Study prep for remote final exams

RIT’s Academic Success Center offers tips for effective test taking in a virtual environment

Elizabeth Lamark

RIT’s Academic Success Center is offering study tips to help students prepare to remote finals this semester.

Final exams, scheduled for Dec. 1-8, will be administered remotely this semester. And, according to experts at RIT’s Academic Success Center, preparing for finals in this new and often unfamiliar environment can cause additional stress for students, roommates, and family members, alike. Dan Hickey, assistant director of the center, wants students to be successful, and offers tips and strategies for getting the most out of study time and being “finals ready.”

  • Have a plan and start early. Know when each final is scheduled and what materials you will need to take them. Hickey recommends using the Exam Study Plan worksheet found in the Study Tool Kit. “Start now, don’t wait, and avoid all-nighters,” said Hickey. “A little time each day is better than late nights.”
  • Prioritize. For each exam, make a list of what topics will be covered, and then prioritize those topics based on your confidence. Plan to spend more time studying for topics that you are not as comfortable with.
  • Review the syllabi. Each class is different, so the plan for each final is most likely different. Hickey suggests considering the following: What does the syllabus state about the final and how you will be tested? Are your finals cumulative? Are they open book? Are they timed?
  • Communicate. Share your study plan and finals schedule with family or roommates. This will help you execute your plan. It’s also beneficial to talk about the importance of these exams and what type of environment will help you succeed.
  • Create a comfortable workspace. Make sure you have everything you need as you prepare including good lighting, ample workspace, and an environment that will allow you to focus.
  • Think like your professor. Gather and/or create questions that you believe will be on the final and build your own practice exam. Set it aside and take it a few days later. Share it with your professor to find out if you are on the right track.
  • Create study aids in a format that works best for you. Study Skills Resources may be useful.
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat well. Make sure to recharge and energize your body in the days leading up to the exams.

“The best strategy is to start creating study aids as early as possible,” added Hickey. “Preparing a little each day will help to reduce stress and allow plenty of time to study for multiple final exams.”

RIT Libraries is also offering Destress Fest:@Home Edition to connect and unwind during finals week. Students can take a break with guided meditation, poetry, crafts, and instrumental music.