Exam study strategies that really work - Udgam School

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Exam Study Strategies like Proven Study Strategies, Study Schedule, Memorization Strategies, Concentration Strategies all they eys to effective studying are all about planning its a good idea to start that process NOW!

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  • Exam Study Strategies Exam Study Strategies that REALLY Work!that REALLY Work!

    A Student Services WorkshopA Student Services Workshop

  • Why Can Studying for Why Can Studying for Exams Be Such A Exams Be Such A Challenging Task?Challenging Task? It can be overwhelming to study 5 months worth of It can be overwhelming to study 5 months worth of

    material for one testmaterial for one test

    Sometimes we are exhausted by the end of the Sometimes we are exhausted by the end of the semestersemester

    The exam can be worth a fairly high percentage of The exam can be worth a fairly high percentage of our final mark in the courseour final mark in the course

    We often have 1-3 other exams we also need to be We often have 1-3 other exams we also need to be studying forstudying forwhere do we find the time?where do we find the time?

    We donWe dont teach students how to study, we assume t teach students how to study, we assume they know how best to do this, for every individual they know how best to do this, for every individual subject areasubject area

  • How Do Students Make Exam How Do Students Make Exam Studying An Even MORE Studying An Even MORE Stressful Experience?Stressful Experience? They have unorganized and/or incomplete notes They have unorganized and/or incomplete notes

    from the coursefrom the course

    They have not been asking questions along the way They have not been asking questions along the way to ensure understandingto ensure understanding

    They donThey dont budget their time wisely or start studying t budget their time wisely or start studying far enough ahead of timefar enough ahead of time

    They donThey dont consider ways to make the most of their t consider ways to make the most of their studying timestudying time

    They donThey dont recognize the time and effort that will be t recognize the time and effort that will be required to be adequately prepared for the examrequired to be adequately prepared for the exam

    They donThey dont adjust other priorities during exam time t adjust other priorities during exam time to make the exams their primary focusto make the exams their primary focus

  • The Keys to Effective The Keys to Effective StudyingStudyingEffective study skills must be Effective study skills must be

    practiced in order to improvepracticed in order to improve

    ItIts not enough to s not enough to think aboutthink about studying studying you actually have to you actually have to do it and then reflect on what do it and then reflect on what you could be doing betteryou could be doing better

  • General Exam Study General Exam Study TipsTipsTested and True!Tested and True! Begin studying no less than 30-60 minutes after a Begin studying no less than 30-60 minutes after a

    mealmeal

    Never study within 30 minutes of going to sleepNever study within 30 minutes of going to sleep

    Prioritize! Make a list of what you intend to study Prioritize! Make a list of what you intend to study and prioritize the listand prioritize the list

    Study no more than 45-60 minutes at a stretch, and Study no more than 45-60 minutes at a stretch, and then take breaksthen take breaks

    Take breaks away from your desk and do Take breaks away from your desk and do something differentsomething different

    Try to continue your daily habits as usual (donTry to continue your daily habits as usual (dont t drastically reduce your sleep, eliminate exercise, or drastically reduce your sleep, eliminate exercise, or overeat)overeat)

  • Creating the Right Creating the Right Environment for StudyingEnvironment for Studying When deciding where you should do your exam When deciding where you should do your exam

    studying consider the following:studying consider the following: Make sure the environment is moderately Make sure the environment is moderately

    comfortable (furniture, temperature)comfortable (furniture, temperature)

    Work somewhere where you will be free of Work somewhere where you will be free of distractions (phone, TV, MSN etc.)distractions (phone, TV, MSN etc.)

    Try to use a space that is YOURS only and Try to use a space that is YOURS only and doesndoesnt have to be shared with other family t have to be shared with other family membersmembers

    Keep the study space organized with a specific Keep the study space organized with a specific place for paper, pens, books etc.place for paper, pens, books etc.

    Have everything you need to study with you Have everything you need to study with you before you sit down so you donbefore you sit down so you dont waste time t waste time looking for thingslooking for things

  • The Value of a Study The Value of a Study ScheduleSchedule It will not be possible to allocate your It will not be possible to allocate your

    time effectively if you dontime effectively if you dont have a t have a schedule to keep you focused and schedule to keep you focused and realistic about what you need to realistic about what you need to accomplishaccomplish

    The time taken to create the The time taken to create the schedule is well worth it schedule is well worth it it will save it will save you much time that could have been you much time that could have been lost to disorganization, stress, and lost to disorganization, stress, and poor planningpoor planning

  • The Keys to Effective Exam The Keys to Effective Exam Study SchedulingStudy Scheduling Obtain an exam outline for each of your courses Obtain an exam outline for each of your courses

    including what material will be covered, the length of, including what material will be covered, the length of, and format of the examand format of the exam

    Complete all of the preparation that will be required Complete all of the preparation that will be required for you to study effectively BEFORE you sit down for you to study effectively BEFORE you sit down and actually study (i.e. complete missing homework, and actually study (i.e. complete missing homework, correct tests, organize notes in order etc.)correct tests, organize notes in order etc.)

