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After taking my first exam of the semester, I realized how much I had been coddled during the lockdown with notes always available and encouraged to be used during exams. Memorization and the need for in-depth studying were out the window from the start of COVID until the fall semester of 2021. And with proctored exams back in full swing, how well you study is pertinent to how well you will do on your exams. 

It is so important to be as prepared as you can possibly be for all of your classes. With the shock of being back on campus and in in-person, and for many, the first time in an actual college classroom, you must be ready for midterms. In this article, I will provide you with every possible tip to help you prepare yourself for your exams and keep yourself organized for the rest of the semester. 

Here are some tips you should consider when preparing for your exams:

  • If you have readings (in a textbook, book, or articles) keep outlines and summaries for each reading assigned. This will help you when reviewing for an exam, writing a paper, and preparing for class discussions throughout the semester and also help you retain the information just by taking detailed notes and condensing them to one central place. 
  • Always ask your professor what topics to expect to cover on the exam. Creating a list of topics and writing out components pertaining to these topics will help you see where you could use more review. 
  • Start studying in advance!!! That way when questions arise, you are able to go to office hours in good time to cover the questions you may have on the material being covered. 
  • Find the best place for you to study. Everyone has a study sweet spot where they get the most work done whether it’s in one of the libraries on campus, on the quad, at Three Birds Café, or one of the academic buildings on campus. This will help you be the most productive when using your time to study. 
  • Lastly, make friends in your classes. Study groups can be very helpful when you are all working together to review topics. It’s always better to begin studying on your own and bring questions to the study session so you are all staying on topic and covering material you are all struggling with. 

I will leave you with a few words of wisdom: your professors are here to help you and see you succeed. In my own experience, I have found you will do objectively better in any and all your classes the more you go into office hours. As long as your professors see you are trying and using all of the tools available to you (such as office hours, SI sessions, the HUB tutoring, etc.) you will do great this first “normal” semester back on campus. Good luck everyone!

Caroline Ross

Lafayette '22

Marketing and Events Director for Lafayette College’s Her Campus chapter.
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