5 Steps to Improve your Final Exam Scores

5 Simple Steps That Are Key to Improving Your Final Exam Scores

Dietetic students can improve their final exam scores by applying these 5 simple, key steps that turns a basic study plan into a rock solid plan that fits their busy work and school schedule.

Step 1: Start Building Your Study Guide Now

Start building your own study guide now, even if your final exam is weeks away and your professor hasn’t released their version of the study guide. You’re setting yourself up for success by doing this, because you’re giving yourself enough time to study and mentally prepare for the final exam. You don’t want to wait on your professor, because once they release their study guide you may be left scrambling, trying to cram all that information into your brain just days before the exam.

Here’s some tips on how to build your study guide:

  • Confirm the main topics and chapters to be covered on the final exam with your professor.
  • Create a rough outline of all the main topics and any applicable subtopics using the textbook table of contents as a reference.
  • Highlight any complex topics that may take extra time to study.
  • Divide the study guide into sections and tentatively assign the days / weeks you plan on studying each section.
  • Update as needed with information presented during lectures, and/or the professor’s version of the study guide.

Step 2: Schedule Time Blocks Devoted to Studying and Taking Breaks

The next step is to figure out how to fit studying into your busy schedule and here are some tips on how to create a realistic study plan:

  • Write down all your final exam dates in your calendar or planner.
  • Write in all the important dates leading up to finals week such as homework assignments, quizzes, other exams and even special events you want to attend.
  • Block out time where you can squeeze in 10 to 30 minutes to review your flash cards, read sections of the text book or watch an instructional video.
  • Block out time where you can study for longer periods of time at home or in the library.
  • Block out time to take a study break whether its 10 minutes or a full-day. Give yourself permission to take a break and re-charge before diving back into studying.

For more tips on how to implement a rock solid study plan, download the FREE Final Exam Study Planner.


Download the FREE Final Exam Study Planner designed to help dietetic students implement a study plan that fits their busy work and school schedule AND improve their exam scores.

Step 3: Start Gathering Your Study Materials

Get a head start on gathering all your study materials a couple weeks before your final exam to make sure you have access or you can get access to these items in time for the exam. Also, use your peers as a resource. A fellow student who previously took the same or similar final exam, could give you recommendations on what materials helped them prepare for the test.

Study materials may include.

  • Required or suggested readings as recommended by the professor (textbooks, articles, etc.)
  • Recorded lectures (if applicable)
  • Instructional videos (reliable sourced YouTube videos)

Step 4: Implement a Reading Strategy

Implement one or more of the strategies below to help improve your reading comprehension and understanding of the materials.

BEFORE reviewing the study material:

  • Make a prediction of what the topic or concept is about, then write it down
  • Draft questions based on what you know about the topic
  • Answer the pre-reading questions you just created plus any questions at the end of the chapter

AFTER reviewing the study material:

  • Summarize in your own words what you just read or watched (without looking back at the text or video)
  • Compare your written summary with the actual study material and fill in any missing information
  • Look up the answers to your pre-reading questions and make note of the questions you missed

Step 5: Test Your Knowledge (aka Retrieval Practice)

Retrieval practice is the process of recalling information directly from memory. In other words, taking a quiz or practice test. The more opportunities you take to challenge your knowledge, the greater return you’ll have on being able to recall the same information in time for your final exam.

Here some tips on how to test your knowledge for your final exam:

  • Answer the pre-reading questions you created
  • Answer the questions at the end of the chapter
  • Summarize a topic or concept in your own words
  • Convert any multiple choice questions you have into open ended questions
  • Form a study group and ask every student to create quiz questions on a specific topic then test one another
  • Explain the topic or concept to a friend, family member (or pet) then give them questions to ask you

Retrieval practice —recalling facts or concepts or events from memory— is a more effective learning strategy than review by rereading

Peter C. Brown, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning


Follow these 5 simple key steps to improve final exam scores:

  1. Get ahead start on building your study guide
  2. Look ahead at your schedule weeks leading up to the final exam, then block out time devoted to study sessions and study breaks
  3. Gather your study materials and ask your peers for recommendations
  4. Implement a reading strategy
  5. Test your knowledge over a span of several days, if not weeks

Final Exam Study Planner

Download the FREE Final Exam Study Planner designed to help dietetic students implement a study plan that fits their busy work and school schedule AND improve their exam scores.


Have an upcoming exam or assignment on trace minerals or the Krebs cycle?

Check out these blog posts that can help you prepare for the exam:

Review of Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle and the Electron Transport Chain

Foods Rich in 7 Essential Trace Minerals

Study Tools

Gain access to quiz questions plus cheat sheets and printable diagrams on some of the most challenging nutrition concepts dietetic students must learn in order to pass their DPD courses and become successful in their dietetic internship.

Gain confidence in your skills and knowledge as a future dietitian with My Nutrition Notes Study Tools.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.