Studying for success in
a course can be tricky, especially in the Summer when time is short.
Persons have different
learning abilities and hence there is no one approach that is guaranteed to
work for all students when preparing for examinations. Here are ten issues to consider when deciding
on a strategy for success. Note, these
are not listed in any order of importance and level of effectiveness.
a course and learning the content of the course are two distinct concerns that
need to be understood and worked at. Understand that to fail an examination does
not mean that you do not know a lot about the course; you have only failed to
show how much you know. By the same
measure, passing a course does not mean that you know a lot about the subject;
you only knew what the teacher wanted you to know for the exams. Do not be misled about your exam results.
textbooks is a good idea. A textbook is not only useful while
you are doing a course, but even after the course is completed. If, for example, you passed the course by
knowing what the teacher wanted you may still need to revisit your textbook for
a higher level course that you are doing or you may need the information for a
real life situation at work. Of course
the internet is good in many ways, but many times to get bona fide information
you have to purchase it online anyway. A
good textbook tends to be very in-depth and could greatly simplify your search
taping the class. As long as there are no issues in doing so
with the lecturer, tape the class session so you’ll be able to go over certain
aspects of the class for your benefit.
all classes. Everything that a teacher says is
critical to the outcome of the course.
Take nothing for granted and always be at your classes, because while
you may get a recording of the class, you may not be able to ask the teacher
questions for thinks you are unclear about.
Remember too that a certain number of absences can adversely affect your
final grade for a course.
keen attention in class. Not only must you be in class, but you must
pay keen attention – that’s the way to learn the teacher, because you’ll know
what is deemed important in the chapter being discussed, as well as what is
important to the teacher. You will also
improve your chances of refining your appreciation of practical applicability
of the course. You’ll also know the critical questions to ask when you are
out for certain key words and phrases. Some key words include, critical, paramount, essential, only, the most important, other, and but.
These words or the phrase are usually associated with the examinable
aspects of a course – as far as the teacher is concerned. Be sure to grasp them in the application
context of the course.
immediately after class. An old adage is that you should hit the iron
while it is hot. Another one is to make
hay while the sun shines. When things
are fresh in your head it’s good to go for concretization of concepts at that
stage. Later, revision is a lot simpler.
for each class as if you are the teacher. The mind-set that
you approach a class with is most essential. Think like a student, who’s not
supposed to know, and you won’t; think like a teacher who’s supposed to know
and you will.
the teacher. For the
student who knows a lot of content but still ends up with a failing grade,
there was an obvious imbalance between know the content and learning the
teacher. Sometimes the teacher and the
content are worlds apart. Look out for
the first exam to see whether it reflects class discussions or textbook
content. Refine your approach after the
first exam. Remember that while you need
to know your content, you must also know your teacher – at least till the
course is over.
starting a course develop a mental concept within which you will learn. Most times persons with real world experience
make better learners of than persons who have no clue about the applicability
of what is being taught. If you lack
work experience you may want to develop a mental framework that you would
otherwise have to make learning more logical and applicable.