The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    Tip of the Week


    How to prepare for a test

    College exams can be very intimidating and stressful to college students. They could sometimes determine whether students pass a class, get their diploma, or even determine how they feel about themselves. Nothing can crush a student’s self-esteem more than a failing grade on an exam.

    Fortunately, students can do well on exams with proper preparation, no matter how daunting they may seem. Here are a few tips that might help you tackle that next big test:

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    1.       Take good notes from lecture and reading. It is nearly impossible, unless you have the memory of a computer, to do well on any exam without taking notes. Without notes, students have nothing to study and no information to learn or retain. Many exams will require students to memorize certain facts or concepts that cannot be remembered from pure memory. Not to mention, students who write down the concepts from lectures and readings will more likely remember it, since they can reprocesses the material in their brains. Make sure, however, to not write down everything the professor says, but instead, summarize the main points.

    2.       Use your notes to make a comprehensive study guide. This is probably the most important tip given. After taking the notes, sort them by week, chapter, or topic, and type them up if not typed up already. Then, use a standard outline format to organize the notes. Next, add more information to the notes, especially in areas that may have been missed. Arrange an appointment with the instructor to clarify the missed points, or ask a classmate. The course textbook might also help fill in the gaps in the notes. Be sure to include examples for each of the concepts too, as professors often test on whether the students not just understands a concept, but knows it as well. It may be surprising, but reading the study guide over just once might sometimes suffice and get a student that A.

    3.       Take practice quizzes from either the textbook or the instructor. This is the most helpful for anyone taking an exam, but do not count on it. Instructors, especially at universities, will not be so generous as to give out questions very similar to what will show up on the exam. If they do, take advantage of it and do them. Chances are, if a student can do the practice exam, he or she can do the real one. If the instructor does not hand out a practice exam, try the textbook’s web site. Often times, it has multiple-choice quizzes where some of the questions might just show up on a real exam.

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