Prepping for your first major exam

Prepping for your first major exams

It is never too early to begin organizing yourself and your resources for the next big exam!  Mid-Semester Exams occur around the second or third week in October, and Final Exams are scheduled for December 10-14.  Now is a good time to ask yourself, “Have I made wise choices about my time management?  Have I divided my time and energies to achieve maximum success?”  Any “free” unstructured time you may have at the moment will quickly dissipate around “crunch” time.

Suggested next steps:

  • Figure out what your present situation is in each class.
  • Estimate what “new” work and “catch-up” work needs to be done between now and the exams.  Also, estimate how much time will be needed to review for each exam.
  • Learn all you can about each exam.  What is the format?  Will there be more objective (multiple-choice, true-false, matching) questions or subjective (essay, short-answer)?  How many units or chapters or modules will it cover? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, be sure to ask your professor!
  • What is the emphasis on various topics?  If all of the lecture information and text readings are to be covered, which topics are most important?
  • Who is writing the exam (professor, textbook authors, department) and who will be grading the exams?
  • Visit textbook companion websites for practice quizzes, flashcards, and tutorials.
  • Rank your courses according to difficulty level and decide on a realistic final grade for each course.
  • Estimate how many study hours are available to you and divide them among your courses according to your priorities.  In general, it is better to overestimate how much time you will need than to underestimate.


Meet with a Tutor in the Learning Assistance Center for course content tutoring.  Visit for a list of tutors and tutoring schedule.

Meet with a Learning Specialist in the Learning Assistance Center to discuss individual learning styles and preferences and specific learning strategies such as test taking, note taking, time management, critical thinking skills, and critical reading skills.  Contact Lorraine Pecchia, to ask questions or make an appointment.

Visit the Learning Assistance Center for more exam prep help and resources.

***For fall long weekend, the Learning Assistance Center will close on Thursday, October 4th at 4PM. It will be re-opening for tutoring on Sunday, October 7th from 6PM-9PM. Please plan accordingly.***

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