Some people use past exams to create study guides or flashcards, while others use them to practice their test-taking skills. Using past exams to study helps students improve their skills and become familiar with different types of test questions.
Create vocabulary flashcards by writing each term from past exams on an index card. Then write the definition of the word on the back of the card. Visual learners can even glue clip art or photos to their flashcards to make it easier to remember new terms.
The information from past exams can be used to create comprehensive study guides before midterms or final exams. After gathering all past exams, look up the answers to questions that were marked wrong. Add the information to a notebook or digital file, and use outlines to organize all of the information so it is easy to skim.
Mock exams, such as SAT practice tests, help students practice new test-taking strategies and build their confidence. To use a past exam as a mock exam, duplicate the exam conditions. If the professor only gives 50 minutes to take a test, set a timer before attempting to answer any questions. When the timer goes off, stop working. Completing several mock exams also helps students get comfortable answering multiple-choice, fill-in, essay, matching and true/false questions.