• Save
Exam excellence
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Like this? Share it with your network


Exam excellence



Exam excellence

Exam excellence



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



4 Embeds 26

http://academicintelligence.blogspot.com 23
http://academicintelligence.blogspot.ca 1
http://academicintelligence.blogspot.co.uk 1
http://academicintelligence.blogspot.in 1



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike LicenseCC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike LicenseCC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Exam excellence Document Transcript

  • 1. Licence AgreementThis Licence Agreement (“Agreement”) is between the Licensee and User Friendly Re- 3.4 The Licensee must not:sources Limited (“Licensor”). This Agreement sets out the terms on which the Licensee 3.4.1 use, copy, transfer, distribute, rent, loan, lease, sub license or otherwise deal inmay use the Resource. the Resource except as permitted in clause 3.2 and 3.3;Where the Licensee is an Educational Institution the terms set out in this Agreement 3.4.2 alter, adapt, merge, modify or translate any part of the Resource in any way forall apply except for clause 3. Where the Licensee is an Individual the terms set out in any purpose whatsoever;this Agreement all apply except for clause 2. 3.4.3 remove, change or obscure any product identification or notices of proprietaryIT IS AGREED AS FOLLOWS: rights and restrictions on or in the Resource;1. Definitions 3.4.4 provide or make the Resource available to any person or organisation, other thanIn this Agreement the following expressions shall have the following meanings: to the Licensee’s students as required for the Licensee’s own teaching purposes;“Authorised User” means current members of staff of the Licensee employed at the Site, 3.4.5 upload or distribute any part of the Resource onto the World Wide Web or any (whether on a permanent, temporary or contractor basis); computer or device (other than the computer permitted under clause 3.2).“Educational Institution” means the school, early childhood centre or educational in- 3.5 The Licensee must ensure that any person to whom the Licensee makes the stitution for which the Resource has been purchased as identified in the Order Form; Resource available is aware of the restrictions applying to the use of the Resource.“Individual” means the individual or teacher for whom the Resource has been purchased 3.6 If the Licensee uses the Resource at an educational institution or other organisa- as identified in the Order Form; tion, and ceases to be employed or engaged by that institution or organisation, the“Internal Network” means any network of computers located within the Site which can Licensee must remove all copies of the Resource made by or permitted by the Licensee only be accessed by Authorised Users and Students; located at the institution or organisation (other than copies already provided to the Licensee’s students).“Licensee” means the Educational Institution or Individual for which the Resource has been purchased as identified in the Order Form; 4 Security Obligations of the Licensee“Order Form” means the form completed by or on behalf of the Licensee either electroni- 4.1 The Licensee shall effect and maintain adequate security measures to safeguard cally on the Licensor’s website, or by mail or fax, which describes the Licensee, the Site the Resource from unauthorised use, copying and access and must immediately notify (where applicable), the Resource and the Purchase Price; the Licensor if it believes that there has been any unauthorised use, copying or access of the Resource.“Permitted Purpose” means: (a) in relation to Authorised Users, teaching Students; and (b) in relation to Students, private study; 4.2 The Licensee must ensure that each copy of the Resource made by or authorised by the Licensee contains a copy of this Agreement.“Purchase Price” means the purchase price for the Resource specified in the Order Form; 5 Intellectual Property Rights“Resource” means the book or books in PDF or other digital format purchased by or on behalf of the Licensee and described in the Order Form and includes any amendments 5.1 All intellectual property rights in and to the Resource remain with the Licensor and to the Resource provided by the Licensor under clause 6; nothing contained in this Agreement shall give the Licensee any right, title or interest in or to any part of the Resource.“Site” means the premises of the Educational Institution described in the Order Form; and 5.2 The Licensee will not make any representation or do any act which may be taken“Student” means a student currently enrolled as a student of the Educational Institu- to indicate that it has any right, title or interest in or to the ownership or use of the tion at the Site. Resource except under the terms of this Agreement.2 Grant of Licence – Educational Institutions 6 Changes to the ResourceThe provisions of this clause 2 apply only where the Licensee is a Educational Institution. 6.1 The Licensor reserves the right to make any amendments to the Resource that2.1 On receipt of payment of the Purchase Price the Licensor grants to the Licensee it deems appropriate. If the Licensor provides the Licensee with any amendments toa non-exclusive and non-transferable licence to use the Resource at the Site in accord- the Resource, the Licensee must cease using and erase all copies of the supersededance with the terms of this Agreement (excluding clause 3). material.2.2 The Licensee may: 7 Duration2.2.1 load one copy of the Resource onto the Licensee’s server and make a back up 7.1 Unless terminated under clause 7.2, this Agreement commences on the date thecopy of the Resource; Licensor receives payment of the Purchase Price and ends when the Licensee chooses2.2.2 load (and copy for the purposes of loading) the Resource onto any desktop com- to cease to use the Resource.puter or Internal Network located at the Site and allow Students and Authorised Users 7.2 This Agreement will terminate automatically if the Licensee fails to comply withto access, view, display and print the Resource from the Internal Network or desktop any term of this Agreement. Upon termination the Licensee must cease to use thecomputers only for the Permitted Purpose; Resource and must destroy all copies of the Resource made by or on behalf of the2.2.3 load (and copy for the purposes of loading) the Resource onto any laptop computer Licensee, including copies on computers or other devices, servers, hard drives, back-upused by an Authorised User and allow the Authorised User to view, display and print disks and any printed copies.the Resource for the Permitted Purpose. 