If you’re lucky enough to have a professor who will conduct a one-on-one review of your final exam, you should take advantage of the opportunity. Whether you’re pleased or disappointed by your final grades (or somewhere in between), reviewing your answer with your professor can help you identify what needs to be improved before the next round of exams. Reviewing your answer may also provide insight into what your specific professor is looking for in a strong answer, which is particularly helpful if you will have that professor again sometime in the future. To make the most of a one-on-one review session, keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Go into the meeting with the right attitude, particularly if you were disappointed by your grade. Remember that you are there to learn what you need to do differently, not to argue with your professor about the grading scale. There’s nothing you can do to change last semester’s grade, but you can start working toward a more positive result for this semester. Be open minded and try to not take any constructive criticism too personally.
  2. Make sure you come prepared with specific questions and take notes. You’re more likely to receive specific feedback if you ask specific questions. Think about what would be most helpful for you to know going forward. Some questions you may want to consider asking include: What were the three biggest problems with my answer? What is your advice on improving for the next round? Are there any specific practice resources you recommend? In your opinion, what qualities does a strong answer possess? Is there a sample answer to review? If you’re prepared and professional, the meeting will likely be productive.
  3. Put what you learned into practice. Visiting office hours and reviewing your final exam is a good start, but now you have to make use of what you learned. Think about how you can incorporate your professor’s suggestions into your study plan this semester. The best strategy is to complete practice questions throughout the semester with a focus on improving the missteps you identified during your meeting. Some problems can also be addressed through better outlining, more thorough reading, and other study strategies.

If you have any questions about how to make the most of what you learned during your final exam review, please visit the Academic Achievement Department!