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Gia C. Jones University College Advising Center Middle Tennessee State University
There are specific study tips that help you learn more information; however, you should first know your Biological Rhythm and Learning Style.
Biological Rhythm: ◦ Some individuals are more alert and productive during the morning hours and some individuals may be more alert and productive during the evening hours. ◦ Conduct study sessions when you are most alert and focused.
Learning Styles: ◦ Visual Learners: learn best from visual stimuli/ methods (e.g. charting, maps, flash cards) ◦ Auditory Learners: learn best from auditory stimuli/ methods (e.g. recording lectures) ◦ Tactile Learners: learn best from hands-on experience (e.g. laboratory experiments)
Visual Learners: Use graphs, charts & drawing while studying (e.g. History, Psychology, etc.). Flash cards are helpful while studying, useful in selftesting (e.g. definitions, Science courses, Economics, etc.). Pre-test are also helpful for visual learners.
Auditory Learners: Use audio cues to learn information (e.g. creating rhymes or songs). Use audio recordings of lectures/notes to retain information (e.g. Philosophy, Political Science, etc.)
Tactile Learners: Use projects and experiments to learn information. (e.g. Biology – any Natural Science, Engineering) Use of formula and hands-on learning. Create models & graphs to retain information
Everyone is different; what works for you, may not work for others. The following tips are suggestions for improving your current study skills. REVIEW material after class when it’s still fresh in your memory. DO NOT CRAM! Space out your studying. Review materials several times a week, focusing on one topic at a time. When you begin, have all study materials in front of you: LECTURE NOTES, COURSE TEXTBOOKS STUDY GUIDES, ETC.
Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve THE CURVE OF FORGETTING 100 %
R E T A I N E D
The moment we first hear new information
One day later without reinforcement
Two days later without reinforcement
Find a comfortable and quiet place to study
Start out with most important information HIGHLIGHT definitions Take notes and write down a summary of important ideas as you read through material
TAKE SHORT BREAKS PERIODICALLY DON’T just read through and try to memorize material, make sure you understand the material well. If you choose to study in a group, only study with others who are SERIOUS!
MAKE A PRACTICE QUIZ: test yourself or have someone test you to note your weak and strong areas. Use material from homework questions, sample problems, etc.
USE THE REVIEW QUESTIONS AT THE END OF CHAPTER: this is helpful with courses such as Psychology, History and Economics. Go to review sessions, pay attention to hints that the instructor may give about the test. DON’T study any later than the time you usually go to sleep.
When you take a test you demonstrate your ability to understand course material or perform certain educational tasks.
Tests are used to measure performance. ◦ Objective tests are true-false, multiple choice, fillin-the-blank. ◦ Subjective tests are short answer, essay or oral exams.
Strategies to avoid carelessness: ◦ PREPARE: good preparation helps you focus on the task at hand. Arrive early for test Be comfortable, Be Alert Stay relaxed and confident Don’t try to pull an all night-er. Get at least 3 hours of sleep before the test. ◦ DURING TEST: Read the directions carefully If there is time, look through test for overview Answer questions in a strategic order: easy questions first
◦ REVIEW: Resist the urge to leave as soon as you complete all items. Review to ensure you answered all questions, did not mis-mark, did not make simple mistakes.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
(get required information to prepare for test)
Make sure you go to the class right before the test; the instructor may give out more hints or the format of the test
Get a good amount of sleep Keep a good attitude. Think Positively! Make a plan Manage your time Don’t get frustrated or worried Read questions carefully:
Note cue words: compare & contrast, list, define, describe
9. 10. 11.
Bring a watch to the test so you can pace yourself. Bring appropriate test tools Ask the instructor for clarification if you don’t understand what they are asking for on the test. Don’t worry if others finish before you. Focus on the test in front of you. REVIEW.
Read questions before you look at answers. Come up with the answer in your head before looking at possible answers. Read all choices before choosing your answer.
Eliminate answers you know aren’t right. Don’t keep changing your answer, usually your first choice is right, unless you misread the question.
Read the directions carefully and don’t forget to answer all parts of the question. Make estimates for your answers Show all your work; write legibly
Even if you know the final answer is wrong, don’t erase your entire work because you may get partial credit for using the correct procedure.
Spend an equal or greater amount of time preparing as you would for a normal test. Familiarize yourself with the book and relevant materials. If allowed, write down all the important formulas and key information on a separate sheet so you don’t have to search through your book for it. Highlight important points, use post-it notes, bookmarks, etc. Bring all the resources allowed.
Use quotations from the book to support your view, but don’t over quote.
Read the directions carefully.
Make sure you understand what the question is asking. Budget your time. Make an outline before writing your essay. Focus on one main idea per paragraph. If you aren’t sure about an exact date or number, use approximations i.e. “Approximately 5000” or “ In the late 17th century”
Test Anxiety ◦ is a feeling of agitation and distress.
◦ can occur while thinking about an test or during a test. ◦ results in difficult concentrating, mental blocks and distractibility.
Past experience: blanking on tests, or being unable to retrieve answers to questions Lack of preparation for test: Time management Poor study habits Cramming the night before
Apprehension of not living up to other’s expectations Allowing grades to determine self-worth Fear of no control over what happens
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Be well prepared for test Self-testing from your review Think positively Thought Stopping Get a good night’s sleep Arrive in plenty of time; dress comfortable Don’t talk to friends Calm yourself during test by taking deep breaths, stretching, and positive internal self-talk Focus only on the exam: read carefully any instructions Maintain a healthy lifestyle
If test anxiety is a serious problem, because of other reasons, have the student seek professional help from private counseling services or MTSU. MTSU Counseling Services KUC 329 615-898-2670