The final exam can be a rather stressful experience. Too often we spend hours preparing only to find our minds stuck in “neutral” by the time we take our seat with the test in front of us. This article will provide easy to use practical insight and real-life strategies that are guaranteed to make your final exam experience more effective. As you walk through these simple steps, you will see your performance on the final exam dramatically improve.
Sleep Well and Eat Breakfast
Yes, this almost sounds too simple to be true. But the fact of the matter is that studies show that your brain works better when you are well fed and rested. If you are coming into a final exam without the proper amount of sleep and food, you put yourself at a handicap before you even read the first question of the final exam. My recommendation is that you get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before the test
Save the Hardest Final Exam Questions for Last
On you first round through the final exam questions, only answer the questions that you feel are the easiest. In other words, skip over the most difficult questions and save them for later. When you have worked through your first round answering the easiest questions, go back to the beginning and work through a second time, answering the questions that were left blank. By using this strategy you may activate prior knowledge, better use your time, and also build a little confidence as you continue. You may also find clues for some of the unanswered questions in other sections of the final exam.
Use the Process of Elimination
Multiple-choice questions are designed so that two answers are absolutely incorrect, while the other two are possible answers. By using this strategy, you begin by identifying and eliminating the obvious incorrect answers, which will leave you two questions to select from. Once you have done this, then you can use you prior knowledge and make the best selection. Worst case scenario is that you have a 50% chance of getting the question right on your final exam.
Circle and Underline Key Words and Phrases
Using this strategy helps to focus you on what the question is asking and how to properly answer it. Here is an example: Name three causes of the Civil War and explain. When using this strategy on the final exam, I would circle the words name and explain, and I would underline three causes. As you answer each part of the question, you may want to check it off. This will ensure that you have provided a complete answer.
List the Main Idea of Each Section
This strategy works for tests that have large bodies of text to be read, such as reading or Social Studies essays. When reading this type of final exam question, list the main idea in the margin for each paragraph or section. This will help you scan for correct answers later, by narrowing down the search area for possible answers of questions. This will also help you avoid having to re-read large sections of unrelated material in answering your final exam questions, which save time and mental energy.
The next time that you take that final exam, remember to use these simple strategies. They will boost final exam performance and lower test anxiety, regardless of your age or the difficulty of the test. Good luck and study hard!
* Avoid Cramming.
* Take a Deep Breath.
* Take Good Notes in Class.
* Preview the Test Before You Begin.
* Study With A Buddy.