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How to do well in exams?

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  • Jun 20th, 2017 10:26 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 11, 2008
562 posts
T.O.

How to do well in exams?

I am getting decent marks so far this semester on midterms + assignments

I always seem to do terrible to decent (never excellent) on my exams (i.e. going into a final exam with an A- and leaving with a C+).

I don't know what it is; I am thinking burnout from a long semester + cracking under pressure

What are your secrets to succeeding come exam time?

I am in engineering BTW

any tips/advice appreciated
23 replies
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2009
545 posts
40 upvotes
USA
why do you think you're doing badly? do you still remember the material? how much do you review for exams?
Newbie
Jan 19, 2009
47 posts
smolek wrote:
Nov 25th, 2009 11:50 am
I am getting decent marks so far this semester on midterms + assignments

I always seem to do terrible to decent (never excellent) on my exams (i.e. going into a final exam with an A- and leaving with a C+).

I don't know what it is; I am thinking burnout from a long semester + cracking under pressure

What are your secrets to succeeding come exam time?

I am in engineering BTW

any tips/advice appreciated
I'm in engineering also.

It's hard, Assignments/Quizzes etc. all boost my mark before going into an exam. I've come to accept it now. The exam's are always hard and there are always tricks. Go see your TA or talk to your Prof and find good study buddies. Long semester could be it. I know in my program @ waterloo, its about 3-6 assignments/quizzes due a week, and it gets boring/tire some after 3.5 months. Just hang in there. You'll be kicking yourself later if you don't give it your all.

Oh yeah, and ignore all you're friends who do very little work in univeristy and still get 80-90's. I'm a 80-90 student in high school, but after doing my program, I'm seeing marks like 60-70, and i'm happy i'm not failing. Then there's kids from highschool who got 60-70's and now they are getting 70-80's.

I feel like I'm ranting here, but truth is, their marks are inflated. Marks aren't everything. Work experience is worth more, so just hang in and try to get a passing grade.

Anwyays, GL with your studies. Maximize your time, and study RIGHT NOW, like it's crunch time, because the night before the exam, you're gonna wish you did.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 11, 2008
3359 posts
135 upvotes
Toronto
drk_fly wrote:
Nov 25th, 2009 1:22 pm
I'm in engineering also.

It's hard, Assignments/Quizzes etc. all boost my mark before going into an exam. I've come to accept it now. The exam's are always hard and there are always tricks. Go see your TA or talk to your Prof and find good study buddies. Long semester could be it. I know in my program @ waterloo, its about 3-6 assignments/quizzes due a week, and it gets boring/tire some after 3.5 months. Just hang in there. You'll be kicking yourself later if you don't give it your all.

Oh yeah, and ignore all you're friends who do very little work in univeristy and still get 80-90's. I'm a 80-90 student in high school, but after doing my program, I'm seeing marks like 60-70, and i'm happy i'm not failing. Then there's kids from highschool who got 60-70's and now they are getting 70-80's.

I feel like I'm ranting here, but truth is, their marks are inflated. Marks aren't everything. Work experience is worth more, so just hang in and try to get a passing grade.

Anwyays, GL with your studies. Maximize your time, and study RIGHT NOW, like it's crunch time, because the night before the exam, you're gonna wish you did.
I don't get it.. how can their marks be inflated?
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2009
545 posts
40 upvotes
USA
windforcexx28 wrote:
Nov 25th, 2009 5:20 pm
I don't get it.. how can their marks be inflated?
maybe he's talking about bellcurves applied to the final mark?

anyways the important thing is to study in a way that is effective to you - as long as you understand it, that's the most important part.
Newbie
May 11, 2008
55 posts
mississauga
just do all the old exams you can get a hand on, try do them closed notes and time yourself
im engineering too, that's what works for me.
Deal Fanatic
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Jul 15, 2008
8209 posts
1024 upvotes
Toronto
Go to class, do the exercises. Review hard concepts. Understand the material and don't rely on memorization. Go to office hours if necessary. Acquire A+.
Newbie
Apr 7, 2017
3 posts
1 upvote
Most importantly though is to do past tests, so get a sense of what you're going to be dealing with and more importantly, to test your knowledge.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
2199 posts
397 upvotes
Kingston
Don't do all your studying a few days before the exam. Work steadily throughout the course and review concepts before the exam. Work in a study group. Use all resources available to you. Go to office hours and ask how questions are usually marked and what markers are looking for. Use the forums on classroom learning systems.
Sr. Member
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Dec 16, 2015
713 posts
308 upvotes
Canada
limitless pill

nootropics

brainhacks
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13196 posts
672 upvotes
You have to understand the concepts..

If you cannot teach someone else the concept, then you don't understand it well enough. This is basic adult education principles.
Sr. Member
Mar 18, 2015
829 posts
166 upvotes
Antarctica
^ precisely what the above poster said

I have had classmates pull all nighters back to back during major assignments and exam season while I made it a goal to always have enough sleep daily and also work on a side project as well. No I am not a genius, neither am I particularly gifted or consider myself that. Yes it helps that I find my course materials interesting but the key was good organization right from the start and keeping up with both course work and concepts during the term. Also consider that I am slightly older than your average undergrad and have learnt that time management + sticking to your schedule is the key.

With math heavy courses you gotta do your hw and practice practice practice. With most other courses mastering concepts and learning what exactly are they telling you is the key. Do that and you should be fine during exams.

Also as long as you are doing decent to well don't get hung up on GPA as much as getting some form of experience through work/side gigs.
Banned
Apr 28, 2017
38 posts
25 upvotes
I'm a business grad and I'm sure that our study-type is quite different, but here are some tips I used in academic years.
- Attend all lectures with 100% concentration and note down all the points your lecturer is providing other than the course book
- Go for the concepts rather than just solving the things
- Try explaining things to your classmates, what you've learned from the concepts. If they'll understand what you taught them, it will be a signal that your concepts are clear.
- Lastly, understand the psychique of the examiner and attempt the paper accordingly
Member
Mar 6, 2015
228 posts
6 upvotes
Richmond Hill, ON
Does any human relations affect exam result too. For example, if your high school math teachers favored one or two of your peers because for reasons that you did not know, would you also try to gain favor from that teacher? Having a working relations with your peers help how to tackle exams. In other words, does collaboration help in any extent to exam performance? If so, how so? In the past, I felt frustrated by isolation when I raised information or question about exams to peers?

At post secondary level, would your peers have greater effect than teachers?

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