone before studying with other people. You must remember that you are unique and not all people test alike. You may prefer essay exams to multiple choice exams because of your ability to study for this type of test. However, despite your best test preparatory routine for your favorite exam type, you will inevitably be tested on all the major academic exams. Therefore, it is very important that you learn how to prepare for all exams.
Related Sources: Writing Well by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D. ;Technical Writing by Krista Van Laan and Catherine Julian; Grammar and Style by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.; Writing Well; Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.; Life Experience by Eliot Elwar.