2.1 Introduction to Writing Examinations

Exams vary considerably by course, level, and professor. An introductory psychology course might require students to write two midterms and a final, all of which consist of a combination of true-or-false, multiple-choice, and short answer questions, while a third-year psychology course might consist of lengthy research assignments instead of midterms, and the final exam might consist of one or two in-class essays. Some exams will test you on all the information covered over the whole semester (known as cumulative exams), while others will test you only on what was assigned since the last exam (known as non-cumulative). Different types of exams require different types of approaches when preparing for and writing them, which is why it is so important to determine as early in the term as possible what type of exams you should expect to write. This information can usually be found in the syllabus.

This chapter covers different types of exams and how to best prepare yourself to succeed at taking them.

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Navigating an Undergraduate Degree in the Social Sciences by Diane Symbaluk, Robyn Hall, and Geneve Champoux is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.