You should study this sheet carefully before the exam.

What is the correct translation for "study" in this context? The obvious choice is étudier, but is it restricted to a more formal context like studying at a school/university?

Tu dois étudier bien cette fiche avant l'examen.

2 Answers 2


"étudier" is a good translation for "to study". It can apply to any kind of studying: school, university, professional case study... Some other words can fit here too, even if "étudier" is fine:

  • travailler (as in "travailler son texte", what does an actor when repeating). Here it changes a bit the meaning, suggesting you are both re-writing the sheet and reading it several times to learn its content.

  • réviser (as in "réviser une leçon"). It means you already know the content of the sheet but you need to know it better. Usually you "révises" only the content of a lesson, not the support, so it would be strange to say "réviser cette fiche", but it could be heard.

However there are some other mistakes in your translation:

  • "Should" corresponds to a conditional mode in French, and "you should XXX" is usually translated with "tu devrais XXX"

  • "bien" is usually placed before the verb. It's only placed after the verb in some specific cases.

  • "carefully" can be translated with "bien" but you are weakening a bit of the meaning. A better translation could be:

Tu devrais étudier attentivement cette fiche avant l'examen.

  • I disagree on why “réviser” wouldn't fit here. For instance, if the sheet is a resumé of a chapter, a "cheat sheet", I'd use “réviser”. “Étudier” could also mean something that hasn't been taught in class, but can be mastered (like a appendix on a subject for instance, an example for a abstract subject, etc.) where the student has to understand/analyze. Also, in “réviser cette fiche”, “cette fiche” could be a “métonymie” for the lesson. I'd go also, with “Tu devrais revoir cette fiche avant l'examen”
    – Larme
    Oct 13, 2016 at 11:42
  • @Larme: you're right. I have been a bit lazy with the details but I hope this edit will make you happier :) Oct 13, 2016 at 12:14
  • Nothing about happiness or no. Just about arguing, exchanging opinions in order to give a better/more explained/more subtil solution and preserve our beautiful French language ;)
    – Larme
    Oct 13, 2016 at 12:17

First, your translation is nearly good and would have been understood in actual state.

  • A better sentence would be

    Tu dois bien étudier cette fiche avant l'examen.

  • "étudier" could be used in a work context, not only in a school one. (But not the word "exam")

Now if you want to have a more common word and if it is for a spoken usage, I recommend to use travailler :

Tu dois bien travailler cette fiche avant l'examen.

You can use the generic term of "document" in "fiche" replacement :

Tu dois bien travailler ce document avant l'examen.

You can be even more chatty by using the familiar verb "bosser" instead of "travailler" and "exam" instead of "examen" :

Tu dois bien bosser ce document avant l'exam'.

And to emphase it, you could also turn into a question :

As-tu bien bossé ton document avant l'examen?

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