Here we are in the middle of the Fall term, by now you have some idea of how you are doing in your classes. Hopefully you are doing well, but if not, don’t despair. Studying itself is a skill that can be learned.
Step One- Read the Text – If there are discussion questions you might want to answer these as you read to be certain when a key point is read, it is reinforced by writing the answer.
Step Two-Write out key terms. These can go in a notebook or on index cards, but actually writing will be more effective than highlighting.
Step Three- If the test has a practice test – take it. If not make your own.
Step Four- Review any areas you missed on the practice test.
Step Five- Take Breaks- get a snack, walk your dog, or watch a show. Give you brain a rest.
Step Six- Make index cards to use as a portable review system. If you do physical activity before of during learning, air will get to your brain, and so will the information.
Step Seven- Use Memory techniques-
*Visualization to remember key words or concepts. A “Thrust” is a type of stage. I picture an actor “thrusting” towards me to remember the term.
*Acronyms can help you remember a difficult series of words. SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)
*Sentences or Acrostics- Form a sentence using the first letter of a series of words. Such as the planets can be remembered in order with “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles.”
*Rhymes and Songs- Just like you can recall words to favorite songs, you can put rhythm to just about anything to help it stick in your mind.
*Chucking- Break the speech, series of numbers or whatever into more manageable pieces.
*Break it down or Sound it out- Say big words in a funny way to help you remember them, or break down it down into parts and assign meaning. For example- You need to recall the term “Geocentric” meaning the belief the earth is in the center of the universe. GEO means earth. CENT is the root of center.
* Get silly- Find an inside joke that will help you remember a key word or concept. The sillier the better! This is also great when studying with friends!
* Record yourself reading the material and listen while doing the dishes or other active tasks!
Step Eight- Test and re-test yourself until you feel confident-
Step Nine- Rest before the test- No cramming! You will hurt your brain.
Best Luck! Follow these Tips and you will be successful!