Hello! So I’ve decided that I’ll start a series of posts based on things I didn’t understand when I started to get into studying. Don’t take my me too seriously- I already enough of that myself, but I do have some advice that might work for you ;) .
You know that kind of test where you’ve been given a body of relatively dry material, and now you have an hour-two hours-three hours-I lost count of how many hours of whatever to freak out about?
I’m talking some colour-the- questions, some write a designated-number-of-lines and maybe write a longer “piece” as well. You might get these in science subjects (hello psychology/ biology) or some humanities and arts theory classes (yes- I’m looking at you too fun general classes like geography), or something else.
Yeah- we’re going to talk about those, but this also works as a general study guide for learning specific material.
Guess what? Your a few days/weeks from the date and you need to revise. Like now. So. What the ever living fuck do you do?!
1. What material do you need to know? What format is the test, and what can you expect. When is it, where is it, what do you need etc. Go ask your teacher, refer to a course guide/ syllabus etc. Attend class. Take notes. Seriously this is half the game. (side note- you need to be mentally present to take ANYTHING in.)
2. Read your text book chapter/s. Actually, shit- scrap that- skim read and grab a nice highlighter/ pencil. Go for definitions, key knowledge and terms and anything else that seems particularly relevant. (TIP- the diagrams should give you a good summary of what they are talking about- never skip them- look and make sense of each one. )
3. Notes time! Grab your notes taking thingy (pencil, computer, pick and handy piece of rock- I don’t know what you like) and make detailed notes for each section you need to learn. List definitions, statistics, explanations and DIAGRAMS! (If you want to know what quality notes look like, just search for ‘studyblr’- those damn minimalist-mac-lovers seem to know).
Side note- notes can be done standard in a book, on a computer, in mind maps, on posters or whatever floats your creative boat.
4. Summary. Now you have a lot of notes, and just reading them won’t help you remember the information at all (actually- up to 10% perhaps). Its time to make a summary. Start from the beginning of the section/ chapter and take the most vital points from your notes- definitions, statistics, DIAGRAMS, bullet points of information etc.. Order this summary all together, on a separate page (or at the back of your notes section in you book).
5. Short Summary! Again, this can be done in a number of ways. Take the most important information only. You might want to make a mind map, notes page, list, poster, whatever and present it. I like to just go over my summary and colour in (I highlight on onenote) all the most important details so that it catches my eye.
What do you have now? All the information you need presented in three fun and different ways. Arn’t you productive as hell!?
6. Practise questions! This is by far the most important stage (apart from note taking), and this is also where a lot of students fall down. Now. Listen carefully.
-Open that textbook- chances are good theres some questions in there. Read and consider them. Do you know the answer? - Do them. Do you hear me?You can do this on paper, a computer- just write it down somewhere so you can check your answers. Don’t skip the hard ones- thats where other people will slip up- (take a sticky note and put it to mark the place, then take it to your teacher and ask. them. questions.)
now… (choose some to do)
-there might be an end of chapter study review- do that too! Thats really great revision and a good test of your knowledge.
-there might be a lot of questions, in which case cherry pick the ones that ask for the key knowledge you wrote down earlier. Chances are, thats what will be tested.
- make some cue cards with questions and then write down the answer- that could be fun. (split with friends and swap cards!)
- you might be able to get your hands on actual, official practise questions. Ask your teacher- they might have some, or ask for a past paper from other years. Try searching for your subject online and see if another school has posted practise questions/ exams.
- Ask your teacher what questions you should revise on. What questions should you do. Email them, go see them in their office, send a carrier pigeon- whatever.
7. Rinse and repeat. Not the whole thing, but the parts of it you struggled with. Didn’t understand a question? TAKE IT TO YOUR DAMN TEACHER/ friend etc. What don’t you know? Go learn that shit. Go study with other people! Test each other.
8. Okay- You know the information. You know what to expect. You got this. Remember the motto people- EAT WELL, SLEEP WELL, DO WELL!