Study Tips

A list of pointers generated by past and current Mentors that have helped them succeed in MCDB.

General Study Tips

  • Attend lecture
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Get enough sleep
  • Form study groups
  • Take study breaks
  • Review old tests and practice problems
  • Explain the concepts to someone else
  • Review lecture notes on the web
  • Use book to reinforce lecture material; do not memorize book details
  • Learn the concepts instead of memorize
  • Rewrite and review notes after lecture
  • Pay close attention to diagrams, redraw them to clarify
  • Become familiar with your learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) and determine which study techniques work best for you
  • Do not procrastinate or get behind on lecture material
  • Turn off the TV when studying
  • Don’t forget to eat
  • Use flash cards and color coding to help you remember lecture details

Testing Study Tips

Before The Exam


  • Start studying early
  • If you have papers, lab reports, or independent projects to complete near the end of the semester, get them done as soon as you can
  • Remember to take study breaks no matter how busy you feel you are
  • Study with other people
  • Go through all of your old exams because similar questions may be asked on the final
  • Try to draw together concepts from different tests-- put the concepts that were presented over the semester into a coherent picture
  • Do not focus on terms until right before the exam (to store in your short term memory). Focus on concepts
  • Use mnemonic devices to help you remember important facts
  • Use songs to help you remember important facts
  • Play music while you study if it helps
  • Do not watch TV while you study
  • Get out of the house/room (too many distractions) and go to the library where it's quiet
  • Don’t try to reread the book for the final
  • Preparing Metally:

  • Talk to encouraging people to help your attitude
  • Go into the exam with the right attitude-- think about your potential for success, not for failure
  • Forget about your grade, just take the test and try to do your best!
  • Don’t try to calculate the score you need to get the grade you want before the final, it may just stress you out and affect your performance on the exam

The Day of The Exam

    Preparing Physically:

    • Try to get some sleep before an exam so you don’t sleep during the exam
    • Eat before a final-- they are two and a half hours long
    • Bring water to drink during the final
    • Do not oversleep, especially for the morning exams-- have a friend call you to make sure you get up in time
    • Wear your lucky earrings, T-shirt, rings, etc.
    • Wear something comfortable, layers that can be removed during the exam, since some of the rooms tend to get hot
    • Listen to classical music before the exam
    • Dress up, you will do better on the test
    • Use songs to help you remember important facts
    • Spray perfume while studying, wear that perfume while taking the test
    • Go early and get a seat in the first row so you will not be distracted by others
    • Preparing Metally:

    • Relax for the 1/2 hour before you take the exam, tell yourself you know this stuff
    • If you feel panic, put the test down, and try not to think about the exam for a few moments
    • Go to the questions you know, do not stress over ones you don’t know
    • Wear a watch so you know how well you are progressing through an exam
    • Don’t panic when you read this list

Last updated: 2014-09-09