Tips for studying?
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 60

fraseyboy

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I've got some end of year exams coming up on Wednesday and Thursday. While I have had 'exams' before, these are the first TRUE ones. They decide what class I will be in next year so I think they're quite important.

No matter how hard I try I can't seem to study for them. Any tips on how to study properly? They are in maths, science, english and social studies (pretty much history).
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:18 AM Post #2 of 60

terrymx

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Burn all of your computers, headphones and electronics. Then study in a room without interference. Keep a side paper and write down the important points/formula. Never cram it all in one day (night), it won't work that way.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:23 AM Post #3 of 60

Steve_72

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Stay off of head-fi for one?
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But anyway, I always stay away from home for serious studying. As much as I try to stay productive, I always get distracted at home, but can study for hours on end at a library or quiet coffee shop. I rarely use flash cards and just sift through the material several times, jotting down all the things that are significantly important for further analysis.
Music is a no-no as well for me..degrades retention too much.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:59 AM Post #4 of 60

fraseyboy

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I do find myself getting distracted alot... Like I think 'Hmm I wonder if there's any questions on my auction' and I go check my emails, then I end up doing heaps of other stuff while I'm on the computer.

I don't think burning it all is practical
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But maybe I could just go into another room and shut all the doors and tell my sister to not let me out. I'm sure she'd be more than happy to.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:03 AM Post #5 of 60

jonathanjong

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NCEA, fraseyboy? I just finished my Honours degree last year, so exam tips are still fresh in mind. Here are some pointers from psychological research and personal experience.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the context in which you study matters. You should study in an environment as similar as possible to the environment of your exam. So, study sitting up at a desk in the day time. If possible, study without music. Unless you plan to do your exam wired, study without caffeine.

As you know, rehearsal is important for memory formation. However, there are better ways to rehearse that just to read and re-read your notes. Try making notes from your textbook (etc.). Then, try making mind-maps from your notes. Then, try making flashcards. The act of making notes, transferring them from one format to another, helps you to remember. And it's less boring that reading and re-reading. Also, at the end of it you'll have mind maps and flashcards, and those are very helpful. You can get software to make these for free, by the way.

It's important, not just to sleep, but to sleep at appropriate times. Sleep helps to strengthen memory, especially the kind of memory you want for exams. So, study the night before the exam and then sleep. Don't sleep and wake up early to study right before. Kapice?

Edit: Yeap, pace yourself. There's a lot of evidence that learning a quantity of information over several sessions is better than learning the same quantity at one go.

Ta-da! If it helps my credibility, I graduated top of my class and top of the Science division at Otago.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:10 AM Post #6 of 60

fraseyboy

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Very helpful Jonathon!

I tried doing all that. But that was last night and it was hard with the TV going in the room beside me and all the election stuff, I found myself getting distracted a lot. It will be much better over the next few days as long as nothing interesting happens
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No, not NCEA yet. That's next year. I dread the three hour long exams D:
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:16 AM Post #7 of 60

jonathanjong

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Ah yes, the elections. Are we allowed to talk about NZ elections here? Only like 5 of us will care right? (Actually, is it just you, me, and chinesekiwi who are regulars?)
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Anyway, I think the active approach to studying (i.e., making notes, etc.) will help with the distracting over the more passive approach (e.g., reading notes), by virtue of being more engaging. But yes, hopefully things will improve now that both the US and NZ elections are over.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:20 AM Post #8 of 60

fraseyboy

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Probably not allowed to talk about it since it's still politics no matter where it is... So /politics
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Well I better go study now. Shame since I'm really getting into Hail to the Thief...
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:30 AM Post #9 of 60

Rednamalas1

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what I used to do:

- Get rid of all electronics except your music
- Get rid of hot girls around you
- get rid of lyrics (classical and post-rock worked well for me)
- write things in pencil rather than typing on the computer I remember better that way
- No caffeine for me (I tend to crash afterwords and caffeine causes temporary ADD)
- try not to eat too much fatty food (ie, no MCD - makes me very sleepy afterwards) except for snacks such as little bit of chocolate bars and various types of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts etc - try unsalted or very lightly salted)
- after you have written your summaries or notes (doesn't work for math too well though), read it out loud so you actually remember better.
- remember to take a short 3-5 minute breaks every hour or two (just close your eyes and relax - no music)
- before exams, try to sleep for good amount of hours, 6-8 hours.

