The way that you are studying right now might not be the best for you:How would you know? Easy: If your grades aren't what you'd like them to be, then you probably need to change how you study!
1 - The first rule is: Don't cram!
- Do not wait until the last minute to study. Short daily sessions are better than one long session the night before the test.
2 - Believe it or not, re-reading your textbook has "little or no benefit" when you are studying for a test.
- "Take notes in class & re-write them at home"; don't "Take notes in class & study them at home." Of course you should study your class notes at home, but just re-reading them is too passive. Studying must be active. It's too easy when just reading passively to have your mind wander or fall asleep.
- The main idea behind re-writing your class notes (besides making them more legible and organized) is that the very act of coping them is one of the best ways of studying them!
3 - Make an outline of just the main ideas in the book.Example: I. (Identify major topics)A. (Subtopics for major topic)B.1. (Further points of interest for subjects)2.
4 – Make a timeline of important dates or the order of events.
- If you have already done this in class, re-write it over and over until you have it memorized.
5 - Review study guides by covering up the answers on the study guide and writing the answers down on a separate sheet of paper.6 - Make "Flash Cards"
It should go without saying that you should do your homework and do it on time! Completing homework is the first phase of studying.
- You can make a set of "flash cards" for any subject!
- Only put one piece of information on each card. Questions on one side and the answers on the other.
- Then memorize the questions and answers; BUT, do not simply recite them by heart. Instead, write down the answers.
- Why write and not recite? Because you will have to write the answers on the actual test. Get used to writing them now! A person tends to skip details when reciting, especially if you recite silently to yourself, but if you write the answers and have a good memory, then, during an exam, you can "read" the answers with your mind's eye.