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Dominate Your Exams

Perry Binder, business law professor at Georgia State University and author of Unlocking Your Rubber Room: 44 Off-The-Wall Lessons to Lighten and Transform Everyday Life, has developed some very specific ways to kick butt on exams.

Way # 1 – Ask Your Professors to Give Practice Quizzes

As per his Huffington Post article entitled Five Ways to Ace College Exams, Binder claims that “practice quizzes with no attached grade, can relieve stress and reveal a lot about upcoming exams.” Note to freshmen and other uninformed students: if you cannot convince your professor to create a practice quiz, Nittany Notes in downtown State College includes a practice quiz in their exam pack – check it out.

Way #2 – On Essay Exams, Ask Your Professor If You Can Write Answers in an Outline Format

Binder suggests that an outline format will help students give more concise and specific responses. He also recommends students underline key terms. Personally, I don’t know that any of my professors would allow this, but it never hurts to ask.

Way #3 – Prepare Flashcards for Straightforward Multiple Choice Exam Questions

If you’ve never tried the flashcard approach, there may be no helping you.

Way #4 – For “Application” Multiple Choice Questions, Talk the Material Out With a Study Friend

Binder makes a good point. Memorizing can only take you so far. Learn how to apply what you learn to real life situations or you will have some major difficulties answering application-type word problems. I don’t know that a study buddy is entirely necessary, but if that helps you do what you need to do, then give it a try.

Way #5 – On Take-Home Exams or Term Papers, Your Computer’s Spell Check is Not the Same as Proofreading

In that same Huffington Post article, Binder shares a story with readers about an unfortunate attorney who gave a judge a legal document and misspelled Disk Surgery. That awkward error must have hit that poor attorney below the belt.  Another trick to consider is proofreading your paper backwards. This way you are truly checking the words you wrote rather than what you know you were trying to say.

Ultimately, everyone has their own way of ensuring good grades on an exam. If you’re stuck in that place where you don’t know what else you can try  to do better on your exams, then this article might give you some good pointers to work with.

About the Author


I'm a senior majoring in advertising and minoring in business in the liberal arts. I love to travel. So far i've been to Estonia, Russia, Italy, France, England, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. I've also been to 25 states in the U.S.

Current Favorites:
TV: Leverage, That 70's Show, Covert Affairs, and Glee
(Yes, I'm a Gleek!)
Movies: The Hangover, Get Smart, The Mighty Ducks, 3 Ninjas
Toilet Paper Position: Folded Over...none of that under nonsense!


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Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

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