Tuesday, November 27, 2012

POWERFUL TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE STUDYING

In order to excel in School/College, you must first learn how to study properly. Contrary to historical opinion, there are many effective ways to learn information; it is a question of figuring out what works for you.
What type of studying best suits you? What time of day you are most efficient? What is the proper environment for you to study in?
Before you can answer these questions, you have to do a little research. It takes an effort but the rewards are more than worth it.
Memory
When we first learn something, information is processed into the brain to form a neural trace. This trace first enters your sensory memory, and then, if you are paying attention, to your Short Term Memory (STM). If you keep working to process the information and adapt it correctly it then moves to your Long Term Memory (LTM). The information processed into your LTM is more or less permanent; with occasional reviewing you will not forget it.
The trick is to adapt the information you really need into your LTM as quickly as possible. Your STM has a small capacity and a short duration; you may learn something very quickly, but in 24 hours you will lose 80% of that information. The STM is fast easily accessed, the LTM is slower but larger.
Repetition
The key to learning something well is repetition; the more times you go over the material the better chance you have of storing it permanently.
SQ3R Method
It is the reading and studying system preferred by many Top Rankers. Reading research indicates that it’s an extremely effective method for both comprehension and memory retention. It’s effective because it is a system of active reader involvement.
Step 1. “S” = Survey
Before you read actually a chapter, or go over a particular section of notes, take five minutes to survey the material. Briefly check headings and subheadings in order to understand the author’s organizational pattern of ideas to be discussed. Scan all visual material. Read introductory and summary paragraphs. This preview will enable you to anticipate what the chapter is about.
Step 2. “Q” = Question
Create interest in the material by asking; what are the main points of the chapter? As you read, keep the question in mind and figure out the most important points. It gives you a clearly defined purpose for reading, and helps you maintain interest in the material.
Step 3. “R” = Read
Read the chapter actively for meaning. Go through the paragraph before underlining, then underline key words and phrases to help you recall the main points. Be selective, you don’t want to highlight non-important points or miss anything that can help your comprehension. Summarize main concepts in your own words in the margins. The more active you are in the reading process, the more you’ll retain.
Step 4. “R” = Recite
After every few pages, close your book and recite around the main points the question you posed in step 2. Try to recall basic details as to the author’s intent by putting them in your own words. Verify your answer by checking the text. If you can’t remember the text, read through it again. If you don’t get it now, you won’t remember it for a test. Take as much time as you need to answer your questions. Don’t be frustrated, this takes more time but the information will be clear in your mind.
Step 5. “R” = Review
Finally, review the chapter every so often to fix the material in your mind. Keep rereading your margin notes and underlining. Verbalize the sequence of main ideas and supporting facts to aid retention. Numerous reviews are a lot more effective than one cramming session the night before an exam. Review once right after you have finished reading and then every couple of days.
The SQ3R is time consuming at first, except it to take ten to fifteen percent longer to read a given chapter when you first begin. Research indicates a 70% increase in retention after two months of using the system and, eventually, a reduction in time spent preparing for exams. As seen in a article.

1 comment:

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