1. Use the framework of the course.
The most effective way to study for exams is to organize the material within the framework of the subject. Start your studying by developing a map of the organizational patterns of the course. The syllabus may help you start, but also consider how information is structured in each class period. Information will be easier to remember and recall if it is connected to these patterns.
2. Anticipate questions that will be asked on the exam.
You should do this as part of your regular review of your lecture notes. You could go to office hours not to simply ask what will be on the exam, but to engage in a broader inquiry about the material. You could also use the assigned readings. Traditional textbooks provide clues through headings and highlighted or italicized material. Ask your instructor for clarification if the textbook and lecture notes vary greatly.
3. Answer the questions.
For essay exams, write a thesis statement to answer the question and then collect supporting details. Develop all of this into an outline. Try writing a complete answer but do not try to memorize it, so that you are prepared for variations in how the questions on the exam are presented.
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