Whether you are learning a new language or a subject like geography, these simple tips could save you hours of study time – and result in higher marks.
You have probably used highlighters in textbooks and study notes; but are you getting the most out of them?
To learn anything, you must repeat the material. You go over it again – and again – and again. Then when you are confident that you have learned the information, you progress to more studying. However, this repetition process also means that you are wasting time going over facts and information you already know.
Don’t do it!
After you have learned about 80% of the material, use a yellow highlighter to mark everything that has eluded you. Next time through, concentrate on only the yellow areas. Try the memorization process a few more times until you have absorbed about 80% of the yellow text. Then do it again, marking over top of the yellow with a pink highlighter. This produces an orange shade. Spend more time memorizing everything with orange highlights.
This highlighting process produces three sections:
* Easy – no highlighting
* Moderately difficult – yellow highlighting
* Difficult – orange highlighting
The closer you get to an exam, the more time you should spend on the orange areas. They are your personal stumbling blocks. The 5%-10% of unknown material usually causes 95% or more of exam errors.
MAGNETISM – AND NOT THE PERSONAL KIND!
A magnetic metal clipboard can be a useful studying tool. If you don’t have one, you can use a small magnetic dry-erase board and a bulldog clip. You will also need a small refrigerator magnet (the flat business-card type that is distributed by dentists and plumbers).
Clip a page of study notes onto the board and use the fridge magnet to cover the answers. If the telephone rings or you are distracted by raiding the fridge for a snack, the magnet will keep track of your place on the page.
Experiment to see how many pages you can clip onto the board at one time before the magnet refuses to stick. You might be able to work with a pile of 5 or more sheets. Go through the first one, put it on the bottom of the pile, and proceed to the next.
After exams are finished, you can recycle photocopies or printouts by turning them over and using the other side of each page. You might even want to make your own notepads.
Carefully line up a stack of paper. Lay the stack on the edge of a table or desk and set a couple of heavy books on top. Use notepad glue or white glue to paint the ends. Once the glue dries, remove the books and separate the pile into manageable notepads.
Are you having trouble finding notepad glue? Try an internet search for ‘make notepads’.
You don’t have a magnetic clipboard? Try an internet search for ‘magnetic clipboard’.
See the links below for a page that provides search forms for many popular search engines.