Tips for Studying
Date: 06/02/2001 at 16:28:09 From: Bambi Subject: Studying! I really need help! I'm in grade 8, so this is the first year of exams for me, and I don't know how to study. Help me, please?
Date: 06/03/2001 at 13:57:36 From: Doctor Ian Subject: Re: Studying! Hi Bambi, Usually when you have a test, it's going to be about what you've been learning recently. For example, if you just finished chapter 5 in the book, then the test will almost certainly be about the material in chapter 5. So the way you study for the test is to read through chapter 5 and make sure that you can answer all of the practice questions at the end of each section. If you can answer those, then you'll probably be able to answer any question on the test. Now, here's the thing: If you wait until the night before the test to try to learn the material, it's probably not going to work. A better way to use your book would be this: If your teacher is going to talk about section 6.3 tomorrow, you should read that section tonight and try to answer all the practice questions. If you can answer them all, then you can just treat the next day's class as a review session. But if you can't answer them all, then the next day in class you can ask the teacher to go over the ones you couldn't do - which shouldn't be a problem, since that's the material he or she is supposed to be covering anyway. Trust me, knowing ahead of time what the teacher is going to say makes class a _lot_ less frustrating - and quite a bit more interesting. (It's a little like when you see a movie again - the second time around, you already know what will turn out to be significant, so you can notice all kinds of details that escaped you the first time around.) And this way, when the time for a test rolls around, you'll know that you already _know_ all the material, so you won't _need_ to study, except perhaps to go back through the chapter and make sure you can still work the practice problems. I'm going to tell you a secret, and if you take it seriously, I can guarantee that school will become at least ten times easier for you, for as long as you continue in school. The secret is this: Never walk into a classroom without knowing ahead of time what the teacher is going to say! If you have a textbook or a reading list, read the relevant part _before_ each lecture, rather than hearing it for the first time in the lecture. This _sounds_ like a lot of extra work, but it's not. Suppose you have lectures A, B, and C that cover reading material a, b, and c. Most students would do this: Listen to A; read a; listen to B; read b; listen to C; read c. I'm suggesting that you do this instead: Read a; listen to A; read b; listen to B; read c; listen to C. As you can see, it's the same amount of work. Only the order is different. And the reason the order is so crucial is the one I've already mentioned: If you don't understand something in the reading material, you can ask about it in the lecture where the material is covered, which is no extra trouble for the teacher. But if you try to ask a question about yesterday's material in today's lecture, the teacher will be impatient to move on, and it's likely that you won't get the answer you need, if you get one at all. I hope this helps. Write back if you'd like to talk about this some more, or if you have any other questions. - Doctor Ian, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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