Test and Exams

Quick Links - PDF Handouts

Instructions, Resources, Tips and Tricks

  • Never, ever just re-read your notes. This is the least effective strategy students use. And, if recopying notes, make sure you are reducing, re-organizing, and testing yourself and you do.
  • Follow the "Learning Cycle".
    Our brains are designed to have an experience, process that experience and explain it and then try again. This cycle reinforces that process.
  • Combine and condense your class and reading notes.
    See our workshop "Eight to Be Great" for an example of condensed notes. Consistently, this technique is what the "best" students do.
    See "Creating Condensed Notes" (You Tube) for more information on the process.
    This blog has a series of images that show a medical student developed and improved his condensed notes over a number of years.
  • Develop flashcards - shuffle and review all of them, even the ones you think you know. (You Tube).
    • http://ankisrs.net/ (online flashcard site)
    • Quizlet is an iPad app similar to ankisrs that also includes mix and match games
    • WARNING: Be wary of pre-made flashcards. Too often they just focus on definitions which doesn't help you learn the material. Where possible, make your own. Thomas Frank's video linked above, shows you how to make a useful flashcard.
  • Use any and all text book quizzes/self-text questions and use them regularly. Don't panic if you don't know the answers, that's part of the process.
  • Study with friends, but make sure that you have a study agenda and that the studying has a focus/purpose (see Stephen Chew (video #5) on study groups)
  • Review the "Test/Exam Preparation" handout

Resource List
Bain, Ken (2012). What best college students do. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Brown, Peter C., Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M.A. (2014). Make it stick: The science of successful learning. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Chew, Stephen (n .d.). How to get the most out of studying: A video series. Samford University. http://www.samford.edu/departments/academic-success-center/how-to-study.
Frank, Thomas (2016). College InfoGeek. http://collegeinfogeek.com.
Zull, James