Test Taking and Time Management Strategies
Several basic test taking strategies are useful in most chemistry classes.
If you fear you may forget some information, write it down on the back of the test or in the margins as soon as you receive the test. This works for names, formulas, symbols, definitions, and steps for solving problems.
Begin with the questions you know the best. Work quickly and don't spend too much time on the problems you do know. If you don't know how to work a problem immediately, skip it and do the others first. Go back to unclear questions only after completing the ones you know.
Explain concepts as clearly and completely as possible. Give as many details and examples as you can. If the instructor focuses on certain terms, figures, charts, or other illustrations, try to work them into your answers.
A general rule of thumb is to spend two hours studying outside of class as spent in class. However, for chemistry courses it is suggested that students spend twice this much time; in other words, for every hour in class, spend four hours studying outside of class. For instance, if you are in chemistry class three hours each week, you should set aside twelve hours for studying. This is especially important for students with no prior experience in chemistry.
The study time may be spent reading the text book, listening to lecture tapes, recopying notes, working in study groups, consulting with the instructor or tutors, organizing information and preparing study aids, completing homework assignments, writing lab reports, and working extra problems.
Part of the study time should be spent preparing for upcoming lectures and labs, especially looking over sample problems and preparing word lists or xeroxing illustrations from the text. Do homework assignments as soon after they are assigned as possible. Review lecture notes and homeworks shortly after each class.
Remember, if you do a little at a time, it is much easier to prepare for exams!