HOW TO READ AND UNDERSTAND FASTER FOR EXAMS
There are 168 hours in a week. If you’re a student, you’re probably thinking that this isn’t quite enough. After all, you have a slew of homework, projects, and examinations to prepare for.
You also have other obligations and activities.
You also want to maintain a social life.
Isn’t it lovely to be able to study smarter (rather than harder), obtain good grades, and live a balanced life?
It’s not just about going through more content faster when it comes to reading; it’s also about digesting knowledge faster and better than previously.
According to the study (Willis, J. 2008), different media stimulate distinct areas of the brain. The more brain areas that are active, the more likely you are to comprehend and remember the knowledge.
So, if you want to study more about a given subject, you could do the following:
- Read the notes from class.
- Examine the textbook.
- Look for other internet resources.
- Make a mental map.
- Teach what you’ve learned to someone else.
- Use a variety of sources to practice problems.
You won’t be able to complete all of these tasks in one sitting, of course. However, each time you revisit the topic, try a new resource or strategy; you’ll learn more quickly this way.
- STUDY MULTIPLE SUBJECTS A DAY
To keep concentrated, it’s better to study a variety of subjects each day rather than focusing on just one or two (Rohrer, D. 2012).
If you’re studying for examinations in math, history, physics, and chemistry, for example, it’s best to study a little amount of each topic every day. This method will allow you to learn more quickly than if you only study arithmetic on Mondays, history on Tuesdays, physics on Wednesdays, chemistry on Thursdays, and so on.
Because if you study a lot of the same subject in one day, you’re more prone to mix up comparable material. Spread out your study time for each subject as a guideline to learn faster. As a result, your brain will have more time to consolidate information.
- INSTEAD OF CRAMMING, REVIEW THE FACTS ON A REGULAR BASIS
If you wish to transfer information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory, you must review it on a regular basis. This will assist you in improving your exam marks.
Periodic review, as evidenced by studies (Cepeda, N. 2008), outperforms cramming.
Depending on how long you want to remember the knowledge, the best review interval varies. However, based on my own experience and my work with students, I believe the following review intervals are effective (I explain the full periodic review approach in this article):
• First review: one day after acquiring new material; second review: three days after the first review
• Third review: seven days after the second review • Fourth review: twenty-one days after the third review
• The fifth review will take place 30 days following the fourth review.
• 6th review: 45 days following the 5th review; 7th review: 60 days following the 6th review
- TAKE A SEAT IN THE FRONT ROW OF THE CLASS
If you have the option to sit where you want during class, take a seat in the front row. According to studies, kids who sit in the front of the class obtain better grades (Rennels & Chaudhari, 1988). The following are the average student scores based on where they sat in class (Giles, 1982):
• Front-row seats: 80%
• 71.6 percent in the middle rows
• 68.1 percent in the back rows
These results were achieved in a classroom setting where the seating locations were assigned by the teacher. This means that it’s not simply a question of the more motivated students sitting in the front and the less motivated kids sitting in the rear.
You’ll be able to see the board and hear the teacher more clearly if you sit in the front row, and your concentration will improve as well.
You now know where to find the best seats in the classroom!
- REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION BY SIMPLIFYING, SUMMARIZING, AND COMPRESSING IT
Make use of mnemonic techniques such as acronyms, which have been shown to improve learning efficiency.
Example #1: This acronym/sentence can be used to learn the electromagnetic spectrum in sequence of increasing frequency:
X-ray guns were used by enraged Martians to invade Venus. (The electromagnetic spectrum is divided into radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays, in order of increasing frequency).
Will I be able to pass this exam?
What if I lose track of the important concepts and equations?
What if the exam is more difficult than you anticipated?
These kinds of thoughts are undoubtedly running through your mind right now as you prepare for an exam. However, if your thoughts become irrational, the anxiety that comes with it can harm your grades. Here’s the answer…
In one study, University of Chicago researchers discovered that students who wrote for 10 minutes about their concerns before an approaching exam performed better than those who did not. This strategy, according to the experts, is particularly useful for regular worriers.
Kitty Klein, a psychologist, has also demonstrated that expressive writing, such as journaling, helps memory and learning. According to Klein, this type of writing allows children to express their unpleasant thoughts, allowing them to be less distracted by them.
Take 10 minutes to jot down everything you’re worried about in relation to the impending exam to help you relax. You will improve your grades as a result of this simple activity.
Self-testing is critical if you want to enhance your academic performance, according to decades of research.
Keith Lyle, a psychologist at the University of Louisville, taught the same statistics course to two sets of undergraduates in one experiment.
Lyle required the first group to complete a four- to six-question quiz at the end of each presentation.
The question was based on the information he had just learned.
Lyle did not give any quizzes to the pupils in the second group.
Lyle realized at the end of the semester that the first group outperformed the second on all four midterm tests.
So don’t just study your textbook or class notes in a passive manner. Quiz yourself on essential topics and equations to help you study smarter.
Taking study breaks on a regular basis boosts overall productivity and improves focus (Ariga & Lleras, 2011).
That’s why locking yourself in your room for six hours to prepare for a test isn’t a good idea. Although it may appear that you get a lot done this way, research shows that this is not the case. So, after every 40 minutes of work, take a 5- to 10-minute break.