Finals Study Tips
  1. Talk to the professor or TA ahead of time. Your professor and/or TA is going to be writing the exam … so of course they know what’s going to be on it. Heading to a study session or visiting your professor during office hours will give you the opportunity to ask questions about what is going to be on the test and how best you can study for it.
  2. Know for certain what material will be covered. Some professors have finals that cover all of the material from the semester; others may only test on, say, the material covered since the last exam. Know what you’ll be tested on so you can focus your studying efforts more effectively.
  3. Look at other exams you’ve had in the class so far. Chances are that your professor has an exam style, just like you have a test-taking style. Look at previous exams that you’ve taken in the class to see what material your professor often thinks is important enough to test on and what formats he or she likes to use — and then plan your study approach accordingly.
  4. Create or join a study group. True, study groups often start off with lots of chatting, but a good group can quickly get down to business, focus, and cover a lot of material. Studying with peers is also a great way to break up the material: each person can make a study guide for certain chapters, for example, so that the group can quickly create a comprehensive study guide together. Additionally, study groups can help provide some much-needed laughter breaks when you’re studying late into the night.
  5. Ask other students who have taken the class before what to expect. Chances are someone in your residence hall, fraternity/sorority, group of friends, or somewhere has taken your class before. Ask around to find out what the course final is often like and what you’ll need to do to be as prepared as possible.
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