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What is the easiest way to study for a cumulative test or final?

My high school does not test midterms and finals. Therefore, I am not quite sure how I will need to study for those types of tests in college. #finals #exams #studying-tips #study-skills #studying #time-management


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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Sidney! Yes this definitely was new for me too when I began college. I'll provide an example from my days, when I was taking General Chemistry 1, we had a final of all the chapters we covered, about 12 I remember. The final exam was the first week of May, I also knew I would be working the day before the final, therefore I broke up the chapters two-three weeks in advance. I did a chapter a night and then reviewed everything all together. In my final review I went over things that seemed confusing or were more difficult. I think by spacing it out and studying in advance will allow you to do the best on midterms and finals. I would also recommend to make notecards for certain classes because when it comes time to review facts if you have a nice set of notecards per chapter then that will be easier than going through the whole textbook or your notes. If you have past quizzes as well that are available then redo those problems and look over them to make sure you understand; if you are having trouble with a certain topic make sure to get help from the professor or the tutoring center on campus before the exam. The main point is to give yourself time and prep in advanced in an organized way, so making notecards, breaking up chapters and having a planner or calendar to know what is to be tested will help in getting that A.

Best of luck!

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David’s Answer

Hi Sidney,


A very good question, given that cumulative exams will inevitably show up in your college years as well. There are three things to highlight:


1) What I've found from my experience is to start early and create a calendar on what sections of the material you will cover.

2) Making sure you are always reviewing previous material you are studying on an ongoing basis

3) Spend more time on "older" material since they are probably not as fresh in your mind as the later chapters

Here's an example of what I mean:


Let's assume we are studying for a cumulative final Math exam, which will cover 12 chapters of material, and have ~five weeks in advance to study. See below:

Week 1: Chapters 1-4

Week 2: Chapters 5 - 9, review of Chapters 1 - 2

Week 3: Chapters 9 - 12, review of Chapters 3 - 5

Week 4: Review of Chapters 6 - 9

Week 5: Review of Chapters 10 - 12


I hope this helps!


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Katie’s Answer

Hi Sidney!


Good question! I think the easiest way to study for a cumulative test/final is to break it down and study each individual chapter on its own. My strategy is to take one chapter a day starting from the first one, review the chapter and make a detailed study guide off of it. From there I would try to link similar ideas and organize the information in a way I could remember. I would then retake and quiz/test from that chapter to test my knowledge and research anything I got wrong. I would make flashcards of what I got wrong or things I still had trouble on.


Hope this helps!


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