    Realistically plan for the amount of time that you Realistically plan for the amount of time that you think will be required to review the material for the think will be required to review the material for the course at least twicecourse at least twiceand then double that amount and then double that amount of timeof time

    Decide which previous commitments will need to go Decide which previous commitments will need to go on holdon hold while you are studying (i.e. reducing shifts while you are studying (i.e. reducing shifts at work, no baby-sitting etc.)at work, no baby-sitting etc.)

  • The Keys continuedThe Keys continued Make every hour count in your schedule Make every hour count in your schedule

    time at lunch, before school, after schooltime at lunch, before school, after school

    Begin to study for each exam AT least a Begin to study for each exam AT least a week before it will take place to have plenty week before it will take place to have plenty of time to ask questions, review etc.of time to ask questions, review etc.

    Give yourself reasonable breaks (15-30 Give yourself reasonable breaks (15-30 min) and try to maintain as min) and try to maintain as normalnormal a a schedule as possible in terms of sleep time, schedule as possible in terms of sleep time, eating time etc.eating time etc.

  • Proven Study StrategiesProven Study Strategies SQ3RSQ3R

    SurveySurvey get the best overall picture of what get the best overall picture of what youyoure going to study before you do itre going to study before you do it

    Question Question ask questions to reinforce your own ask questions to reinforce your own learninglearning

    Read Read actively read over the material and be actively read over the material and be alert to main ideas, bolded terms, and key alert to main ideas, bolded terms, and key understandings and detailsunderstandings and details

    ReciteRecite recalling and then orally or through recalling and then orally or through writing communicating the information writing communicating the information make make connectionsconnections

    Review Review re-reading, summarizing key points, re-reading, summarizing key points, testing yourself, asking final questionstesting yourself, asking final questions

  • Proven Study Strategies Proven Study Strategies continuedcontinued Getting OrganizedGetting Organized

    Putting time into organizing notes and other papers for the coursePutting time into organizing notes and other papers for the course

    Reading with PurposeReading with Purpose Not glossing over reading material but actively searching for Not glossing over reading material but actively searching for

    important ideas and thinking about them while you readimportant ideas and thinking about them while you read

    Getting the Main IdeasGetting the Main Ideas Questioning yourself about the main Questioning yourself about the main pointspoints from the notes, from the notes,

    assignments, or chapters you are reviewingassignments, or chapters you are reviewing

    Extracting Important DetailsExtracting Important Details Considering key information that support the main ideas, and thus, Considering key information that support the main ideas, and thus,

    give them more meaninggive them more meaning

    Taking NotesTaking Notes Bolding, underlining, and categorizing information that you are study Bolding, underlining, and categorizing information that you are study

    to give it more meaningto give it more meaning

    Outlining Textbooks/ Novels/ Supporting MaterialsOutlining Textbooks/ Novels/ Supporting Materials Making notes on key main ideas, supporting details, and connections Making notes on key main ideas, supporting details, and connections

    between concepts from print sources between concepts from print sources

  • Memorization StrategiesMemorization Strategies Some material for your courses will simply Some material for your courses will simply

    require that you memorize the information. require that you memorize the information. This comes easy to some people, but not This comes easy to some people, but not all. Here are some strategies that you can all. Here are some strategies that you can try:try: AcronymAcronym: ie. PMAT for phases of mitosis : ie. PMAT for phases of mitosis

    ((PProphase, rophase, MMetaphase, etaphase, AAnaphase, naphase, TTelophase)elophase)

    AcrosticAcrostic: i.e. : i.e. PPlease lease EExcuse xcuse MMy y DDear ear AAunt unt SSally stands for the order of operations in math ally stands for the order of operations in math (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) Division, Addition, Subtraction)

  • Memorization Strategies Memorization Strategies continuedcontinued Rhyme KeysRhyme Keys: memorize key words that can be : memorize key words that can be

    associated with numbers, example- bun = one, two = associated with numbers, example- bun = one, two = shoe, three = tree etc. Then come up with visuals to shoe, three = tree etc. Then come up with visuals to remember a list, ie. Cheese on a bun, a cow with shoes remember a list, ie. Cheese on a bun, a cow with shoes on etc.)on etc.)

