ENMU DIRECTORS PRESENT MIDTERM WORKSHOP
On Thursday, Feb. 26, Eastern New Mexico University presented a workshop on how to prepare for upcoming midterm exams.
The workshop was presented by Susan Cramp, the director of ENMU’s Advising Center, and Susan Larsen, ENMU’s director of Counseling and Career Services. The workshop focused on tips for preparing in advance for an exam, as well as what to do on exam day. They also talked about how to understand one’s own individual learning style, how to understand the professor’s teaching style, and how to use this information to do well on the exams.
The first topic emphasized in the workshop was knowing what kind of exam it is going to be, such as multiple choice, short answers, an essay or some combination of these. Knowing what type of exam it will be will affect how you should prepare for it. The next step was taking the notes you have gathered during class and rewriting and organizing them; rewriting notes can also help your memory of the material.
Larsen advises students to “watch [their] professor[s], know their behavior;” this means listen to what they are emphasizing in their lectures. Professors often give subtle hints, if not outright making to clear what subjects will be on their exams.
Larsen also said, “mnemonic devices can come in handy,” because “they are only limited by your own creativity.” Some mnemonic devices are more widely known, such as the ones taught in school to remember mathematical formulas, but these can be used for any subject. Cramp said the best way to remember these are by “making it meaningful to you.” Larsen added that she used the mnemonic devices that she created for herself through graduate school.
They also advise students to use flashcards when studying, because it is a good way to quiz yourself. However they emphasized that shuffling the cards is essential, so that you memorize the information, not the order.
Cramp suggested that you “review and study in the real testing environment,” like a classroom setting or just at a desk. This is important because it will simulate the actual testing environment and can help students prepare for the exam-taking feeling. She also suggested “study[ing] in breaks,” because many people do not have the attention span to do something for long periods of time.
Another point Larsen made was “the more senses you use, the better.” This could be chewing gum while studying and taking the test or using the same smells in the room you are studying in and the room you take the test in; this can also help in recalling information.
On the day of the test, Larsen suggested to “quickly write down everything you can” as soon as the test starts, such as formulas, so you will do not have to worry about remembering them throughout the exam. She also advised not to “hang yourself up” on questions you are struggling with and to “go with your gut instinct” when it comes to answering multiple choice questions.
They both suggested that students visualize themselves taking the exam ahead of time and doing well on it. Larsen said this would help, because “panic spreads like the flu” the visualization could help calm your nerves and take away test-day jitters.