Tips For First College Tests

It’s midterm season!


For many college freshmen, these tests are the first they will have taken in college. Since college exams typically count for a large portion of your final grade, studying for one test can be intimidating. Here are some tips for preparing for college exams:


  • Know the time and place!

Exams aren’t always in the same room you have class in, nor are they always given during class. Make sure you know when and where your test will be given. If the test is in a different location, take the time to walk to it in advance so that on test day you’re not stuck wandering around in search of your testing room!


  • Know what items you’re expected to bring

Nothing is worse than showing up to a test and realizing you were supposed to provide the Scantron or Blue Book. Also, you may need to bring an ID or a certain type of calculator. Having the right materials will make sure you’re set up for success.


  • Be aware of the test format

Multiple choice? Essay? Matching? If you know the test format, you’re much more likely to study in a way that’s effective for you. Plus, it will help you budget your time during the actual exam.


  • Know the test material

This sounds kind of obvious, but if you’re in a class that’s covering a lot of material, not all of it is going to make it onto the test. Ask your professor (maybe during office hours) what topics you should focus on. Also, keep in mind if the test is cumulative! If so, you’ll need to prepare for everything you’ve covered so far.


  • Study!

This is an obvious tip, but few college students actually follow it! Studying doesn’t just mean reading over your notes the night before. For a big test, you should start reviewing at least a week in advance. Doing a little each day is much more effective than doing a lot the night before. To get the most out of your studying, take the time to figure out what kind of learner you are and cater your habits to that.


Though midterms and finals can be stressful, remember that one grade isn’t the end of your college experience. If you do fail miserably, remember that there will be opportunities to do better - some classes even offer a make-up of the first exam at the end of the semester for students who want to change their grade. But, that’s no reason to not try your best!


Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare. Good luck!