    Method of LociMethod of Loci: imagining a list of items in a location : imagining a list of items in a location you are familiar with and the events that are taking place you are familiar with and the events that are taking place

    Image-Name TechniqueImage-Name Technique: invent a relationship between : invent a relationship between the name of something and one of itthe name of something and one of its physical traits (i.e. s physical traits (i.e. curly-haired Shirley Temple)curly-haired Shirley Temple)

    ChainingChaining: creating a story where each word or idea you : creating a story where each word or idea you

    have to remember cues the next idea you have to recall have to remember cues the next idea you have to recall i.e. a story where a character in a Shakespeare play i.e. a story where a character in a Shakespeare play bumps into four other characters as he goes for a walkbumps into four other characters as he goes for a walk

  • The Problem with The Problem with ConcentrationConcentrationAt times when you may be trying At times when you may be trying

    to study for examsto study for examsYour mind may wander from one Your mind may wander from one

    thing to anotherthing to anotherYour worries may distract youYour worries may distract youOutside distractions may take you Outside distractions may take you

    away from your studies before you away from your studies before you know itknow it

    You may find the material boring, You may find the material boring, difficult, and/or not interestingdifficult, and/or not interesting

  • Concentration StrategiesConcentration Strategies Here are some strategies students Here are some strategies students

    can use to focus during study can use to focus during study timetime:: Study in a set place that is naturally free Study in a set place that is naturally free

    of distractionsof distractions

    When your mind wanders, tell yourself, When your mind wanders, tell yourself, now is when I must studynow is when I must study

    Stick to a routine, realistic, and effective Stick to a routine, realistic, and effective study schedulestudy schedule

    Focus on your goals with the material Focus on your goals with the material you are studying, each and every timeyou are studying, each and every time

  • Concentration Strategies Concentration Strategies continuedcontinued Change your study topics every 1-2 hours Change your study topics every 1-2 hours

    to keep things interestingto keep things interesting

    Vary your study activities Vary your study activities don dont try and t try and study in the same way for more than an study in the same way for more than an hour or sohour or so

    Take regular scheduled breaks and enjoy Take regular scheduled breaks and enjoy them!them!

    Give yourself rewards for even small Give yourself rewards for even small achievements with your studyingachievements with your studying

  • Student Study Strategies Student Study Strategies that DONthat DONT workT work Reading information out loud without writing it downReading information out loud without writing it down

    Glossing over notes without Glossing over notes without provingproving you know it you know it (by teaching someone else, by writing it down from (by teaching someone else, by writing it down from memory etc.)memory etc.)

    Highlighting texts or novelsHighlighting texts or novels

    Reviewing the material only one timeReviewing the material only one time

    Studying with someone else Studying with someone else unless you are unless you are equally committed and focusedequally committed and focused

    Staying up really late or pulling an all-nighterStaying up really late or pulling an all-nighter

  • Types of Exams: The Types of Exams: The Objective ExamObjective Exam Here are some helpful tips when Here are some helpful tips when

    writing an objective exam:writing an objective exam: Survey the entire exam first to see what Survey the entire exam first to see what

    kinds of questions are being asked, length kinds of questions are being asked, length etc.etc.

    Quickly budget for how much time youQuickly budget for how much time youll ll spend on each questionspend on each question

    Read over each question carefullyRead over each question carefully

    Answer easy questions first to save time Answer easy questions first to save time and build confidenceand build confidence

    Pick out key words in the questions to Pick out key words in the questions to ensure you donensure you dont misunderstandt misunderstand

  • The Objective ExamThe Objective Examcontinuedcontinued

    Circle any questions you have difficulty Circle any questions you have difficulty with so you can go back to them at the with so you can go back to them at the end of the examend of the exam

    For multiple choice, read each option For multiple choice, read each option separately and determine whether each separately and determine whether each statement is true or false statement is true or false GUESS IF GUESS IF YOU DONYOU DONT KNOW!T KNOW!

    Leave yourself at least 15 minutes at the Leave yourself at least 15 minutes at the end of the exam to review your answers end of the exam to review your answers and ensure you didnand ensure you didnt make any silly t make any silly mistakesmistakes

  • Types of Exams: The Essay Types of Exams: The Essay ExamExam Here are some helpful tips when writing Here are some helpful tips when writing

    an essay exam:an essay exam: Do any initial preparation the teacher allows for Do any initial preparation the teacher allows for

    (i.e. novel review, outlining different topics)(i.e. novel review, outlining different topics)

    Read over the entire exam firstRead over the entire exam first

    Quickly budget for the amount of time youQuickly budget for the amount of time youll be ll be able to spend on each questionable to spend on each question

    Number questions exactly to match the question Number questions exactly to match the question numbersnumbers

    Outline your answer to the question before you Outline your answer to the question before you begin writingbegin writing

  • The Essay ExamThe Essay Examcontinuedcontinued

    Pay attention to key words that indicate Pay attention to key words that indicate what you are being asked to dowhat you are being asked to do

    Start with an intro and end with a Start with an intro and end with a conclusion for each questionconclusion for each question

    Answer questions directly Answer questions directly don dont beat t beat around the busharound the bush

    Leave time at the end to check for Leave time at the end to check for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, clarity of ideas etc.clarity of ideas etc.

