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How To Study For Your Economics Exam

How To Study For Your Economics Exam


Exams are coming, or they might already be here for some of you! Either way it's time to study but don't panic. Economics guest writing Hannah Rasmussen has outlined some study tips for your exam, whether your exams are three weeks away or tomorrow. In section 1 we look at how to study for an exam that is a few weeks away. In section 2 we consider how to cram the night before a test. Good luck!

My Exam is One or Two or Three Weeks Away

Congratulations on starting to study early! Here's what to do:
  1. Ask your instructor for an exam outline and what to expect on the exam
  2. Overview - review your notes and any assignments you had
  3. Big Ideas - review the course's main ideas
  4. Small Ideas - for each big idea review its sub-topics and supporting details
  5. Practice - use old exams to get a feel for the style of questions you might be asked


  • Be realistic - no one can study for 8 hours a day
  • Make sure you get plenty of food, sleep and relaxation
  • Try to study in the same place at the same time every day
  • At the beginning of each study period review the last thing you studied for 10 minutes
  • Rewrite your notes - it can help you retain information
  • Read your notes out loud
  • If you don't complete a particular task, don't worry just carry it over to your next session
  • Don't simply memorize facts - ask yourself broad open-ended questions about the material that's been covered

Night Before the Exam:

  1. Sleep!
  2. Try to just review - don't try to learn anything new
  3. Picture yourself succeeding - One of the key elements for many world-class performers is visualization

Day of the Exam:

  1. Eat - don't skip the meal before your exam - not eating can result in tiredness and poor concentration.
  2. Arrive just a few minutes before your exam to avoid the usual wide-spread and contagious panic

In the Exam:

  1. Use a cheat sheet - Even if you're not allowed to:
    Make a cheat sheet of the material you are certain will help; take it to the exam; throw it out before you sit down, then recopy it from memory, somewhere on the exam booklet, as soon as you can.
  2. Read all of the questions (except multiple choice) before beginning, and write notes on the paper for anything important that occurs to you as you read.
  3. If you're having a problem with one question move on and return to the problem question if you have time left at the end.
  4. Watch the clock
Be Sure to Continue to Page 2 of "How To Study For Your Economics Exam" which looks at how to study the night before an exam.

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