How to Study for a Capstone Test

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Capstone courses are designed to be a cumulative of the knowledge and skills students acquire on the path to attaining a college degree. Capstone courses are more trying than other college courses, and are often student-driven in order to test students' ability to independently apply their knowledge. The final capstone test is therefore especially rigorous. Capstone tests incorporate all the material learned in the course, and require students to think through and apply the material in an in-depth manner. Utilizing extensive study techniques is necessary to prepare for the final capstone test.

Things You'll Need

  • Course syllabus
  • Lecture notes
  • Pen
  • Assigned texts
  • Past quizzes
  • Review the course syllabus. Syllabi list for you an outline of all the material covered in the class, as well as a list of the assigned texts. Carefully look over the entire course outline and make a note of any subjects or texts that you have difficulty remembering or understanding.

  • Study your course lecture notes, focusing on the trouble areas you noted when reviewing the syllabus. You should begin reviewing lecture notes as early as possible, ideally weeks before the capstone test. As you review your notes, use a pen to make additional notes to the side, either to signify key sections or to expand on the notes with other information you learned. Not only will this make future review sessions easier, but you will also retain the material more thoroughly by actively engaging with the lecture notes.

  • Review assigned reading material, concentrating on the trouble sections noted while reviewing the syllabus. If your capstone is reading-based, such as a literature or philosophy course, you should reread any material not understood, and take notes. If you are taking a problem-based capstone, such as a mathematics or science course, work though numerous exemplary problems in the text. A good way to choose practice problems is to review the problems assigned as homework, then work through additional problems from the homework sections that were not assigned in class.

  • Study past quizzes or tests assigned in the course. The final capstone test will be cumulative of all the material you have studied in the course, and will likely require you to apply the material in new ways. Past quizzes give you an outline of the most important material that will be covered on the final test. Also, by reviewing the mistakes you made on past quizzes, you will be able to clearly see the material you had trouble understanding. Focus your studies on this material until you have a thorough understanding of all the assigned classwork.

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