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Finals Preparation: Start Early!

Effective test taking is all about planning. And that’s why we’re releasing this finals preparation guide now – in mid-November. You should have plenty of time to organize and develop a strategy. The last thing we want is for you to stress yourself out of success, and the best way to avoid stressful situations is see the road in front of you clearly.

Get as much information as possible… before you need it

Now’s the time to begin asking your instructors for information regarding their final exams. Even if they don’t want to give away too much information, they may be willing to share bits and pieces of helpful info. Consider asking questions such as:

  • In what format will the test be given (multiple choice, true or false, essay, etc.)?
  • Will there be a time limit?
    • If so, what?
    • Will any lectures/chapters/lessons be covered more heavily than others?
    • Will there be a review session?
    • What areas of the test have proved the most difficult for former classes?

Basically, anything your instructors are willing to share – take it and use it to your advantage!

Now, once you have an idea of what’s to come, it’s time to start putting in the work. Remember – you’ll be glad you started early when the big day comes along.

  • First, read through the course syllabus you received on the first day of class. More than likely, this class overview will cover the most important concepts of the class, which should be a strong indicator of what will show up on the final exam.
  • Bring any notes and highlighted materials with you to lectures and use them to follow along. Take note of any other content your instructor emphasizes during class and add it to your artillery of study resources. This will help you focus on relevant items when the long hours of pre-exam studying come.
  • Before each class session, review the material that was discussed the previous day and make sure you have a firm grasp on the points covered. Complete this two-step process each day for maximum comprehension.
  • Meet up with friends and study together as a group. You can discuss difficult and abstract concepts that may not have made sense at first.
  • When the final exam is only a few days away, condense your study notes down to the terms and concepts that will surely be on the test. The goal is to make the best use of your time by focusing on significant material. Efficiency is the name of the game.
  • On the day of the final, arrive early and lightly review your notes. This isn’t the time to begin learning new information. It’s the time to reinforce what you already know.

Need more finals preparation tips? Reach out to the Jones College Career Services department, and don’t be afraid to ask your instructors for extra help!



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