Now everyone has a different way of learning, but I have always been the kind of person that needs to study things in several different ways for it to stick. When I was in high school, I used to be the kind of student that looks at the material minutes before a test and I would somehow manage to get an A. As soon as college came around, I quickly learned that I was not able to do that any longer. The material in college is far more complex and what you would learn in an entire semester in high school, is what you learn in the first two weeks in college. I have had to learn different methods to help put all this information in brain and actually make it “stick” because this information is no longer “not going to be used in life” and is now specific for your major which you will use every day. So, to help me get the information in “the storage” of my brain, I have developed a few tools to help me learn.
- Don’t wait last minute to study: Like I said before, I used to just look at the material minutes before a test. Now, I have learned that as soon as you get the material in class, to go home and study it right there and then. Most things you learn is a building process, so if you don’t understand what you learned the week before, you won’t understand what you are learning currently. It can be as simple as just looking over your notes.
- Make notecards: By making notecards, you are writing down the material which is proven to help register the information in your brain more. It also provides an easy review before the exam.
- Read the Book: I know that this one can be hard at times because there is a lot of “fluff” around the important content in the book, but it is crucial that you go over this information as well. There is only so much information a professor can give you in “x” amount of time. Therefore, there could be very important information in the textbook that could be on the exam. The professors are expecting you to read the material so don’t think that it won’t. I learned that it helped me to first go read the objectives of the chapter and see what is important and then to go back and read about the selective material.
Everyone has a different way of studying, but these three things greatly helped me in passing exams and making it “stick”.
-Jacqueline, student scholar