Exam Preparation Timeline

Start of the Term

Make plans and prioritize.
Make a “to do” list and prioritize. Put all dates, times, and locations for exams in your planner. Block study times by subjects in your planner and stick to your schedule. Study for 45-minute chunks and then take a 15-minute active break (go for a walk/jog, stretch, eat a healthy snack). Do not get on electronic devices during study and break times. Proactively set up time to work with a tutor each week and block this in your schedule.

Weekend Before Exams

Work with a study group.
Create a study group with friends in class. Talk through study material and explain it to each other. Make sample questions and test each other. Ask that each group member bring a study sheet they make and exchange ideas. Always check your syllabus before using study groups to ensure it complies with academic integrity policy

Days Before the Exam

Review by yourself.
Take time to study by yourself. Review your own notes and the text. Refer back to anything you underlined or highlighted. Then try explaining the material to yourself, aloud or in writing, to maximize comprehension and memorization. Contact your instructor for any last questions, and schedule time with a tutor to review key concepts and problems. Practice problems because practice makes permanent.

Day Before the Exam

Test yourself and final review.
Answer any questions you have written down while taking notes. Turn your notes and things from the text into questions and answer those without looking up the answers. Review your notes again, and maybe even rewrite them one last time. Make sure you go to bed in time to get a good night’s sleep, and prepare your backpack the night before with everything you will need for the exam so you don’t have to rush or forget things in the morning.

Day of the Exam

Relax and take the exam.
Eat a small, healthy breakfast or snack before the exam to give your brain fuel. Take a brisk walk to release nervous energy. Get to the exam 10 minutes early, get settled, and practice some deep breathing to relax. When you get the exam, write down any important notes or formulas you will need immediately on the back of the exam. Take the exam, and then go do something to relax!