Find out as much about the exam in advance as you can.
The more you know ahead of time, the less you will be taken by surprise on the day of the exam.
Know the test
If you know how many questions, what the format is, and/or how much time you will have, you can start to mentally prepare for the exam much more so than if you are coming in with no information. There are two more important aspects that you may or may not know: a) what will be covered or asked on the exam; b) how the exam will be scored. Obviously, the more you know about what will be covered, the easier it is for you to be able to prepare for the exam.
In conclusion, the more information you have about the exam, the better you can prepare for content, allocation of time spent on aspects of the exam, and the more confident you will be in knowing how and when to attempt to answer questions.
Take care of your body
Before the exam, it is important to prepare your brain and body for optimal performance for your exam. Do not cram the night before. Get a good night’s sleep. Make sure you eat (nutritiously) before the exam. Exercising or going for a walk before the exam may also help you get in the right mindset.
It’s easy to put off studying if it’s not something we schedule. Block specific times and days for studying. Put the times on your calendar. Stick to the schedule.
Study In a Location and At a Time That Is Best for You
Some students study best in the morning and some at night. Some excel at a coffee shop, and others at the library. The place and time in which students often study is usually the most convenient for them. Students often find convenient places and times may also be full of distractions and thus are not good choices for them to study. It’s worth the effort to study at the time and place that will be most productive for you. For most students, it is best to turn off the cell phone and TV and to keep off the Internet (and social media) unless it directly relates to your work.
Tips for Effective, Individual Study Spaces
Most students more or less take what they can get when it comes to study areas. Schools usually offer a variety of nooks and crannies for students to hunker down and get their assignments done. Western's Learning Commons is a good place. Many common areas elsewhere on campus have tables, chairs, couches, and lounges to accommodate learners. But most students end up doing the majority of their out-of-class work at home.
Home environments may be limited in terms of providing all of the recommended aspects of a good study space, but many of the recommendations can be either implemented or adapted from what a student has on hand or what can be improvised no matter what environment he or she is living in. Elements conducive to a more effective study/homework experience include such things as good lighting, ample supplies, comfortable seating, adequate space, and personalizing the study area to add a touch of inspiration and motivation.
This is something that takes a lot of time: there is no shortcut for it. Students who skip putting in the time and work often end up cramming at the end.
Preview the information you are trying to memorize. The more familiar you are with what you are learning, the better.
Create acronyms like SCUBA for memorizing “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.” Organizing information in this way can be helpful because it is not as difficult to memorize the acronym, and with practice and repetition, the acronym can trigger the brain to recall the entire piece of information.
Flash cards are a valuable tool for memorization because they allow students to be able to test themselves. They are convenient to bring with you anywhere, and can be used effectively whether you have one minute or an hour.
Once information is memorized, regardless of when the exam is, the last step is to apply the information. Ask yourself: In what real world scenarios could you apply this information? And for mastery, try to teach the information to someone else.