In the age of instant gratification, fast access to information is all too easy. We rely on technology to give us that information injection before we acknowledge our own insight. So how do we reset and approach tests in an internet-free environment, relying only on recall for that important exam?
Here are a few tips for how the new age student can approach their study sessions.
Create something to look forward to
As soon as study time becomes something to look forward to, we begin to enjoy the time we set aside to reflect on what we have learned. For example, only in my study time can I use the new stationary I’ve been looking forward to trying out!
The Fidget Fad
Fidget Spinners are marketed as the cure for attention deficit disorders and anxiety, even claiming to be an antidote for autism. While they have become an identifying feature of pencil bags and space cases across the nation, they have largely been banned in classrooms for causing distractions. The unmistakable whir of a 20 spinner hive is enough to distract anyone. While they may offer an outlet for kids who struggle to concentrate, keeping these in your “what to look forward to during studying” bag of tricks is only advisable for students who can use them without letting them be a colourful distraction.
The Studying environment
Nothing is more important to a study session than the environment itself. Make sure that when you sit down for a study session, you are in a distraction-free environment that you feel comfortable in.
Have all of your studying tools readily available
By keeping all of your stationary and note-taking materials within arm’s reach, you will have instant access to important tools eliminating the need to search for items which leads to distraction.
The Magic of Scoping
Before you begin, make sure that you have a clear overview of what is in your exam. Most teachers provide an exam breakdown per subject which you can use to scope exactly what you need to cover during your study sessions.
Once you have made your list, use three colours to categorise each item. For example, you may put a red dot against a topic you are very unsure of, an orange dot against topics you are fairly sure of, but may need further practice in, and a green dot next to topics you are fully confident in. As you progress and prepare for the exam, you should be giving yourself more and more green dots!
Preparing your Study Timetable
Work out how much time you have before your exams and decide how much time to allocate to each subject per section. Your study schedule should be set on a calendar, indicating time slots for study sessions as well as the subject and sections you will be covering. It is important to allow yourself periods of rest to recharge and reflect.
It’s not studying if you’re not writing it down. A successful study session consists of not only understanding the topics at hand, but having created reliable neural pathways through note-taking, diagrams and mind maps. These tools help us to put our knowledge into perspective, creating links between topics and consolidating ideas which make it easier for us to recall them when prompted. A glossary or list of terminology is a useful tool to keep track of definitions.
Treat your study sessions as a date with the memo. Instead of trying to recall hundreds of facts, try to see each fact, rather, as an answer to a particular question. You may also wish to create tests for yourself, or do past examinations if you have access to them.
Calculator, extra pen? Check!
And lastly, respect the amount of time and effort you have put in to this process by making sure that you have all the tools you need on the day of your exam.
Click here to find a list of companies that assist learners with helpful study skill methods.
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