Hello my loves!
This video has been so very much requested and since I had my first exam as a postgraduate (oh yeaaa) last week, I decided to just show you what I did to prepare myself. This video has a ton of my study secrets, from organization, to The Bubble Method, flash cards and my favourite, a sneaky little thing called ‘Cheat Sheets’-but I swear to you, it’s legit not what you think.
Here is the video and below, I’ve sort of put everything in points in case you’re the reading type.
1. Have a proper study area
The. Bed. Is. Not. The. Place. To. Study. If you study there let me tell you it’s straight up inefficient, terrible for your back and of course, your body recognizes your bed as a place to sleep so naturally, you’ll have those moments where you suddenly knock out. Also, if you always study on your bed, you brain will start associating your bed with studying so if you’re wondering why you can’t sleep when you’re in bed well, that’s understandable. I’m sure you won’t like sleeping on the floor. As you can see, my desk contains only the items that I need to study with and nothing else. No distractions. Being focused is key for retention.
I have a calendar pinned above my desk on a bulletin board I made in one of my DIY Dormspiration projects. This helps me to see at a glance important dates that I need to pay attention to-like exams, due dates and all that fun stuff. I go here to get a free monthly calendar and I always print the pink one you can see in my video.
Then I have my agenda which is legit my life line. Without it, I may die. No really I might. It contains EVERY thought that has occurred in my mind that is of some value, as well as important dates and assignments. I write it in my agenda so when I flee home I can transfer it to my calendar. Never believe that lie you tell yourself- I’ll remember. Uh, no. You won’t and then you’ll be stressed trying to figure out what you’re supposed to remember. Like Neville from Harry Potter.
In my agenda, I normally have two lists- Things to Schedule and Things to Do. Trust me, it’s such fun to
scratch off the things you’ve finished.
Before I get to highlighting, in one of my Back to School videos, I talked about keeping a folder with all of your handouts so they won’t magically grow legs and walk away. So now on to highlighting. Highlighting key information is one of the easiest ways to know exactly what is important for you to learn. I know I highlight a lot but that’s what works for me. It’s your notes so you can do what you want.
4. Reinforce what you’ve learnt.
Every time I learn a new term, I make sure to write it down whenever I come across it again in my notes. That way, it helps to keep it fresh in my memory. This may seem a bit over the top but it really works because you keep reinforcing it in your mind.
These are abbreviations for terms you want to remember. When I have a table to learn, I make up acronyms for the parameters I want to compare. In he video, you’ll see I have to compare two things under the headings of validity, information, specificity, correctness and premises so I end up with something called V I S C P. This is a great way to trigger a series of terms.
6. Sticky notes
These are great ways of putting reminders about important definitions. You can always stick them around your room so that when you’re getting ready
7. End of Chapter Review & Summary
For quick access I mark off the chapters I need to learn so I can find them easily. I also put tabs on the end of chapter reviews and speaking of reviews, you really should go over the summaries and definitions at the end of each chapter. It really helps to clear things up and it gives you an idea of the key points from the chapter.
8. Do Review Questions from your Text
The practice questions in your text are also very important because it helps you understand what you just learnt. Practice really does make perfect and if you’re having problems, it’s better to deal with them now!
9. Take Notes in Class
Make sure and pay special attention to the format of the answers to questions that your lecturer does in class. Chances are, this is what they expect in an exam!
10. The Bubble Method
The Bubble MethodIn this method, you have the main theme or topic in a bubble and coming from it, are the subdivisions of that topic. It is an excellent method to remember specific headings. You can even expand on them as you go along.
11. Flow Charts
A flow chart is perfect for learning processes because it simplifies things and puts it into perspective rather than having a huge chunk of info to learn.
These are one of the best study methods. I like keeping mine in this 5 star case so that they won’t get lost.
Quick tip-I keep paper clips on all my flashcards so they won’t float away and also, to organize them, I number each set. That way I can shuffle them without getting confused when I’m ready to put them back in order Also, you can have them on the go so when you’re waiting for a class, you can just whip them out and review!
13. Cheat Sheet
One of my biggest study secrets is a cheat sheet-and no, it’s totally not what you think. It’s basically a ONE, key word one- page summary of an entire topic. It’s YOUR summary and It should only contain trigger words and essential points so right before an exam, you can have these pages and quickly review everything on them instead of going crazy trying to find important details in your pile of notes.
14. Past Paper Questions
Questions from previous exams are put there to give you an idea of the format of the exams. Make sure that you do these, especially before your final exams. Questions always repeat-I did these questions from an old mid semester and some repeated in my exam last week. If you have problems, make an attempt and then carry them to your teacher for help.
15. Use all the resources you have
If I can’t understand something, I will check online for maybe a summary that would be able to help me. You can read other books in the library and even talk to your teacher in order to clarify problems.
16. Have a Healthy Snack
We all have those hunger pangs so instead of succumbing to late night binges, always have fresh fruit at your fingertips. It’s the perfect solution and it’s very healthy for your mind and your body! I love me some strawberries and pistachios. Yummy.
I really hope you enjoyed this post as well as the video!
XO, The Classy It Girl!