I was talking this week with a student who told me she did not know how to prepare for an exam. She’s a freshman who perhaps did not need to study in high school but she knows she needs to now. Wise woman!
So how do you go about preparing for a test? First, take notes on lectures. When you get home in the evening, review those notes while they are still fresh in your mind and fill in the blanks of anything you missed, using your textbook. If you still have some blanks, as the professor at the next class.
Review all the notes for the week on a weekly basis. Make up note cards for any definitions you need to learn. Hand-write all notes and note cards because studies have shown that students who hand write things remember them better than those folks who take notes on a computer. That’s why I do not allow computers for note-taking in any of my classes.
As you get closer to the exam, review all of the notes you have taken since the last exam on an every-day-or-so basis. Even if you have not memorized the answers to potential questions, you should be able to recognize the correct answer when you see the exam.
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.