There are countless types and variations of cues your instructor will drop during class. Fortunately, most of these can be mapped into categories and, with a little experience, are easy to spot. So, watch out: This is how your lecturer shows you which content is relevant to the exam:

1. Try the Direct Approach

Some professors do without hidden symbols and fall straight into the house: “I’ll ask about the content of this slide in the upcoming exam.” This directness has become rare in the lecture hall, but it still exists. If you are lucky enough to meet such a lecturer, you can also ask directly which material is relevant to the exam. There is a high probability that he will tell you. Of course, it’s not as reliable as when you pay for essay but it is worth a shot.

2. Conspicuous Repetitions

In addition to direct reference, many lecturers rely on repetitions to give tips for the upcoming exam. You should pay particular attention when repetitions occur particularly frequently, are noticeably emphasized, or appear in unusual places. If you are not quite sure, you can ask your lecturer at a later point in time to name the most important content again – in this way you provoke possible references to information relevant to the exam.

3. “This Is a Good Example of…”

Every good lecture has examples. Examples clarify theoretical basics and show possible applications of different methods. And this is often exactly what the corresponding exams are about. Planned – but also spontaneous – examples from your lecturer during the lecture show in which context and to what extent the theory taught can be used and understood. This knowledge will help you with your exam preparation.

4. “This Is Where You Need to Pay Close Attention…”

Not all parts of a lecture are equal. There are central topics – and there are peripheral areas of content that contribute to understanding, but otherwise have little learning effect. Whenever your lecturer emphasizes a slide or a group of topics and demands increased attention, this is to be understood as an indication for the exam. Either because the content could be queried directly or because it is essential for your learning progress.

5. “I Would Watch Chapter X Again…”

Specific slides and clear text passages that are important for your exam are rarely mentioned by lecturers – and if they are, then only in individual cases. Much more frequent is the reference to individual sub-areas: “Chapter 2.2”, “the slides from the fourth lecture”, “case study 3b” etc. are common limitations that are made by lecturers when asking about content relevant to the exam.

This doesn’t give you an exact indication, but it does give you a solid prioritization of your exam preparation. Just think how you would tell a professional on PayforEssay to pay attention to specific points: professors pick out the relevant information for students exactly so.

6. “A lot of Students Get This Wrong…”

The reference to the so-called “common errors” provides reliable information for the upcoming test. Formulations such as “This and that is often misunderstood.” or “At this point, many students miscalculate.” Allow clear conclusions for the next exam. Because just between us: Where else should students make mistakes if not in an exam? And how else would the lecturer know?

7. “Important” and “Interesting”

In addition to the treacherous formulations above, you should pay attention to linguistic subtleties – especially with introverted lecturers. This includes keywords such as “important” or “interesting”. Of course, not everything that your lecturer finds “interesting” is also relevant to the exam, but the probability that topics will be asked that bore your lecturer to death is not exactly high.

8. The Last Lecture

Many lecturers use part of their last lecture to summarize the most important topics and to give an overview of the content covered. They often use this opportunity to give hints for the test – either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, be particularly attentive in the last lecture and try to interpret your lecturer’s rhetoric precisely.


9. Old Exam Papers

It is not uncommon for chairs or professors to make old examination tasks or even old exams available for practice purposes. These tasks are invaluable for your exam preparation. Firstly, you can see what content can be queried, secondly, you get an impression of your professor’s exam style, and thirdly, you can use these tasks for a personal endurance test before the exam. Therefore, try to find old exam questions in each of your subjects. If none have been published: Ask the chair directly!

10. Exclusion Procedure

Collecting references to material relevant to the exam is one way to thin out your learning content. But it also works the other way around. To do this, you use the elimination process and bring together those topics that will most likely NOT be included in your exam. You can proceed in a similar way to the above – only from the exact opposite perspective.


Recognizing useful hints for your next exam can simplify your exam preparation enormously and ensure significantly better results. It is important that you classify the signals from your lecturer correctly and interpret them reliably. You must not overlook any relevant details – but also not overinterpret anything. You need to get a feel for what your instructor is trying to convey, just like writers at the best writing services get a feel for your writing and embed it into assignments.

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