Preparing for take home exams? Follow our top 5 study tips.
Like many students, you may be experiencing a new type of exam this year: the ‘take home’ exam. In due course, you’ll be given more details about what this means for your course and we urge you to follow the advice your lecturers give you. Below are our Study Advice tips about revising and preparing for this form of assessment
Tip #1: Revise as you would normally
Right now, you should be revising as you would normally for your modules. Make a revision timetable and start going over the content. You won’t have long between having the paper and submitting your answer; the exam will be available for 23hrs in most cases but you are strongly advised only to spend the normal exam duration actually working on it. So now is the time to reflect on what you’ve learnt. It’s also important that you revise according to the type of exam you’re taking, we have videos covering all types of exams, from MCQs to essay based exams to help guide you.
Tip #2: Practice active revision
Make your revision as active as possible using a variety of techniques; make an online study group with friends, mind map the content, use post-it notes and revision cards to test key concepts. Whilst your exams will probably take a different form to previous years, you can still make effective use of past exam papers to test your understanding and application of knowledge. Above all, don’t waste time re-writing out your notes or just reading through content; these are passive techniques and are unlikely to help.
Tip #3: Be organised
It’s likely that you won’t have long to submit your answers, once you are given the paper. Make sure you create a system for organising your notes on any particular subject; you’re going to want to access the most relevant information as quickly as you can.
Tip #4: Watch for unintentional plagiarism and collusion
It’s OK to revise with others (in fact this can be an effective way of testing yours and your friend’s understanding) but once you have been issued with the paper, it’s important that you work on it alone. You will be asked to submit your work through Turnitin, which will match your work with others that have been submitted, as well as information from the internet, books and journals. Make sure it’s all your own work, as you would any other assessment.
Tip #5: Prepare for the day
You may be given a set time to sit the exam and submit your answers. Make sure you are fully prepared beforehand by:
- Ensuring you have somewhere quiet to work, where you won’t be disturbed
- Checking you have the technology you need: access to Bb, Turnitin and Wifi
- Having access to all the material you need. I’d also suggest a clock to ensure you’re keeping on track
- Ensuring you fully understand the format of the exam, how you are being asked to submit answers and have done any trial runs that have been made available to you
Dr Sonia Hood, FHEA
Study Advice Manager, Study Advice & Maths Support