Effective ways to prepare for a graduation exam include the student taking detailed notes, consulting others, extensively practicing and being willing to admit that he doesn't know something. If possible, the student should study for the exam during a time when he can focus on it, such as an extended break.
One way for the student to prepare for his graduation exam is to take very detailed notes. This includes developing a system for both taking thorough notes and keeping the notes organized via computer. These organized notes should also be tagged with relevant keywords, allowing the student to quickly search for specific information in order to potentially save time later. During this time, the student should also determine gaps in his knowledge of specific areas and consult experts who can help him to educate himself.
The student can also prepare by consulting with others. This includes asking fellow students about the exam and asking professors for tips on how to prepare for it.
The student should also practice, including devising his own questions in the style of questions that will be on the exam. This practice should include developing outlines in order to practice answering actual questions both quickly and effectively.
Depending on the nature of the exam, the student should be prepared to admit when he does not know something. This may mean skipping a question to concentrate on a more familiar one or admitting to an oral defense committee that he needs to study that particular subject in more detail.