How To Study for an English Exam

If you don’t know how to study for an exam, it can be difficult.Depending on the focus of your class, English exams can vary greatly.There are some universal strategies that can help you pass your English exams.

Step 1: Make flashcards.

One of the best ways to memorize words is with flashcards.Put the definition on one side of the index card and the word on the other side.If you want someone else to quiz you, you can.You can use electronic flashcards as well.If you want to study information on flashcards, there are computer programs and smartphone apps that are specifically made for it.

Step 2: Define roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

Common root words are one way to study vocabulary more quickly and effectively.Being able to identify these can help you make educated guesses about vocabulary words, instead of having to memorize a long list of words.The words un, in, il, and ir are often used to indicate not.The man is related to using your hands.There is a fear of something.The word re means back or again.Sub, sub, sup, and su are often used to mean under, below, or secretly.The mind and the mind are connected.The number or amount is indicated by the prefixes mono and poly.The study of something is suggested by the suffixes log, logo, and ology.

Step 3: The words and definitions should be written down.

Writing down the words and definitions will help you remember them even if you don’t have flashcards.Try to write the words and definitions more than once.You can use different colors if you have a visual memory.During the exam, you may be able to see the definition and remember the color of the word.

Step 4: Re-read some of the text.

You should re-read any poems or short stories that you studied in class.If your teacher spent a lot of time talking about in class, be sure to re-read any sections that seem really important.Re-read the text if you took notes while discussing it.You should consult your syllabus to remember all of the texts that you read.The first and last sentences of each chapter of a novel can help refresh your memory.

Step 5: In your textbook, read introductory material and side notes.

If you used a traditional textbook for your class, you should read the introductory material and any footnotes that accompany the poems or stories you read.Context and overviews can be very helpful for essay questions when these items are overlooked.

Step 6: Take a look at the course notes.

Re-read the notes you took in class.If you don’t usually take notes, you should try to do so in the future.This is a good way to remember what you said in class.Being able to review information from class time is the best study guide because teachers rarely ask exam questions that are not directly discussed in class.It’s a good idea to review class work.

Step 7: Take a look at the big picture themes.

The big picture messages of a text will be the subject of many essay questions about literature.You can find some useful overviews and study guides by searching online for the name of the text and the word theme.The fleeting nature of time, the inevitability of death, and the state of Alienation are some of the common themes in literature.

Step 8: Online study guides and summaries can be reviewed.

Many websites give students summaries and study guides for popular and famous texts.These can be great tools for studying, but they should not be used as a substitute for reading the text.If you’re going to use an online guide, make sure it’s written by experts.There are websites that don’t say they’re written by experts.

Step 9: Memorize the names of characters.

The names and relationships of characters will come in handy if you take the exam.Even great responses to test questions can be undermined by getting characters’ names wrong or mixing them up.If you want to memorize characters, use flashcards.

Step 10: Refer to your study guide.

To prepare for an exam, fill out your entire study guide.Most teachers give the class a key to the test when they give out a study guide.Success on the test can be ensured if you are familiar with the study guide.This option may not be available to you if your teacher does not provide a study guide.It is possible to visit your teacher before or after class and ask for help with your studies.

Step 11: Take a second to review your course syllabus.

If your instructor gives you a syllabus or calendar, read it.A detailed syllabus often includes the instructor’s philosophy about exams.This can be used to remind you of specific texts or items that you focused on.It’s important that your teacher spent more than one day in class.A section about exams is included in most syllabuses.You should be able to determine what percentage of your overall grade each exam makes up, which can help you determine how long you should study for it.

Step 12: Take a moment to review your class notes.

You may need to provide definitions of key concepts or literary movements for some exams.You need to be able to talk about how a theme is explored in various works.If you see a theme or topic that comes up more than once, this is a good sign that you may be taking the exam.

Step 13: You should attend class before the exam.

The best time to attend class is the day before the exam.The directions of focus that you should study will likely be indicated by your teacher.This is also when teachers give out study guides.If you must miss class, you should ask a friend or reliable colleague for copies of handouts or notes from class.She is more likely to take notes if she knows you will be gone.Contact your teacher to find out what you missed in class.It is a good idea to let her know you will be gone, and that you tried to get another student to take notes for you.If you say you want to know if you missed anything or if important was covered, this may offend your teacher.Do you want your teacher to tell you what she did in class?

Step 14: What should you study?

Ask your teacher about the exam at the end of class if she doesn’t volunteer a study guide.Asking for guidance about studying and not knowing what the exam content will be is the best way to go about it.It is important to know if the exam is cumulative, covering everything from the beginning of the semester, or if it is only covering material since your last exam.

Step 15: Take the previous course exams.

Look at the last test you took if this is not your first exam.Many teachers use the same format for each exam, so an earlier test can serve as a study guide, or at least give you an idea of what to expect from the exam.

Step 16: You should know the format of the exam.

You should also ask your instructor about the format of the exam.Knowing whether an exam will be multiple choice or an essay can help you decide how to study.Knowing if you will be taking the test on a computer or pen and paper will help you figure out how to study.The need to spend a lot of time studying the spelling of vocabulary words may be mitigated by a computer with word processing software.

Step 17: Appropriate test-taking materials should be determined.

Bring the appropriate materials for the exam to be prepared.If your exam will be done on a computer, you don’t need to bring anything with you.If you need a pen or pencil, paper or a test booklet, you should find out if you can use your textbook or novels while taking the test.You can use a notecard or study guide while taking the test.

Step 18: Ask them if they want to study together.

You are not the only one who wants to take the English exam.Asking before or after class if anyone wants to join a study group can increase the effectiveness of your studies.If you plan ahead, you are more likely to be able to put together a study group.

Step 19: Take notes with you.

A good way to remember details about class discussions is by circulating or comparing notes.If you were absent from class, this can be a good way to review the material.Remember that your group members were not going to share their notes, so be nice to them.Don’t be embarrassed by the state of your class notes.Even messy notes can be helpful to someone who doesn’t have any.

Step 20: Talk about literature.

A lively debate about the texts is a good way to get interested in them.To back up your points, be sure to look at the text and find opportunities to use evidence from it.

Step 21: Take a look at previous tests.

If your classmates are comfortable sharing the results of previous tests in the class, you can compare to see what types of responses seem to be the most successful.Knowing if your teacher tends to give higher marks to longer, more detailed responses or to responses that are direct and to-the-point can help you determine how to approach answering questions on the test.