Exam Boot Camp

Study Skills and Test Taking

Get Organized…...How?

    • Organize your binders
    • Get missed notes/hand outs
    • Keep course notes together & separate from other courses
    • Put notes in chronological order
    • Ensure you have all resources (e.g., textbook, calculator, tests etc.)

Manage Your Time

  • Create a study schedule
    • What time of day do you learn best?
    • What activities do you have to work around? Prioritize
    • How many exams do you have?
    • How much time exists from now until exams?
    • Avoid cramming
    • Be realistic!

Learning Environment

  • Finding a good place to study
    • Quiet
    • Free of interruptions
    • Prepared with supplies/organized
    • Avoid distractions like the TV and phone
    • Start with the most difficult tasks first
    • Plan study breaks
    • Get into the habit of studying every day

Study Techniques

  • Practice testing

  • Distributed Studying

  • Ask Who, What, When, Where, Why & How

  • After you have read something, summarize it and recite it back to yourself

  • Write it down in your own words – causes you to think about the information, can create ‘cheat sheets, flash cards, diagrams

  • Teach it to a friend

Study Skills Do’s and Don’ts


  • Study difficult tasks first
  • Put your phone away
  • Pay close attention during exam review
  • Complete exam review sheets
  • Break down the larger tasks into smaller chunks
  • Plan your studying and study when alert
  • Alternate topics
  • Plan study breaks


  • Don’t Procrastinate
  • Do not just read over your notes
  • Don’t eat or drink foods with high contents of sugar and caffeine
  • Don’t pull all-nighters
  • Don’t access social media

Test Taking Strategies

  • Know the time and room of your exam
  • Have everything you need with you
  • Write down facts, formulas, memory aids, etc.
  • Scan the whole test immediately – sense of pace, stuff you know, build confidence
  • Read the directions slowly, then re-read them – highlight key words
  • Pace yourself – don’t waste time on questions that are not worth a lot
  • If don’t know skip it –sometimes answer may be in another part of the exam
  • Be neat – write legibly, outline questions on scrap sheets first

Writing Under Time Constraints

  • Outline
  • Get to the point
  • Leave off introductions
  • Put your answer at the beginning
  • Avoid wordy rambling writing
  • If almost no time left use point form

Managing Stress

  • Stress is normal and important
  • Be prepared
  • Life style - Exercise regularly, eat well, avoid caffeine, alcohol, cannabis, get lots of rest.
  • Awareness – of the things that cause you stress and try to avoid
  • Breathe – control the physical symptoms of nervousness
  • Ignore - things that you can’t change and be positive about things that are within your control

Managing Stress

  • Reinforce positive self-statements
  • Seek support
  • Keep things in perspective. Yes, exams are important, but…..
  • Arrive early – arrive and practice calming techniques
  • If mind has gone blank – you have been focusing on the wrong things. Close your eyes, take a breath and try again.
  • Focus on calm and pleasant things
Exam Boot Camp - Google Slides