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Study Skills & Learning Strategies: Exam Writing & Preparation

Take Inventory of your Exam Preparation & Exam Writing Strategies

Understanding how you will be assessed in each of your courses and adjusting your learning techniques/strategies accordingly is an important academic skill to develop at university. In this section, think about the strategies you use to prepare for exams. Ask yourself how well those strategies are working and why.


A study skills inventory can give you a good idea of how effective your learning strategies and habits are and will lead to a better understanding of yourself as a learner.

Note: you can skip over 'name' and 'email' at the top of this page:

Study Skills Inventory

Personalize/Plan Your Exam Preparation Approach

What did you learn from the study skills inventory above? Do your exam preparation techniques/strategies enhance, extend and empower your learning? Explore the resource links in the columns below and adopt strategies that you can easily apply and adapt to your studies.


Strategies that help you study and better prepare for exams Strategies that extend your ability to  remember and recall information Strategies that help you master your ability to learn and be metacognitive


Preparing for An Exam (4:47)

The Different Levels of Learning through Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning (3:51)

Video Series Developing a Mindset for Successful Studying by Dr. Chew


Article: Re-Reading is Inefficient. Here are 8 Tips for Studying Smarter.

10 Tips for Managing "Pre- or Anticipatory" Exam Anxiety

Different Types of Exams so you know what to expect

6 Research-Backed Learning Techniques

Metacognitive Study Strategies

How to Study for any Major Exam,
Using the Best Study Methods and Memorization Techniques

A holistic approach for how to get through exams.

R - Retrieval (4:49) - What and How
 I - Interleaving (5:32) - What and How
V - Variable Practice (4:45)
E - Elaboration (1:31)
R - Reflection (2:59)
S - Spaced Repetition (7:46)


Five-Day Exam Study Planner (pdf)

The 5-Step Term Study Cycle (pdf) 

Post Exam: Self Assessment (pdf) (doc) provides insight into preparing for exams

Preparing For and Taking Open Book Exams

8 Ways to Create & Learn Effectively Using Flashcards


What is Metacognition - And Why Does it Matter? (0:58)

The Feynman Technique (2:00)

How to Learn Faster with the Feynman Technique (5:48)

The Importance of Making Errors (2:08)


The Learning Pyramid


Icons by Uniconlabs from

Writing exams at university is one of the primary ways you will be assessed. Many students express feeling anxious about exams and while some stress is normal, too much stress can be debilitating. The best way to manage exam stress and anxiety is to be well prepared.  In this section on exam writing, think about the strategies you use on exam day. Ask yourself how well those strategies are working and why.

There are 'Before, During and After Tips' that can help you manage your stress and complete your exams with confidence. Use this checklist to determine how well you prepare for exam day. Take note of the things you don't do, and consider adding them to your arsenal of exam-day strategies.

Before, During and After Exam TIPS

Personalize/Plan Your Exam Writing Approach

What did you learn from the Taming Your Test Anxiety:TIPS checklist? Do your exam-writing strategies enhance, extend and empower your learning? Explore the resource links in the columns below to find exam writing strategies that you can easily adopt, apply and adapt to your learning needs.


Strategies that enhance you ability to take tests and manage exam day anxieties

Strategies that extend your ability to write tests and exams effectively

Strategies that help you assess and improve your exam writing skills

Listen to these experienced test takers share their experiences:

In-Person Exams - Tips from an Upper Year Student (4:12)

Tips for Writing Exams (3:52) by Janice


Exam Anxiety - What is It & How to Manage It from USask Student Wellness

10 Tips for Managing Exam Anxiety

Succeed on the Day of the Exam

Some Tips & Tricks of Exam-Taking


Test-taking Strategies

Different Types of Exams

Taking Multiple-Choice Exams

Clue Words in Exams


Tips for Different Types of Exam Questions


USask Exam Regulations and Procedures. You are also responsible to consult with the Regulations and Procedures of your College.

Post Exam: Self Assessment (pdf) (doc)

Listen to experienced students talk about

The Benefits of Reflection

For tips that include Online Exams, watch:
Part 1 - What to do Before Online Exams (7:36) Part 2 - What to do During Exams (5:24) Part 3 - What to do After Exams (3:11)

Icons made by Uniconlabs from


Your Task

Choose exam strategies that enhance your ability to write and adequately prepare for exams

Evaluate your exam prep and exam writing strategies to extend your choice and control, and become an empowered learner

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