07 October 2015

STUDYING FOR EXAMS



Review your syllabus. Figure out when all of your exams will be and how much of your grade they are worth. Put these dates into your calendar or planner so they don't sneak up on you! Plan review sessions beginning at least a week in advance of each exam. Ideally, you'll do several mini-reviews well in advance, rather than trying to cram everything into one mega session. Pay attention in class. This seems like a no-brainer, but actually paying attention while you're in class will help you immensely once exam time comes. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you'll just "absorb" knowledge; be an active learner. Listen carefully, because teachers often give hints like "The most important thing about this topic is...". Or they may just place emphasis on certain words and issues. This is the real key to testing well. The more you absorb the information early on, the less studying you'll need to do.Take good notes. This is easier said than done, but learning how to take good notes will help you immensely once it comes time to study. Write down everything your teacher writes on the board or puts up in slides. Try to record as much of what the teacher says as possible, but don't allow taking notes to distract you so much that you forget to listen. Make studying a part of your habits. Too often, it's easy to view studying as something that only gets done at the last minute in a huge overnight cram session. Instead, try setting aside some time every day to study. Scheduling it just like another appointment or class may help you stay motivated to continue the habit.
Ask about the exam format. Ask your teacher what format the test will be in, how it will be graded, if there are any opportunities for extra credit, and if they would be willing to talk to you about highlighting in your notes what the most important broad subjects will be.
Start as early as possible. Don't cram. Cramming the night before is proven to be ineffective, because you're taking in so much information at once that it's impossible to memorize it at all — in fact, you'll hardly retain anything. Studying before and going over it multiple times really is the best way to learn the material. This is especially true with things like history and theoretical subjects. Always study when you have the chance, even if it is only for 15 or 20 minutes. These short study periods add up fast! Study in chunks of 25 minutes using the Pomodoro Technique. After that make a break of 5 minutes; repeat the process 3x, then make a longer pause of 30-45 minutes.
Study for your learning style. If you're a visual learner, using pictures can help. Auditory learners should record themselves saying notes and recite it afterwards. If you are a physical person, lecture to yourself (out loud) while also using your hands or moving around; this way it will be easier for you to memorize. Adjust your study techniques to fit your subject. Subjects such as mathematics require a lot of practice with problem sets in order to become familiar with the processes required. Subjects in the humanities, such as history or literature, may require more information synthesis and memorization of things such as terms or dates. Whatever you do, don't just re-read the same set of notes over and over again. In order to actually learn, you need to take an active role in knowledge creation as well as information review. Try finding the "big picture" among what you've taken down or reorganizing your notes by theme or date. Ask for help. If you need help, ask someone who is good at these subjects. Friends, family, tutors, and teachers are all good options. If you don't understand what the person helping you is communicating, don't be afraid to ask them to elaborate. Asking teachers for help conveys your commitment to the material and can be helpful in the future as well as with your exams. Always remember to ask your teacher if you do not know what she is talking about or if you need more information. The teacher will probably be glad to help.There are often resources at schools and colleges that can help you cope with stress, answer study-related questions, give you study tips and other forms of guidance. Ask your teacher or visit your school's website to learn how to use these resources






3 comments:

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