8 Disclaimer and indemnity2.3 The Licensee must not, and must ensure that Authorised Users and Students do not: 8.1 To fullest extent permitted by law the Licensor disclaims all warranties and con-2.3.1 use, copy, transfer, distribute, rent, loan, lease, sub-license or otherwise deal in ditions, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of merchantability,the Resource, except as permitted in clause 2.2; fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement, with regard to the Resource.2.3.2 alter, adapt, merge, modify or translate any part of the Resource in any way for 8.2 To the fullest extend permitted by law, the Licensor excludes all liability howso-any purpose whatsoever; ever arising in relation to the Resource. In no event will the Licensor be liable for any direct or indirect, incidental or special damage or loss of any kind (including without2.3.3 remove, change or obscure any product identification or notices of proprietary limitation loss of profits, business interruptions, loss of or corruption to data), whetherrights and restrictions on or in the Resource; arising under contract, tort (including negligence), statute or otherwise.2.3.4 access or permit access to the Resource from any location outside the Site (in- 8.3 If any exclusion, disclaimer or other provision contained in this Agreement is heldcluding by way of remote access to the computers on the Site or the Internal Network), invalid for any reason and the Licensor becomes liable for loss or damage that couldwithout the express written permission of the Licensor; otherwise be limited, such liability will not exceed the Purchase Price.2.3.5 upload or distribute any part of the Resource onto the World Wide Web or any 8.4 The Licensee must indemnify and hold harmless the Licensor from and against allother external network, computer or device (other than as permitted under clause liability and costs (including reasonable legal fees) suffered or incurred by the Licensor2.2.3); in connection with the Licensee’s breach of this Agreement.2.4 The Licensee must ensure that that the Authorised Users and Students are aware 9 Generalof their obligations under this Agreement. The Licensee must ensure that all AuthorisedUsers who cease to be employed or engaged by the Licensee return all copies of the 9.1 This Agreement is the entire agreement between the Licensee and the LicensorResource provided to that Authorised User. and supersedes any other oral or written communications, agreements or representa- tions with respect to the Resource.3 Grant of Licence – Individuals 9.2 Any amendment to this Agreement must be in writing and signed by both theThe provisions of this clause 3 apply only where the Licensee is an Individual. Licensor and Licensee.3.1 On receipt of payment of the Purchase Price the Licensor grants to the Licensee 9.3 If any part of this Agreement is held by a Court of competent jurisdiction to bea non-exclusive and non-transferable licence to use the Resource in accordance with unenforceable the validity of the remainder of the Agreement will not be affected.the terms of this Agreement (excluding clause 2). 9.4 This Agreement is governed by the laws of New Zealand and the Courts of New3.2 The Licensee may load the Resource onto one computer or device used by the Zealand will have jurisdiction to determine any dispute relating to it.Licensee and make one back up copy of the Resource.3.3 The Licensee may display, view and print any part of the Resource solely for the User Friendly Resources Ltd., 167 Victoria Street, Christchurch, New Zealand.Licensee’s own private study and/or teaching purposes. Tel: + 64 3 377 2886; Fax: + 64 3 377 2086; email: info @ userfr.com
  • 2. Title Book Name: Exam Excellence: The Ultimate Guide for Improving Exam Performance Book Code: 718 ISBN 13: 978-1-86968-664-2 Published: Previously published in 2006 as Exam Intelligence; this edition 2011 Author Patrick Sherratt (B.A. Psych, PG Dip. Ed) AUTHOR’S NOTE: In the past, it was considered that students should spend around forty hours a week preparing for study – as if being a student was like a full-time job. Today, with the pressures of our contemporary society, many students spend very little time doing study and exam preparation. I hope the information in this study guide will help you to not only improve your exam performance, but also boost your general confidence and self esteem. As a student, I have utilised all these methods personally and they have done a tremendous amount to help me. DEDICATION: To Leigh, for your patience when I was studying for exams. To all students who aspire to do better at exams than what they currently believe possible. Read this book. Acknowledgements The publisher wishes to acknowledge the work of the following people: Original editor, designer: Dana Fratila Designer: Cynthia Packman Editor: Ben Allan PUBLISHER User Friendly Resources New Zealand Australia United Kingdom PO Box 1820 PO Box 914 Staplehurst Road Christchurch Mascot Sittingbourne Tel: 0508-500-393 NSW 2020 Kent Fax: 0508-500-399 Tel: 1800-553-890 ME10 2NH Fax: 1800-553-891 Tel: 0845-450-7502 Fax: 0845-688-0199 WEBSITE www.userfr.com E-MAIL info@userfr.com COPYING NOTICE © User Friendly Resources Limited 2011. