All posts tagged: studytips

Flashcards: Make ‘Em Right!

The other day I decided to sacrifice my Math Quiz Section in favor of three hours of pure study time for the finals. I must add, I do not regret this decision, as lately things with organization have been getting out of hand. While studying for my upcoming Psychology final, which has just so many theories and hypotheses, I decided to go for making flashcards (these have some great advantages!) To make things a bit different this time, though, I put the definitions in my own words and added some comments relating to my life experiences, movies I’ve seen or songs I’ve heard. For example, one flashcard that came out looked like this: From this experience, I realized that there are several things I need to do to make my flashcard-making time worth…my time. Because if you think about it, after spending hours (sometimes even days) drawing these up, how much do you actually study from them? I’ll be honest and say that I give up the second I put the pen down, thinking that making the flashcards …

Study for Multiple Choice Tests

When preparing for a multiple choice test, it’s quite easy to relax and think “Oh, this test will be easy because all the answers will be on paper.” Unfortunately, this kind of thinking often sets us up for failure. Professors and teachers are familiar with such attitude, and make the tests even harder and more confusing. To avoid this, it’s important to study as if the test will have open-ended questions.This means that you have to practice in a way that will let you understand the material, not merely recognize familiar terms on paper. There are a few components involved in this kind of test prep, and if you do a little bit of each, the knowledge and practice will add up in the end to form a bigger picture. This is the procedure I’ve been going by in the last couple of months, which has been working out quite well for me: 1. Go over and annotate all notes and textbook readings Start doing this as soon as the quarter/semester/class begins. It’s easy to get …

How to Take Notes from a Textbook

Hey guys! I’ve received so many questions about reading textbooks and taking notes on that, so I am going to share with you how I do it. I like to write on the margins. Not highlight. I don’t use a special color coding technique to separate my comments from key terms from titles from definitions. My system is very simple and makes sense to me. All I use are: A pencil An eraser Small (not tiny) sticky notes To start, I think it’s important to read actively. This means to think through the material, note things you don’t understand, complete little practice problems at the end of each section and connect new concepts with each other and the old ones. The margins of my textbook are pretty thick – so thick I can fit a small 2 x 1.5 inch sticky note. On the sticky note, I write definitions and very important concepts that go with the definition. This means that I have anywhere from 2 to 6 sticky notes per page. I underline important explanations …

How to Make a Study Plan

*My fall quarter starts on September 24th. Professors started posting textbook information, test information, syllabus, etc. on the course websites a couple days, so I thought it would be a good idea to prepare for each class before it starts * Once you have your textbooks, a little bit of information on the website, and the syllabus, start preparing your study plan for the quarter. 1. Read the course syllabus. Professors know exactly what they will be teaching, how big the workload will be, exam schedules, reading material, etc. Once you read the syllabus, you are already mentally prepared for the class, and it won’t seem as overwhelming on the first day. ** Important information to take away from the syllabus: – Homework load – Class schedule, test information – Retake and make up policy – Any class- specific information 2. Look up your professor on RateMyProfessors. By reading other students’ reviews, you can get a preview into what your classes will be like. It’s important not to believe every word you read there, simply because every student …

Small Things That Affect Your Concentration

  Humans can’t pay full attention to two things at once: it’s a fact! (Source 1, 2, 3). While we think we can do two things at the same time, like doing homework and watching a TV show- we’re actually doing neither. Thus, when there are distractions around us, we cannot fully focus on our work no matter how hard we try. Small things that we usually don’t think about affect our concentration, but are easy to control: 1. Cell Phone -put it on silent, out of reach and check only once an hour. It can totally wait and whoever texted you can wait a few minutes. 2. Mess -It sets the mood. The messier your room, the less organized YOU are! Clean and organize your desk, make your bed, and make a schedule everyday. 3. People -I’ve found that if I study at home, everyone always bothers and distracts me because they know I’m home and can answer a question, clean something, drive, etc. To avoid the same fate, go to the library! Bring …

Remember Better: Active Recall

To remember new information better, we have to look at studying at a more biopsychological level. When new information enters our brain, it is first processed in the working memory. This type of memory is not very big- with it we only remember things for about 30 seconds. Example: when you do a math problem, you think about the numbers you’re working with. However, when the problem is solved and you move on to the next one, the numbers are forgotten immediately. In some cases, the information (now a memory) moves to the short-term memory (STM), where it is kept for a few minutes longer. However, if this memory is not recalled enough times, it will be forgotten. That’s why when we procrastinate and leave the memorizing and studying until the last minute, we don’t remember that information after the exam. Now for the final part, to transfer the new memory from STM to Long term memory (LTM), we have to use something called active recall. Basically, it’s like quizzing yourself: the more times you …