The time will come…. You’ll have been in your classes for a few weeks, and you’ll have a prelim coming up (a prelim is what you will often hear an exam called at Cornell). Or maybe you’ll have 2 or 3 prelims, plus maybe a paper or project! In college you should expect to demonstrate your knowledge in ways that may be new for you, and for most of your exams you’ll need to go beyond memorization.

So how do you prepare for exams? The LSC has tons of tips to help!

cogsIf you are a Cornell student, you can self-enroll in our Canvas module on Studying for and Taking Exams for a complete step-by-step guide on what works, what doesn’t, how to develop a study plan, and strategies for taking exams. Click on the link here or the button below to self-enroll in the module.

Link to Canvas Module on Exams

A selection of exam study and preparation strategies is below.

Exam Study Strategies

Exam Preparation Strategies

  • Exam Logistics – Before you take the exam, make sure you know all the details and logistics (when, where, how, modality, etc).
  • Online Exam Checklist – Online exams present a unique set of logistical challenges, whether you are home or on-campus. Be prepared! Gather as much intel as possible about the testing format before the exam.
  • The Open-Book Exam – Though these might seem easier than in-person, they often are not. Discover a few strategies to prepare for an open-book exam.

Exam Taking Strategies

  • How to Tackle Exam Questions – Strategies for different types of exam questions (e.g. multiple-choice, essay, etc…) and decoding exam questions.

Watch: LSC’s Mike Chen Shares “The Key to Tests”