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Computer Science Exam Study Tips


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Got a computer science exam coming up? With finals and AP exams coming up, you might need some help with your study routine. Check these slides for some tips. If you prefer video, check the Youtube video here:

Need more tips? Get the Confident Programmer Study Tips ebook (PDF or Kindle) at:

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Computer Science Exam Study Tips

  1. 1. Computer Science Exam Study Tips Making the Most of Study Time By Cloudy Heaven Games
  2. 2. Target Your Problem Areas • Which topics did you have the most trouble with during the semester? – Gather your notes and previous exams/assignments relevant to these areas • Which topics are most important? – Which ones form the foundation for other topics? • Do you still remember the older material from the beginning of the semester or year?
  3. 3. Make a Study Schedule • Make your problem areas the priority on the schedule • Specifically note practice problems, examples, and reading material you want to work on as part of your study plan • Link to sample study plan: content/uploads/2016/11/Sample-Study- Planning-Sheet.xlsx
  4. 4. PRACTICE!!! • So many students I work with don’t practice enough • The problems on your study schedule should include coding practice problems • Even if you are doing a written exam, while you're studying, actually TYPE the solution into a compiler and run it – If it doesn’t work, reading the error messages and fixing mistakes is good practice • Type up the code examples from lecture or books and tutorials – Don’t be passive
  5. 5. TAKE NOTES!!! • Even if you’re not learning new material, if you keep making the same mistakes more than twice, WRITE IT DOWN • Make flashcards for the items and facts that you miss most often – Use them for quick, targeted study sessions • Even if the teacher gives you the lecture notes, be an active learner – Highlight important points or things you don't understand, and add your own examples or insights • You can also make notes in code examples as comments. If there are parts of the code you don't understand, note that, and then add a comment when you figure it out
  6. 6. Make the Most of Lectures and Tutoring Sessions • Come prepared so that you use your time efficiently • Write down your questions/confusions before the session • Do any assigned reading for that topic before the session (AND TAKE NOTES) • Bring examples or problems you've been working on and let the tutor know where you're confused and what you've tried • Have all your materials ready and organized so that you're not scrambling and wasting time
  7. 7. Teach Others • Form a study group, and divide up topics among the group. Each person can do a "mini-lecture" or write a one-pager to share with the rest of the group • Share and compile your notes • Help each other with questions • If you don't do well in groups, you can still write or do a PowerPoint, but do it as if you're teaching someone else • If you can’t explain it, you probably don’t understand as well as you think you might
  8. 8. More Resources • Study Tips ebook (Kindle or PDF): • Stressed out? discouraged-computer-science-students-all-is- not-lost/ • More tips: science-exam-study-tips/