Reviewing a practice exam is even more important than taking it! You will learn so much about common mistakes you make and identify specific content areas to review. A lessons learned journal will help you to more thoroughly review your exams and identify trends in your mistakes.

How to fill in your Lessons Learned Journal

1. Get organized. A sample table is shown below that you can recreate and modify. Add additional columns to personalize it to your needs. You can even split this into multiple sheets by section if that helps you to organize (we suggest splitting out CARS in particular!)

2. Write down the date, where the item came from, and the question number. (Writing down the date makes it easier to track progress over time.)

3. Grab your microscope and do a thorough analysis of the question, taking notes when appropriate. Approach the questions you missed like a researcher: gather all the data you think may be relevant to identifying trends and analyze how that data changes over time. Identify both strategy issues and content issues. Be as specific as possible. The more focused you are in identifying problems, the more focused you can be in actively finding solutions!

4. Reflect on your review and identify the top few strategies that you need to implement to get more questions correct. Do you want to highlight more in question stems? Do you need to reference the passage more in CARS? Make it a priority to emphasize these as you work practice problems. Also choose a few high yield (for you!) content areas to review.

5. Look back over the sheet regularly to review your overall learnings. Consider sorting by different columns to see how often similar issues are recurring. Make sure to practice with those issues that you've noted, focusing most heavily on any issues that keep coming up over time.

Date

Question #

Section

Notes on Question

Strategy Changes

Content to Learn

Add your columns!

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