Final Exam Study Tips
As students prepare for exams, ACE is open for studying help.
April 29, 2012
The semester has ended and finals are here for students at Bluefield College.
However, traffic is slow in the Academic Center for Excellence, also known as ACE, located in the bottom-level of Rish.
BC students studying in ACE
This center is a place for comprehensive tutoring services. Students requesting help are matched with a proficient tutor. ACE offers academic support to students by providing information about time management skills, learning styles, and other issues related to a student’s academic success. Disability services are also available through ACE.
Crystal Kieloch, director of academic support services at Bluefield, says there aren’t as many students signing up for tutors like there normally is around this time. She expressed a fear that students might be waiting until the last minute to prepare for their finals.
"Sadly, cramming should only be a last ditch effort to passing exams,” said Kieloch. “Ideally, one should be learning and retaining information as the class progresses and that should result in true success.”
Part of Kieloch’s job is to help students find ways to study that best suit their learning styles. Kieloch posts resources under the ACE tab on MyBC that students can refer to for tips about how to study for a test.
“Studying together may help, and having friends or classmates quiz and review together is often helpful,” said Kieloch. “And when you go to take your exam, make sure you've had a good night's rest and have had something to eat, so that you have enough energy to focus."
One of Kieloch’s resources, “How to Save Time Studying” by Jon Torres, gives six tips on how to study for a test when you don’t have much time. Students at BC may find these tips helpful in the next few days.
Torres says you must first "know the test." The first rule of test-taking is supposed to be giving yourself plenty of time to study, and getting a few other noncircular things in order. Torres reminds students to know which chapters will be covered; know definitions, names, dates, terms, fine differences between terms that might sound alike, and formulae for different values.
Then Torres suggests "reading backwards."
“Go to the end of the chapter, and if possible, find a unit review in the textbook that covers the same chapters,” said Torres. “Read the discussion questions, the multiple-choice section, and the chapter summary.”
Torres says this gives the student a heads-up on what to look for while going over the chapters, and what to underline with a pencil for future reference.
Torres says to remember to "skim correctly" when going back over your information. Look for margins and highlighted text-boxes. These usually contain definitions and explanations that encapsulate many essential ideas for the test. However, Torres explains that the student should remember these will not be the only items in the test.
The fourth tip Torres gives is to "wing the essay." Torres says if the test has an essay portion, it shouldn’t be a huge conceptual problem.
“It’s probably more of a comparison between ideas, or an explanation of a process, or just a description,” said Torres. “Students should use key terms and definitions in their essays to assure the professor that they’ve learned the material.”
So when all the studying is done and it’s time to take the test, Torres said it’s important to "show up early, but relax." The student needs time to calm down before the test, perhaps five to ten minutes at least.
After taking the test, Torres says the students should "pick up the pieces" and bring their life back in balance. By saying this, Torres is encouraging the student to pick up where he or she left off before cramming for the test. If there are errands that need to be taken care of or cleaning that needs to be done, now would be the time to do it.
Lastly, Torres encourages students to avoid cramming and start preparing ahead of time for the test days in the future.
With just a couple days left for finals, Kieloch encourages students to start studying and to come to ACE if they need help.