Know Thyself

Exercise: Fill in the blanks with the first thought that comes to mind.

1. I find it easiest to study when ______________________________________.

2. If a subject is really hard, I tend to __________________________________.

3. The subject I most like to study is __________________________________.

4. The subject I least like to study is __________________________________.

Knowing this, how should you adjust your study skills… maybe, start with your answer to number 4 and study this subject with your answer to question number 1. (Just thoughts, you should develop your own style and develop it until it becomes second nature.)

Ask yourself the following: Am I more inclined to remember something better when:
I see it,
when I hear it, or
when I experience it or do something active with it?

– Your answer should help guide how you study. If you are not a visual learner, do not force it, go with what feels natural.

To Improve yourself as a Visual Learner

  • visualize what you are studying (literally, imagine it – don’t knock it until you try it.)
  • use color in your notes (colored pens, highlighters, etc.)
  • visualize what the instructor is lecturing about (again, try it before you dismiss it.)
  • draw pictures and diagrams (demonstrate how well you understand a concept by making a mental map for yourself.)
  • use mind maps in your notes (example: when studying photosynthesis, make a map that ENERGY = Photosynthesis.)
  • use picture and graphics to reinforce learning (print out, put on note cards, try to draw for yourself from memory – teachers LOVE visual cues in essays that help them realize how well you understand a concept.)
  • learn from videos (youtube.com, google, if this needs further explanation talk to you youngest sibling or actually go to the librarian and seek out his assistance.)

To Improve yourself as a Auditory Learner

  • listen to tapes of recorded assignments (bring tape recorder into class)
  • tape record your own textbook reading, read out loud (you would be astounded at how well this tends to help with memorization.)
  • talk over ideas from class and what you are studying with other students (study groups are also great places to meet others…)
  • participate in class discussions (as scary as it is…)
  • listen to audiotapes on the subject (go online, go to podcasts, go to amazon, Great Courses teaching company are all good resources.)

To Improve yourself as a Hands On Learner…If you feel you struggle focusing.

  • stand up and move around while you are studying
  • take frequent breaks while studying (make these breaks coordinated and consistent, do not make exceptions, or permit yourself X number of exceptions – just be consistent – this is planned studying, not procrastination.)
  • make use of your hands and write things down as you study
  • use the computer to reinforce learning
  • be physically active; experiment with objects
  • memorize or drill while walking or exercising

Acronyms

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

ROY G BIV (the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet)

IPMAT (stages of cell division: interphase, prophase, metaphase,
anaphase and telephase)

EGBDF – every good boy does fine (lines of the treble clef)

General Self-Care

In preparing for your exams, you will be required to dedicate much of your time and prioritize your study needs. It is is High School and Middle School that you have the opportunity to build in a few new habits that could have lasting effects – and to develop new ones.

NOTE: By listening to this boring lecture, you have already, unknowingly, developed better study skills! If you take away only one new skill, then you have already advanced yourself and how you integrate knowledge. WELL DONE!!!

EGBDF – every good boy does fine (lines of the treble clef)

Many examples have already been provided, such as exercise: you should consider integrating exercise into your study routine. You might also consider integrating video games or other incentive building tools into your schedule.

You may not be the exercising type – I am not – but maybe you choose to take a half-hour walk every day in between Study Sessions; or listen to a podcast your downloaded from iTunes and listen to it when you take that walk, or take a 15 minute bike ride.

Make things easier for yourself and skip the denial and bargaining commonly associated with poor study habits – make up your mind and choose to make a change, today. If you add one drop of red food coloring to your water, you might create a subtle hue, but if you added a single drop, every day, it would not be long until your glass of water looked very different.)

In general, be nice to yourself, and work to make the most of the time you dedicate to studying! Try to enjoy it. It is possible.

(Note: I would counsel against making any significant changes during this time, e.g., quitting eating gluten; keep any newly incorporated habits manageable, attainable, and fun!)

Common Multiple Choice Formats

Being mindful of the type of question permits you the flexibility to immediately exclude answers that do not apply.
1. Which of the following was the underlying cause of the other four?

2. All of the following statements are true EXCEPT?

3. Which of the following statements are FALSE?

4. Which is a valid conclusion that could be drawn from the idea expressed in the quotation above?

5. All of the following are EXCEPT?

6. All of the following terms are associated with (identify a topic or a person or an event) EXCEPT?

7. A theorist writing about (identify some theory here) would be MOST (or LEAST) interested in examining?

8. Which of the following individuals had contrasting points of view on (identify a topic here)?

9. Which theorist is NOT correctly matched to his/her accomplishments?

10. Which pair would have been the most awkward companions as dinner guests?

11. Which of the following choices is a result of the other four?

12. In writing an essay about (identify some theorist here), all of the following points should be included EXCEPT?

13. (Place the name of a theorist, etc.) and (other theorist, etc.) had which of the following in common?
OR
14. (Place the name of a theorist, etc.) and (other theorist, etc.) had all of the following in common EXCEPT?

15. One similarity between (Place the name of a theorist or theory, etc.) and (other theorist or theory, etc.) is that both?