Take-home Exams and How to Study

Hi all,

I’m nontrad that’s back in school taking bio 2 this semester. I’m having an internal debate with myself on how to study for this class. For bio 1, the professor was very generous and made things simple for us since it was a night class and most of us had families and/or full-time jobs as well.

This professor is about the same but differs in delivery. I’m trying to determine if some of my efforts to study are legitimate and must be done and if some things are well-intention but unnecessary.

There are 6 exams. Two of these exams are take-home written/essay exams. Three exams are in-class multiple choice. The final exam is take-home multiple choice. None of the exams, including the final exam, are cumulative. We get about 2 or 3 weeks to turn in the take-home exams once given to us. The professor also gives us the unit notes and a ton of extra credit. There are no real “homework” assignments.

My Question: Should I read all the chapters in their entirety for each take-home exam and retake notes for those chapters? OR
Should I only read for what’s asked on the exam? In other words, should I basically skim the chapters until I find the necessary section that will assist in answering the question?

Thanks for any advice,


I think it depends on how much time you have. If you have enough time, read everything. If you don’t have enough time, just read what is on the exam. I personally would recommend just reading what is on the exam, if you just want the grade and learn what is necessary.

I am busy engineering student and have tons of classes and homework. I understand sometimes in order to succeed, one must maximize the what actually needs to be done vs what doesn’t need to be done.

Also, it’ll depend on how things are going through the semester. If you feel your grade is starting to slip, maybe read some more.

Hope this helps!