View Full Version : Studying Tips - Tests and Exams
So school obviously usually takes a lot of time on the part of the students to actually get involved with the school work, and make sure that they are absorbing as much of the material as possible, to ensure themselves good grades and success throughout the year.
How do you do it? What sort of things do you try and do to maximize the amount of information you're getting out of your classes and exersizes? Do you keep a tight schedual of your day, and carefully manage your time, making sure theres plenty of room for un-interupted study and play? Is there some music that you like to listen to whenever your studying that just seams to allow you to soak it all up with greater ease, or study with friends to make the time seam more enjoyable? Do you take lots of notes durring classes or lectures? Do you think that organization is the key, by keeping good notes, making sure that you can find everything down the road when it comes time to cram for that exam?
If you were to talk to a new student about how you make the best of your studying time, and to give them some tips about it, What would you tell them are the top 5 keys to getting good marks on tests and exams?
01-08-2004, 12:47 PM
i still use the old technique of flash cards, especially if there is alot of information i need to get in my head for one particular test. because you have to write down all the information, then you can go through the cards, remove what you already know and concentrate on what you need to know. then i go through them all over again a couple more times.
this was the method i used with art history, when you need to know like tons of art pieces, artist name, date and medium (okay that one you can guess from picture). but i also have been known to make up strange, illogical word patterns or sentences to put all in the information in to help with those things that no matter how many times i try with flash cards i still don't get.
01-08-2004, 01:31 PM
Ongoing review of your notes is crucial. If you consistantly look them over on at least a weekly basis cramming is almost irrelevant. Being stressed out with no sleep at exam time is a sure way to lower your marks.
Easier said than done I know but it is way more effective.
01-19-2004, 10:12 PM
I agree with Sara and Craig.
Flash cards are almost like magic to me. They work best if you make them as soon as you can and begin to look over them. Do it often. As you find that you know some of the answers very well, put those cards aside. Don't throw them away. The stack will gradually dwindle down to nothing. I usually go over the whole stack before the test, just to make sure.
As Craig said, consistently look over your notes, cards, or whatever you have there. Repeated review is much better than final, desperate cramming. Been there, done that, when I was a younger student. Now I'm an older, wiser (I hope) student.
If the professor doesn't mind, you may want to record the lecture. That's really helpful when you have a fast-talking prof. It's wonderful to be able to go back over the lecture sometimes.
When it comes to studying with a group vs. studying alone, or studying with the radio vs. silence, that depends on the individual. I prefer to study alone (although I don't mind helping someone who needs it), and I can't stand for the radio to be on. If my husband has the TV on, I'll use ear plugs.
Yes, I've used the illogical, nonsensical sentences as memory joggers. I've also used the list rhyming method, which was taught to me by a high school teacher. It's good if you have to remember lists, or several sequential facts. Each number has a word that rhymes with it, and you assign each fact to a number. You then associate the fact with the word that rhymes with the number.
1 rhymes with "run"
So if the first word is "paint", you might picture yourself running from a big tube of angry cadmium red. When you have to provide the answer, you mentally go down your list of words. Believe it or not, it works. I made 100's plus bonus points using that method. I used it to remember sequences of events.
I ended up using two sets of rhyming words; I had to make them up. That way, I was able to memorize at least two sequences per test. This is strictly for short-term memory, so it's best to use it shortly before the test.
I hope I'm not being confusing with this last method. It's a very powerful technique, when it's understood. Remember though, that I also studied on a continual basis. It all works together.
01-21-2004, 12:23 AM
Ahh the technique of staying up all night before the exam and just cramming.
*raises hand* That would be me, and I tell ya, it doesn't work at all. For all of my finals last semester, I stayed up all night, went into the exam, and slept when I got home. I wrote probably 15 pages of notes throughout the night, drawing little pictures, writing words down to help remind me of dates and things, but once the test was placed in front of me, everything just went blank.
No wonder I failed two classes. :crying:
Anyway, I learned from that, and now I'm communicating with a learning advisior who will more or less give me some techniques for studying and how to improve my papers.
Biggest studying tip: Go get someone to just kick you in the ass; I could have used one. lol :D
01-21-2004, 01:22 AM
If it helps,
after my second year of University they sent me a threating letter, something like get it together or get kicked out type of thing.
after my third year they sent me a letter about getting on the Deans List.
You learn as you go along, and if you want to you get better.
Things like this post and your attitude about getting help go a long way.
Whatever your aptitude or work ethic though, first year is incredibly tough for most people. It is a very major change in your life all around.
I was at the U of Alberta for 12 years, was a teaching assistant for undergrads (all in Biology) and am now an arts student. If there is any knowledge or tips you might need just shout.
01-21-2004, 01:30 AM
Thanks Craig. (Replying fast because I'm right here working on a sculpture for class)
Anyway, I do have 2 questions..
First, Art History. I find this class so incredibly hard to remember everything. Every building, every sculpture, painting etc. the years, location, artist etc. I tried making very short notes to help me, drew a picture of it, and studied it all like mad, but it didn't work. (It doesn't help either that my teacher turns off all the lights and talks over slides for 3 hours either) That's one of the classes I failed. I got a D and I needed a C- to pass.
The second is English 101. I took it because I did okay in English 30 in High School. This class is also killing me. The essays and the writing I have to do. I used to consider myself a writer (but for fiction). It's all the analyzing of texts and critical thinking I have to do. I just can't seem to get my brain to think that way enough for my Prof. so I get up getting Ds on all of my papers. I'm sure there's no 'magic pill' to take and help with this, so that's why I contacted the Learning Advisor for some help.
About receiving the letters, I already received one. Now I have to make up 2 classes in the spring. I hate college.
01-21-2004, 01:54 AM
re art history. Memory intensive courses can be especially hard at times when you have a full course load. If you can
-review what was covered in class within approx 24 hours (even briefly). Short term memories only last a day or so before many of them vanish.
If you review right away it gets slotted into more long term memory.
Then review it again within a week and a lot of it will stick.
Your cue cards are great. When making them you are learning it again as well.
As for taking it again, well at least it will be easier the second time..
English. I'm in the same boat as many, many others. I barely passed.
Maybe try reading the marked stuff of people in your class who did better to get an idea of what works for your instructor. If possible go see your prof and talk to them about it.
Thank you guys for adding such great information to this thread :D Its really going to help other students who are struggling.
I'm sorry to hear of your struggle with school, angel, but i'm glad to hear you are getting help. I think it's important that you've mentioned that there are people we can go to in our schools, who specialize in helping students with these kind of problems, and that it's definately okay to ask.
Perhaps after a while, you wouldn't mind passing on some of the tips your adviser gives you.
01-22-2004, 02:15 AM
I had a lot of trouble when I first started college. But, I learned to relax, get organized, and would try to be ready for everything ahead of time. And to try and get a good night's sleep before an exam.
Since then I've come across some interesting techniques that would have helped immensely then. Here is one that I make use of today.
I'd recommend getting the book. Check your school's library to see if they have it. If you find you love the book and want to learn more, then go for the full program.
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