Getting Ready for the Final Exam


Preparing for any final exam and for the Esame di Stato is a significant milestone for high school students. One crucial aspect of this preparation is identifying the 'core knowledge'* for each school subject. A 'core knowledge' represents the fundamental concepts, principles, and facts that form the foundation of a subject. These are the key areas that students must thoroughly understand and master, as they are likely to be heavily emphasized in the exam. Spotting these cores helps students focus their studies on the most important material, ensuring a strong grasp of essential knowledge.

*nuclei di conoscenza

Tips For Students Who Have Been Consistent in Their Study During the School Year 

Tips For Students Who Have Not Been Consistent in Their Study During the School Year

Review and Consolidation

  • Class Notes and Textbooks: Simply going through notes and textbooks might not be enough. Adding a step to summarize or rewrite notes can enhance retention.
  • Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Use methods like reviewing past test scores, self-assessment quizzes, or teacher feedback to identify areas of strength and weakness.

Mock Exams and Simulations

  • Practice Tests: Take practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the actual exam environment.
  • Oral Examination Scenarios: Practice for oral exams by simulating using mock-ups of material which might be chosen by the commission (pictures, graphs, formulas, quotations, historical and geographical maps, mind maps, etc.). Focus on key topics and practice clear, concise connections. Try to expand and elaborate on those connections.
  • Feedback and Improvement: Seek feedback from various sources such as teachers, peers, or online platforms.

Time Management and Study Plan

  • Study Schedule: Create a study schedule and stick to it, but leave some space for flexibility within the schedule to handle unexpected challenges.
  • Allocating Time: Allocate time for each subject based on its importance, which can be determined by past performance, subject weight, or personal confidence in the subject.

Study Methods


Small cards with information on one side and the answer on the other, used for memorization.

  • Pros:

    Effective for memorization, portable, and easy to create.


Limited to factual information, can be tedious. Integrate flashcards with other study methods to cover deeper understanding, not just factual information.

Mind Maps:

Visual diagrams that organize information hierarchically, showing relationships between concepts.


Visual representation, aids in understanding connections.

Only useful if you are already familiar with them, have already created your mind maps, or have them available. Using tools or apps might be time-consuming at this point.

Combining Methods:

Use flashcards for memorizing facts, mind maps for visualizing connections, and practice problems to apply knowledge practically.

Practice Problems:

Solving sample questions or exercises similar to those found in exams.


Reinforces understanding, prepares for exam-style questions.


Limited to specific subjects, can be demotivating if too challenging. Offer solutions for when students find problems too challenging, such as step-by-step guides or seeking help from teachers.

 Prioritize and Focus

  • Essential Topics: Identify essential topics in your notebooks, syllabus highlights, or key textbook chapters.
  • Depth of Study: Memorize (spaced repetitions) core principles and key concepts. Revise at the end of the day, after a few days (2 or 3), after a week.

Intensive Study Sessions

  • Focused Study: Dedicate longer, focused study sessions. Don't underestimate the importance of breaks to prevent burnout.
  • Active Learning Techniques: Use active learning techniques such as teaching the material to someone else, creating questionnaires, or quizzes to engage with the material more deeply. Vary these techniques to keep study sessions engaging.

Guidance from Teachers

  • Seek guidance from teachers or tutors for challenging topics to ensure a clear understanding.

Stress Management and Self-Care

  • Techniques: Stress management could be enhanced through meditation (apps exist for that e.g., Headspace, Calm), specific exercises (e.g., yoga, breathing exercises).
  • Sleep and Diet: Avoid caffeine before bed, maintain a regular sleep schedule, and have a balanced diet with regular meals. Don't forget to drink water and minimize social outings during preparation.

Study Methods

  • Chunking:
  1. Divide one task into several short tasks (e.g., to study Charles Dickens: biography, main works, extracts).

  2. Divide each task into parts (e.g., Dickens's biography: biographic events, literary production, style features).

  3. Divide each part into smaller blocks (1 page). 

  4. Repeat and memorize.

  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

  • Pros:

    Promotes focused study, prevents burnout.

  • Cons:

    Requires discipline.

  • The Feynman Technique

    Named after the famous physicist Richard Feynman, this technique involves breaking down complex concepts into their most fundamental parts and explaining them in simple terms, as if teaching someone else. Here's how it works:

  1. Choose a concept you want to understand deeply.
  2. Explain it to yourself or an imaginary person, using simple language and examples. Write down your explanation.
  3. Identify any gaps or areas where your understanding is unclear.
  4. Go back and review the material, focusing on filling those gaps.
  5. Try explaining the concept again from the beginning, incorporating your new knowledge and simplifying your explanation as much as possible.


Promotes active learning, identifies knowledge gaps, reinforces understanding through simplification. 


Can be time-consuming, especially for complex topics.

Other useful Study Methods

Group Study:

Studying with classmates or peers, discussing concepts, and sharing knowledge.

  • Pros:

    Collaborative learning, different perspectives, motivation.

  • Cons:

    Potential distractions, clashing schedules.

Pomodoro Technique:

A time management method that involves studying in 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between. Repeat 4 times, then take a longer break (15-30 minutes).

  • Pros:

    Promotes focused study, prevents burnout.

  • Cons:

    May not suit all learning styles, requires discipline.

Mnemonic Techniques:

Memory aids like acronyms, rhymes, or visualizations to help remember information.

  • Pros:

    Effective for memorizing lists, formulas, or sequences.

  • Cons:

    Limited to specific types of information, can be time-consuming to create.

General Recommendations

  • Personalization: Tailoring study plans to individual needs is key. Evaluate and adapt the suggested methods based on what works best for you.
  • Feedback Loop: Implement a feedback loop where you periodically review and adjust your study plans based on your progress and challenges. Seek feedback from teachers and peers to identify areas for improvement and incorporate their suggestions into your study routine.

Resource List: Here is a list of resources, including websites, apps, books, and other materials, to help you find practice problems, mock exams, and study aids:

  • Websites: Khan Academy, Quizlet, Coursera, Literature no Trouble.
  • Apps: Anki (flashcards), MindMeister (mind maps), Forest (focus app).
  • Books: Your textbooks or study guides for each subject.
  • Useful Links: