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Academic Resource Center: Test and Exam Prep

Retrieval Practice Methods

5 Steps of Active Study

  1. Group similar terms together, and write down one group of terms on a blank page. 
  2. Next, highlight those terms in your notebook, study guide, or textbook.
  3. Test yourself by writing down what you know about each term, using bullet points and making connections between terms.
  4. Expand your self-testing with information from class notes and your textbook.
  5. Above all, do not re-read as a study method. Self-test and be active with the information.

Simple steps to improve student learning

Exam Prep Tips from NSS

Study Tools

Study Tips from The Guardian

  1. Don't mistake recognition for an ability to recall the information. Rereading or summarizing your textbook and notes may help for short-term memorizing but not for transferring to long-term memory. Continue testing yourself until you can fully explain or answer the question.
  2. ­Space your study sessions out over a number of days.
  3. Focus on and identify the information that you don't know well, not what you feel comfortable with already.
  4. Practice your test-taking skills by writing complete answers under exam conditions.

Adapted from The Guardian article entitled: "The way you're revising may let you down in exams - and here's why." and The KQED article entitled: "Why Teachers Should Help Students Learn Effective Study Strategies"