Hawkeyes we are officially in midterm season! Here are some tips on how you can ace any exam.
Step 1) Objectives are your best friend!
The first thing I like to do for an upcoming exam is print out the list of objectives for the particular exam. The objectives are essentially a study guide that will help you in making sure you have covered each topic that could potentially be asked on the exam. In each course, either the professor will upload a study guide or will provide a list of objectives for each topic. I then print out this list of objectives so that I can use it as a checklist, and tick off each point as I accomplish them.
Step 2) Next, plan your calendar!
The most important thing is timing! You want to make sure you give yourself enough time to review all of the content of the exam. Planning ahead of time will make you feel less overwhelmed to tackling any task. I like to use a calendar and give myself two weeks for subjects I find harder and one week for subjects I find relatively easier. Then under each day, I create a time slot in which I block out time specifically to study for that one subject. In doing this, I’ve found that I will not forget about studying for the exam as it’s already in my schedule.
Step 3) How much do you actually know?
To do well in any exam, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses about that particular topic. In this step, you have to be honest with yourself. There is no point in re-learning content you know you are good at, because you will tend to not make time or practice where you are weak, and therefore you will have a greater chance of being underprepared for the upcoming exam. The solution is to use the printed objectives list and mark/circle topics you know you are confident in or where you need more practice. This will help you by directly starting with areas you are weaker in, allowing more time for practice in this field, giving up a greater advantage to excelling on your exam.
Step 4) Put away your distractions!
It is so important when you’re studying to put your phone away. I like to put my phone on the other side of the room or in my bag if I’m studying in a study lounge. Also by turning your notifications off, you will reduce the urge to constantly check the updates on your phone, giving you more time to study. Furthermore, know the best way you study. If you realize you are getting easily distracted while studying around friends, allocate time your study for the upcoming exam to sit by yourself. This will minimize the time you talk with friends and you will be so much more productive.
Step 5) Learn how to achieve the results you want!
Each subject will have its own unique study methods to achieve the best score. For example, a history class might need a student to remember a lot of content. So for this, I recommend using quizlet or flashcards to reiterate the information taught. However, for more theory-based classes like science or calculus, understanding the concept is very important. To study for these classes it is important to attend lectures, and if possible listen to lectures twice to fill in the gaps of knowledge. Also practicing is the best way to get better at any subject. By doing past paper questions or homework questions you will understand how to apply what you have learned and have a better chance of performing well.
Step 6) Use the resources!
On-campus, the University of Iowa provides a great range of services and assistance to help students gain the results they want! Facilities like supplementary instruction sessions, teaching assistants, tutoring services, the writing center, library services… the list goes on! Be sure for each subject to find out all the resources available so that you can get the most help possible.
By using these steps, you are sure to perform well on your exam! Good luck Hawkeyes, for all your midterms but don’t worry, because spring break is almost here in just less than two weeks! #gohawks