Good luck fellow AT fanboy
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!
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:35 AM Post #10 of 60

rockin_amigo14

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try going to the local library for studying. the quiet nature and being surrounded by books has always helped me.

only bring the materials you need for studying.

read through your notes, highlighting what you think is important. then on a separate sheet of paper, rewrite those notes.

try to guess what questions might be on the exam. look for information that you think is quizzable information, as it probably is.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 8:27 AM Post #11 of 60

krmathis

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You seem to get too much distracted by the forum, email, eBay, ...
So I suggest you leave the house and spend some quality reading time somewhere else. At the local library maybe, or some other quiet place where you have no online access.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 9:39 AM Post #12 of 60

Ttvetjanu

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You seem to get too much distracted by the forum, email, eBay, ...
So I suggest you leave the house and spend some quality reading time somewhere else. At the local library maybe, or some other quiet place where you have no online access.



Libraries are excellent places for study. I studied for my final exams in a library with two 4 hour intevals daily. I ended up doing really well.

Definitely make notes, don't just read. Making notes helps a lot. Don't just copy the text but change the wording to something that is closer to what you might say. Whenever possible make small drawings/mindmaps along the notes, doesn't matter if they are bad. Probably drawing something really bad that looks funny will help you remember even better.

I personally realised that I couldn't study for longer than 4 hours in a row without a longer break.

Another good suggestion is making a study plan. Write down on paper the exact hours you will study, and what subject you study during that time. Stick to the plan!

Hope that helps.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM Post #13 of 60

axion

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Lol, it's not even NCEA yet dude, just chill out.
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You don't need to do exceptionally well on these exams. You just need to do well enough so you're allowed to do next year. Although, actually, I think some of my Level 1 classes were streamed (English and math) so it might be good to do well in them so you get in the top class.

And even when you get to doing NCEA the exams aren't incredibly difficult if you've done the work all year and you shouldn't need too long to review the material. Although you lot have a bit harder these days when people are actually differentiated when they get good marks from the people who just scraped through (I was the 3rd year to go through NCEA, which was the last year (I think) where if you got 100% E's and 100% of the credits or you got just 80 A credits you got the same NCEA Level 3 certificate).

Now after telling you not to worry too much since NZ high school is very, very easy. Tips for the exams, DO OLD EXAMS, DO OLD EXAMS, DO OLD EXAMS! This works exceptionally well in NCEA since often the questions are almost exactly re-used (works somewhat well at University, although I have been burnt a few times by studying too close to previous exams and then having most of the exam on stuff I perhaps glanced at in my notes but ignored since it wasn't in the previous 5 years worth of exams).

Other than that you can do other questions in textbooks, rewrite your notes (preferably summarizing them and not verbatim copying them from your text book)

I'd also recommend the studyit.org.nz forums, a lot of ncea discussion goes on there and some very smart people hang out there occasionally.

edit - Also, for English similar questions will come up for the essay questions each year (there's always one on theme for example) so you can sort of plan out your essay before hand (making it somewhat flexible so you can adjust it to fit the question).

Another good thing is trying to get some intuition behind why things happen in the subject. That's a bit hard to do with sciences since you don't start learning the truth behind things until university, however in math you can get an intuition for why this or that happens. (this type of intuition works very well for economics)

Oh, and someone mentioned highlighting (they also mentioned writing notes from that highlighted section which is good), highlighting can be sort of bad if you just go through highlighting stuff as it gives you false sense doing something and learning.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 1:50 PM Post #14 of 60

Gatto

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what I do is go to the library or a coffee shop with a big cup of coffee or tea (for some weird reason they allow drinks in our library) I bring my custom IEMs and some jazz to listen to very quietly to drown out anything else. I just stay there until I'm done with my work. When it's out of a textbook or even my own notes I make outlines of what I'm reading and only write down what I think is really important and eventually that leaves you with a nice little study sheet to take around with you until the test. I have trouble studying at home because of all my stuff.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 5:25 PM Post #15 of 60

chesebert

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Math/Engineering/Science classes - do the problems..and do them again, again and again . . . derive the formulas from the basic ones..and do it over again in a few days

All others - making an outline comprising important points, explanations, examples, and organize your outline in the most logical sense to you
 

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