My online exam revision techniques

By Jojo (Student blogger: BSc Hons Economics)

Online exams are quite new to most of us. The university has set out different assessment formats for different modules. And my exams are all 2.5-hour single setting ones. So, I guess my exams do resemble the ‘real exams’, other than they are open book and involve having to type up my solutions.

Speaking of the new exam format, since it is open book, I have created a new set of revision strategies for myself. By all means, my revision techniques may or may not work for you and your subjects. So please do just see them as advice. And also, since my major is Economics, some of the revision techniques, namely the ones that are most efficient for tackling quantitative questions may not be viable for say an English major student.

I have to confess that I am not a big fan of flashcard revision. However, if you love doing flashcard revision, please do carry on, it may work for you!

My principal method of revision is to do questions, and I am keen to try out a wide range of questions on one topic. As I am an Economics student, there is a lot of quantitative stuff involved, so I always like to try out a variation of questions on one topic so that I can get how exam questions are generally being asked, and try to avoid any gaps in knowledge. So, let me give you an example, say the question asks you to find equilibrium solutions for a function. During revision, I would go through different types of functions, being careful not to do repetitive work on finding the solution of one particular function. The benefit of doing this is that you will have a better understanding of the topic. Also, you are less likely to panic in the exam if different variations of questions have already been practiced by you.

The other thing I like to do is to go through textbooks and PDFs (which can be sourced from One Search or Google). The one thing you have to appreciate is that the internet really does make things easier sometimes. Although we are Lancaster students, we do have access to a lot more learning content on the internet, such as PDFs from MIT, Yale and so on. The point is that these PDFs could help to enhance one’s understanding of the topic. This is because the lecture slides offered by lecturers are only a starting point, and people generally may not be able to cover everything in one lecture, so sourcing other resources to enrich your understanding of the topic is important. Moreover, I can’t stress enough the importance of textbooks, I have a lot of friends who have never looked into any textbooks in their learning (I mean yeah you could still do well if you don’t read the textbook, but…). Textbooks generally introduce and explain relevant topics which you can then build on with further reading. So, if you do have spare time for revision, try to read the textbook.

Revision techniques vary from people to people, and I just offered some of my own revision routines. Like I have mentioned before, not all people would benefit from doing what I am doing, just use the methods that you are most comfortable with and you will just do fine! So good luck!! 😉