Computer science remains an elective course in most colleges and schools, despite living in a computer-driven society. However, many learning institutions today require their students to take and complete an introductory course in computer science before graduation. That shows why studying computer science is essential to our lives today.
More students are now taking computer science courses at the university and colleges than before. The discipline has lucrative job prospects for students who excel. You can get opportunities in areas like healthcare, engineering, business, among others. However, those who wish to start a career in computer science must prepare to go down an intensive path of ongoing studies and practicing.
Below are valuable tips for studying for a computer science exam.
1. Start Early
Computer science concepts will take time before they sink into your brain. Top computer science students start early preparation for the next test through interval practice. These techniques include reading textbooks, completing homework, and taking practice exercises. The trick is to commence your studies immediately after you receive the course syllabus. Verify exam dates and create a study plan for the tests.
2. Create a Study Plan
A study plan will help stay organized and study more effectively. Below is a guide on what to include in your study plan.
- List all the topics you need to study: This will help you track what you’ve covered and what’s left.
- Gather all the resources required for the study: This cuts down on time wastage moving around to pick other materials, which in effect lowers your concentration. Computer science requires complete attention.
- Reflect on everything you learn: At the end of every study session, sit back and reflect and refresh the concepts you learn. This will help you notice the areas that need more work.
3. Understand Concepts Don’t cram
Computer science is a technical subject that requires time and energy. Cramming your notes and concepts a night before the exams may not work. It takes practice and understanding to write custom code and find a bug in a code. Work on your problem-solving skills by constantly practicing throughout the semester. Have your assignments ready at least a week before the deadline.
4. Learn to Write
Computer science is more of programming. However, to remain at the top of the game, you must also know how to write. Whether you’re a starter or at an advanced level in the course, it’s important to form a habit of including comments besides your codes to help others reading understand the purpose of each code.
Some branches of computer science, such as software engineering, will require writing test plans, specifications, requirements, and creating advanced code. As you progress, you’ll also be required to write research papers and develop technical reports. So, to set yourself up for success in computer science, you must hone your programming skills alongside technical writing skills.
5. Join a Study Group
Understanding a technical subject like computer science requires collaborative learning. Besides preparing you to be a good team player, a study group will help you learn a lot from others about solving various problems you might be experiencing challenges. While in the group, share the code you’ve written. You’ll notice not everything you wrote is correct. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from others as they give their explanations. Other benefits of group learning while preparing for a computer science exam include:
- Help on difficult concepts
- Makes learning fun (don’t form a study group with friends)
- You can cover more material within a short time
- Helps improve your notes
- An opportunity to review each other’s code and make adjustments
Studying for a computer science exam is different from preparing for a humanities exam. Although it does not involve field research as most engineering courses do, it requires dedication and keen attention in solving technical problems. The course cuts both sides—programming and technical writing skills. Keep this in mind as you study for computer science exams. Most students put more focus on programming and forget the writing part. To do this effectively, learn to write a few comments after every code explaining its functions.