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how to do well on exams?

I have taken several exams but mostly I failed. I know in order to succeed I should work hard, every time I study more than other students do however, I do not know why I fail each time. How can I do well on my exams, and do you know ways to improve my focus or concentration. Thank you.

  • Oct 5 2011: Truly it depends on your way of learning. Are you a visual learner. Meaning do you like seeing things on paper and on presentations such as PowerPoints, graphs, movies etc. Or are you an audio learner and like hearing things instead, such as audio books, lectures, audio presentations. Or are you a hands-on learner, meaning do you learn best when actually doing things such as games, practice problems, re-writing ideas, making study guides etc. Depending on your way of learning you have different methods of learning. Once you know how you learn best you can study that way. For example, if you are a visual learner I'd work go over your notes, teachers notes if provided, handouts, the general text (if studying for something mentioned in a textbook). If an audio learner start recording your classes, this works for both audio and visual methods, therefore you can refer back to the classes in which you studied the topic and re-listen to the class. If you are a hands on learner, make a few problems or question for your self, make flashcards (due to the fact that writing the things over can help memorize things), and make games that you and your friends can play.

    Hope this helped and truly work hard and as my teacher once said, "practice doesn't make perfect it makes permanent." due to the fact that if you keep practicing the wrong thing you'll be permanently doing the wrong thing which isn't perfect, yet if you do something right and practice it plenty that method and that idea will permanently be with you.
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    Oct 4 2011: I studied with a couple of friends and went over old exams ..........some subjects can be understood better if you have to explain them to others who don't know about it .... good luck with your studies BTW
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    Oct 3 2011: Flash card study. When I took a course in art history, I made a quick thumbnail sketch of every painting and sculpture, put them on flash cards with identifier data and memorized them all in a day and a half. I got an A in the course. Flash cards are very effective because, as you learn the info on the cards and put them in the "known" stack, you study only what you don't know, the cards that are left. There is also the visual cue of the memorized data on a card in written or graphic form that aids recall. Much better than studying from a book. Even the task of writing the flash cards to begin with is a mnemonic device. In several classes, the first and only time I read the text bookwas in order to generate flash cards.
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    Oct 3 2011: The best way to do well on exams is to attend every class and take good notes. So that starts long before the exams. If you listen well, see what the prof stresses and do the assigned work you are well on your way to doing well on the exams. I second Mike's point about a good nights sleep before the exam. The way to do poorly is to pull an all nighter before the exam.
  • Oct 3 2011: Try using cards with the question written on one side and the answer on the other side, it helps connect the two.
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    Oct 3 2011: There many factors, but the most important one is to believe in yourself.
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    Oct 3 2011: I found that confidence, a good nights sleep, and then a last minute refresher always worked best for me. If I attempted to cram it all in the day or night before, then much of what I was "learning" ending up being mixed together and I was unable to properly separate facts from each other.

    Drinking a proper amount of water also helped. Being dehydrated or hungry proved to be very distracting. I also would show up a little early. If I showed up last minute, it was extremely hard to shake the "rushed" feeling, which resulted in rushing through the exam.
  • Oct 3 2011: Your help would be appreciated.