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Studying and Taking Exams

Take-Home Tests

Take-home tests mean just that - instead of writing in an exam room, you have several days to complete the final assessment. Typically, these types of assessments are essay structure and have students recall and apply information from their entire course. Here are some tips to help you study and successfully complete your next take-home test.


Organize your notes.

  • Read every question carefully and make sure you understand before trying to answer. It’s easy to lose marks by misreading questions. Understand the difference between analyze, examine, explain, argue, etc.
  • Review the syllabus for themes and course materials for key concepts.
  • Focus on your original thoughts, use of evidence and citation.
  • Focus on retrieval of information, its application, and synthesis by using graphic organizers such as tables, mind maps or sticky notes to find connections between ideas and to recall facts.

Writing the test:

  • Use an outline which includes main arguments and evidence.
  • Keep your paragraphs organized and include:
    • A topic sentence that introduces your point
    • Development of thesis
    • Evidence to support your original thoughts
    • Connections between ideas
  • Write clearly and directly. Use simple, effective terms. Avoid unnecessary or complicated language.
  • Cite your sources according to your professor’s instructions.
  • Revise your exam: focus on higher-order concerns (thesis, organization), then lower-order concerns (spelling and grammar).

Finish the semester right – don’t cheat!

  • Don’t call your friends to discuss answers
  • Don’t search the internet for responses
  • Don’t pay someone else to write your test

Good luck!

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