  • Coping with Exam AnxietyCoping with Exam Anxiety

    Exam anxiety can be viewed in Exam anxiety can be viewed in two different ways:two different ways:Poor coping with the inevitable Poor coping with the inevitable

    stress of an exam BEFORE it stress of an exam BEFORE it takes placetakes place

    ORORA strong emotional reaction of fear A strong emotional reaction of fear

    that interferes with thinking clearly that interferes with thinking clearly DURING the examDURING the exam

  • Exam Anxiety SymptomsExam Anxiety Symptoms Students who have exam anxiety often report the Students who have exam anxiety often report the

    following symptoms:following symptoms: Memory blocks or Memory blocks or blanking outblanking out on things that on things that

    you have studiedyou have studied Fear of failing before the exam is even writtenFear of failing before the exam is even written Physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, Physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate,

    shortness of breath, sweating etc.shortness of breath, sweating etc. Lower reading comprehensionLower reading comprehension Poor attention and inability to concentratePoor attention and inability to concentrate

    The key to dealing effectively with exam anxiety is The key to dealing effectively with exam anxiety is to work on what you have control over (how you to work on what you have control over (how you study, what you study etc.) and not worry about study, what you study etc.) and not worry about what you canwhat you cant control (kinds of questions, how t control (kinds of questions, how other students perform etc.)other students perform etc.)

  • Tips for Coping with Exam Tips for Coping with Exam AnxietyAnxiety Be Prepared EarlyBe Prepared Early

    Set up a study schedule at least 2 weeks before Set up a study schedule at least 2 weeks before your examyour exam

    Sleep WellSleep Well Maintaining a regular sleep schedule helps Maintaining a regular sleep schedule helps

    reduce stress and increase performancereduce stress and increase performance

    Keep the same caffeine and sugar intakeKeep the same caffeine and sugar intake Greatly increasing either of these substances Greatly increasing either of these substances

    can actually impair brain functioning by throwing can actually impair brain functioning by throwing off your bodyoff your bodys metabolisms metabolism

    Learn relaxed breathingLearn relaxed breathing When you get stressed, taking some slow, When you get stressed, taking some slow,

    relaxed breaths can help you think clearly againrelaxed breaths can help you think clearly again

  • Tips for Coping with Exam Tips for Coping with Exam Anxiety continuedAnxiety continued Stop studying at least 1-2 hours before bedtime the Stop studying at least 1-2 hours before bedtime the

    night beforenight before Studying right up until the last minute increases your Studying right up until the last minute increases your

    anxiety and will impair your ability to sleepanxiety and will impair your ability to sleep

    Review main themesReview main themes Go over main ideas or concepts in the material to Go over main ideas or concepts in the material to

    reinforce that you do understand the reinforce that you do understand the big picturebig picture

    Have a plan before the examHave a plan before the exam As part of your studying, think about how you will As part of your studying, think about how you will

    approach the exam and what you will do when you approach the exam and what you will do when you run into troublerun into trouble

    Aim to do your bestAim to do your best Recognize and turn off your negative self-dialogue Recognize and turn off your negative self-dialogue

    focus on the task at hand and simply aim to do your focus on the task at hand and simply aim to do your best.best.

  • The Day of The ExamThe Day of The Exam Wake up at a reasonable time so you can get ready Wake up at a reasonable time so you can get ready

    at a leisurely pace and have breakfastat a leisurely pace and have breakfast

    Carry your notebook to the exam but donCarry your notebook to the exam but dont open it t open it will have it there if you absolutely need itwill have it there if you absolutely need it

    Stay away from other stressed-out students who Stay away from other stressed-out students who may get you worried before the exammay get you worried before the exam

    Admit to yourself that you will not know all of the Admit to yourself that you will not know all of the answers on the examanswers on the examand thatand thats okay!s okay!

    Try the Try the memory dumpmemory dump strategy strategy Write down everything you can think of on a piece of Write down everything you can think of on a piece of

    scrap paper after the exam has begunscrap paper after the exam has begunand then and then start writing the examstart writing the exam

  • In SummaryIn Summary Studying is an important component of Studying is an important component of

    being prepared for your final examsbeing prepared for your final exams

    Any sort of studying is inherently stressful, Any sort of studying is inherently stressful, but there are ways to manage it to reduce but there are ways to manage it to reduce the stressthe stress

    Your approach to studying will vary Your approach to studying will vary depending on the subject matter youdepending on the subject matter youre re studying (see subject-specific suggestions studying (see subject-specific suggestions in your package)in your package)

    The keys to effective studying are all about The keys to effective studying are all about planning planning it its a good idea to start that s a good idea to start that process NOW!process NOW!

    Good luck on your final exams!Good luck on your final exams!