You dread studying for an essay exam. You have heard all the horror stories of taking the essay exam in college. You are prepared to study day and night just to pass the essay exam.
However, your friends seemed to be partying every evening, and scored much better than you in essay exam. Why is that so? They have mastered the correct method to study for an essay exam. That is why they can use lesser time to study, and score much better than you.
How to study for an essay exam in college?
Essay exam tests the depth of your knowledge. Multiple choices questions test the broad spectrum of the subject. When you study for an essay exam, you must understand the concepts. You must understand well enough to apply it in real life.
You are not expected to memorize the textbooks. You are expected to demonstrate the application of the theory. You have to read through your notes and textbooks. Read through once. Highlight the concept. Understand the concept. Ask your lecturers and friends to give you examples to help you understand it.
Once you understand the concept, learn to explain as if you are talking to a 5 years old child. You have to use examples and use simple English. You can use real life examples. You can quote the real companies who faced the certain problems, and are able to solve problems using the concept you have studied.
Please do not try to memorize textbook. Please do not try to write pages and pages of words. As long as you can demonstrate your understanding and apply the knowledge, you can pass the essay exam.
When you study for an essay exam at home, you should learn to answer questions that start with how and why. Essay exam seldom ask about when and where. You need the when and where in your real life example. The how and why are the key parts of the essay exam.
Keep on asking yourself why and how. There must be some problems with previous concepts. That is why you need to learn a new concept. Why is the new concept better than the old concept? How is it better? Write out all the key points in a notebook or index cards. List the whys and hows in different page or card.
Write out the key points of the examples you are going to use in essay exam to support your argument. You are unlikely to have a lot of time in the examination hall to think of examples. You should prepare a few examples to support the arguments for every topic you studied.
Do understand as much as you can. Do explain the basic concept to your friends, especially those who are not in the same course as you. If outsiders can understand what you are trying to say, you know that you have mastered the concept.