It's close to exam time for many A&P students and you may be a bit anxious about that A&P final, eh?
Here are ten tips for preparing for exams and taking exams that have proven useful for many other A&P students.
- Determine what will be on the exam. Your syllabus or other course resources usually map that out for you, If not, chat with your instructor. Ask about the format of the exam: will the questions be of similar style, range, and depth of prior tests? How many items? Has your instructor given you any hints about what to expect?
- Practice the exam. Use previous tests from the course (if available) to practice the exam. One way to do this is to cut up copies of your tests and draw individual items randomly from an envelope. Sometimes professors will provide a practice exam or copies of some old exams. If not offered, it wouldn't hurt to ask. Go to my-ap.us/1rJxClB for more.
- Study with a group. Pooling your thoughts, and helping each other review and practice, work surprisingly well to solidify what you already know and to fill in any gaps. Go to my-ap.us/WIYzcd to find out how to find others for group study.
- Manage your time well. Don't cram at the last minute . . . do a little preparation each day for a week or more before the exam. Go to my-ap.us/rgNZ27 for more tips.
- Be healthy. Do NOT stay up nights studying . . . sleep deprivation will reduce your ability to perform well. Eat well in the days leading up to the exam. Try to reduce stress. Exercise (it'll help you think more clearly). Check out my-ap.us/1CD0x0z and my-ap.us/dIdsS9 and my-ap.us/XdoVes
- Get to the test in time. Duh-uh, of course you should be there in time. But for the exam, try to get there early. I've seen SO many students cut it close, then something comes up (bad traffic, for example) and they come in LATE. Not only does that cut down the time you have to take the exam . . . you'll be flustered and unable to think clearly.
- Skim over the exam before taking it. This will give you an idea of what's ahead and you can use your time wisely.
- Don't waste time on something you really don't know. Do all the parts you are confident about. Then use the remaining time to work on the real puzzlers. If you start with the puzzling parts, you won't have time for the parts you know well . . . and you might get flustered and bomb the whole thing.
- Double check your responses. Make sure you read the question accurately (a common mistake). Makes sure things are spelled correctly. If you use a scan sheet, make sure you answered on the correct line. If there are complex problems, and you have time, do them AGAIN--just to make sure you got the right answer.
- Don't skip anything. Well, if you absolutely run out of time, you have no choice. But if time gets away from you and realize that you have only a few minutes for the remaining items that you'd prefer to take more time with . . . then just "go with your gut" and fill in some fast answers. You'd be surprised how many may turn out to be right (especially if you've prepared yourself well).
Check out this video, too!
- Study Tips & Tools page on Taking Tests
- Survival Guide for Anatomy & Physiology
- Exam Tips from The A&P Student
Some content has been adapted from prior posts.