Studying for an exam is different from studying to learn, you need to be strategic because
it’s all about getting the best grade possible.
So whether you’re cramming for an exam tomorrow or studying for one in a few months’ time,
here is the 6 step strategy you should follow for your best chance of success.
The first step to hacking your exam prep is being clear about what’s on the exam.
This might be obvious, by doing this really well will help you be laser focused in the
next 5 steps.
If you can, confirm three things: • What topics and areas you might be tested
on; • What types of questions there will be;
• And how much each section of the exam is worth.
You won’t always know this information, but get as many details as possible from your
teacher or lecturer.
Check the course outline or objectives, but make sure you attend the final class or lecture
before an exam, because that’s often where they’ll share more details or advice.
There are 3 general types of exams and you prepare differently for each of them.
If you don’t get this right, you’ll crash and burn for sure.
这3种是：记忆 概念理解 知识应用
The 3 types are memorization; understanding concepts; and problem solving.
If you’re short on time, you might be tempted to prepare for a problem solving exam by memorizing
That would be a mistake.
Subjects that typically need a lot of memorization include history, languages and parts of some
science classes like biology and anatomy.
Memorization is all about building connections.
Using only repetition to try and remember things, doesn’t create connections and that’s
why it doesn’t work very well.
You can click the link on the screen to learn the 5 principles of super-effective memorization
techniques, and jump ahead of 99% of other students.
Social science subjects and a lot of others, have exams based mainly on understanding concepts.
It’s important to have a big picture perspective, and understand how all the smaller pieces
of the puzzle fit together.
Take the information from your lectures, textbook and extra reading material, and organize it
according to the major themes and concepts.
It’s easiest to do visually, so use mind-maps, flow charts and diagrams to create your overall
perspective, and show the links between details, concepts and the overall subject.
Typical exam questions ask you to evaluate, compare and apply the concepts, so practice
doing that and try to use concrete examples to explain answers.
第三种考试类型是解决问题 这在工程、 商科
The third type of exam is problem solving, which is common for engineering, commerce
and science courses.
The key to these exams is doing a lot of problems.
But try doing a problem first before reading the theory behind it.
记住 你将会从解决问题中得到考试的大部分成绩 而不是从概念上
Remember, you’ll get most exam marks for doing problems, not knowing the theory, so
that sets your study priorities.
Instead of reading a chapter in detail and then trying the problems, flip it around.
大致浏览章节内容后 就开始做题 只有在你遇到
Give the chapter a brief skim, but start on the problems, and only go back to read the
theory when you hit a roadblock.
That way, you’ll get the problem done and know the theory.
You also need to know the type of questions in your exam, because you’ll prepare differently
for each of them.
The most common question types are multiple choice, essays, problems and short answers.
Which of those will be included on your exam?
There are 3 types of multiple choice questions.
They can test your straight recall of facts, your comprehension of how facts relate to
concepts, or how you apply your knowledge and understanding.
Don’t waste time and effort by preparing for the wrong type of multiple choice question.
Next is essay questions.
Look at the major topics and themes in your course.
Which ones were repeated or given emphasis?
Make your own potential exam questions to practice answering.
Start by creating detailed outlines for each answer, and then if you have time you can
practice writing out the complete essay as well.
For more step-by-step details on essay preparation, click the link on the screen and you can grab
a free download.
The third type of question is problems, and I’ve already recommended doing as many practice
problems as you can.
It’s really important to understand what the question requires you to do, so try and
translate the problem into your own words, or draw an illustration or diagram to help
you picture the problem in your head.
Develop a system to approach these types of questions, and record all the formulas you
use too, because you’ll need to know them for the exam.
The final type of question is short answer questions, and you might need to give anything
from a sentence to a paragraph answer.
Prepare by memorizing important terms and definitions, and by using mind maps to relate
each term back to the overall concepts of the subject, and connect any supporting evidence.
The first three steps were really preparation for this step, because it’s the most powerful.
If you haven’t heard of the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s Principle, it’s all about prioritization
The 80/20 rule says that generally speaking, 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent
of your efforts.
If you think about your last assignment, you probably did 80% of that assignment in 20%
of the total time you spent working on it.
And if you’re like the average student, it was probably the 20% of time right before
So how will this apply to studying for your exam?
80% of your exam marks will come from 20% of your study efforts.
Don’t get hung up on the numbers, they won’t always hold exactly true, it’s more about
Identify what’s going to give you the biggest bang for buck.
Will some topics have more emphasis in the exam than others?
Which section of the exam is worth the most?
Will preparing for one type of question also help you prepare for another type of question
If there are hot spots that cover all three, that’s your starting point.
If you’re cramming the night before, this might be all you can achieve, but if you have
more time, you’ll focus on more topics and areas.
This is just a simple example, but you get the idea.
Be strategic and focus on what’s going to give you the highest grade possible.
Once you’ve made this plan, it’s time for action.
Ok, now it’s dress rehearsal time.
The absolute best way to do well at answering questions in your exam, is to practice answering
exam questions now.
Get practice questions from your textbook, class examples or assignments, but if you
can, the most valuable is practice exams or old exam papers.
首先试做练习题 当你遇到困难时 再参照你的教科书
Try practice questions first and only refer back to your textbook or class material when
you get stuck.
Doing it this way reviews everything you know, highlights areas where you need to improve,
and you’ll probably learn as you go as well.
Remember, if you study by only re-reading your notes and textbook, that will only make
you better at reading.
Unfortunately you’re going to be examined on how well you answer questions.
So that is what you need to practice doing.
Exams are stressful, and stress does crazy things to your head.
Knowledge you thought you had is going to disappear like a magic trick.
Something you could recall the night before might not be as secure in your mind as you
One solution is overlearning, or learning beyond the point of being able to recall a
piece of information.
Instead, you should keep reviewing it for even longer.
Because overlearning like this strengthens your learning and improves how fast and easily
you’re able to recall information.
And that’s what you want in your exam!
Overlearning also increases your confidence in what you can remember, and when you’re
more confident you’ll be less anxious as well.
If you’re cramming for an exam, first use the 80/20 rule to confirm the absolutely most
important areas to study.
Then focus on overlearning them.
That might be only the 3 or 4 primary concepts of the subject, and for the types of questions
that have the greatest weight in the exam.
Once you’ve achieved that, if you still have more time available, then you can begin
looking at other topics or concepts or types of questions as well.
That’s called being strategic.
If you’d like more step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for different types of exam
questions, or how to memorize more effectively, click the link on the screen and head over
to the Memorize Academy website.
如何学习考试 - 战略考试准备的六大步骤就像天才一样