While final exam questions vary depending on the education level, subject and teacher, most test the core objectives of the course. If a teacher provides a syllabus or learning goals for a course, the final exam questions most likely test the included objectives.

Many final exam questions require students to apply what they learned in the course to a scenario or use what they learned to solve a problem instead of simply recalling information. Final exams at higher levels of education may require students to apply professional standards in their disciplines. Teachers may help students prepare for final exams by reviewing key points learned throughout the course.