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the written permission of the copyright owner. Schools or teachers who purchase this publication may make photocopies of all pages of this publication. Such copies may only be used by the purchasing school for its own internal school use, or by the purchasing teacher for use by that teacher within one school. Copies must not be provided to other educational institutions or teachers. User Friendly Resources specialises in publishing educational resources for teachers and students across a wide range of curriculum areas at early childhood, primary and secondary levels. If you wish to know more about our resources, or if you think your resource ideas have publishing potential, please contact us at the above address. 2© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 3. Table of Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Reading Techniques . . . . . . . . . 40 This Book is About… . . . . . . . . . 5 Skim Reading . . . . . . . . . . 40 You Can Do It! . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Study Reading . . . . . . . . . . 40 Speed Reading . . . . . . . . . . 41 Section I: Preparation and Planning 7 Speed Reading Technique . . . . . . 42 Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Test Your Reading Speed . . . . . . . 43 Attitude Questionnaire . . . . . . . 7 Speed-Reading . . . . . . . . . . 43 The Power of Clear & Direct Thought . . . . 9 Study Reading . . . . . . . . . . 43 The Holographic Universe . . . . . . . 10 Note Taking . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Relaxation . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Linear Notes . . . . . . . . . . . 44 The Alpha State . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Princeton Method . . . . . . . 45 Relaxation into the Alpha State . . . . . 11 The Concept Tree . . . . . . . . . 45 Relaxation Techniques . . . . . . . 12 Note Taking Challenge . . . . . . . 46 The Five-Minute Morning Stretch . . . . . 13 The Linear System . . . . . . . . . 46 Mindful Breathing . . . . . . . . . 14 The Princeton Method . . . . . . . 46 Meditation . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Concept Tree . . . . . . . . . 47 Affirmations . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Body Awareness . . . . . . . . . 14 Section III: How to Retain 48 Mental Awareness . . . . . . . . . 15 Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Movement to Music . . . . . . . . 15 Memory Tools . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Professional Relaxation Sessions . . . . 15 Mnemonics . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Fun and Pleasure . . . . . . . . . 15 Spreadsheets . . . . . . . . . . 51 Your Subconscious Mind . . . . . . . . 16 Flash Cards . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Programming for Success . . . . . . . 17 Mind Maps . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Creative Visualisation . . . . . . . . 17 Essay Route Maps . . . . . . . . . 54 Affirmations/Incantations . . . . . . 18 Music and Memory . . . . . . . . 57 Seeding . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Rhyming Challenge . . . . . . . . 57 Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Rehearsing . . . . . . . . . . . 58 The Brain . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Association Links . . . . . . . . . . 59 Functions of the Brain Parts . . . . . . 19 Method of Loci . . . . . . . . . . 59 Did You Know? . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Story Method . . . . . . . . . 59 Brainwaves . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Remembering Numbers . . . . . . . 60 Activating Your Brain . . . . . . . . 22 Remembering Names and Dates Together . 61 Learning Styles . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Remembering Foreign Languages . . . . 61 Learning Style Quiz . . . . . . . . 25 Remembering Vocabulary . . . . . . 62 Thinking Styles . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Spelling . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Learning Methods . . . . . . . . . 26 Science Formulas . . . . . . . . . 63 Our Multi-Intelligences . . . . . . . 27 Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Preparing Your Study Environment . . . . 29 Mathematical Equations . . . . . . . 63 Six tips to set up your ideal Memory Practice . . . . . . . . . . 64 study space . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Cramming for Exams . . . . . . . . . 69 Learning States . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Dealing with Stress . . . . . . . . 69 Identify your current learning state . . . 31 The Top Ten Cramming Tips . . . . . . 70 Setting Your Goals & Intentions . . . . . 32 Students Memorised Exam Sheet . . . . . 71 Time Management . . . . . . . . . 33 Daily Planner . . . . . . . . . . 34 Section IV: How to Recall 73 Weekly Planner . . . . . . . . . . 35 Guidelines for Sitting Exams . . . . . . 73 Timeline Visualisation Technique . . . . 36 Practical Advice . . . . . . . . . . 73 Concentration . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Ask For Help . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Strategise an Exam Plan . . . . . . . . 74 Section II: How to Review 38 Multi-choice . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Using Former Knowledge . . . . . . . 38 Essays . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Listening in Class . . . . . . . . . . 38 What if Something Goes Wrong? . . . . . 76 Seven Rules to Make the Most Nearing the End of the Exam . . . . . 76 out of Listening in Class . . . . . . . 39 Celebrate! . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . 78 3© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only.
  • 4. Introduction In recent years, the word ‘intelligence’ has taken on a broad meaning. No longer is it thought of as just being good academically. Mind researcher Howard Gardner suggests an individual can develop many types of intelligence: physical intelligence, verbal intelligence, even interpersonal intelligence, to name a few. This study guide suggests ways in which students can develop specific learning strategies to help them acquire Exam Excellence. Thus, doing well at exams is not just about being ‘smart’ academically; it is also about learning and using exam-skills that make the best use of the time you spend studying for and sitting exams. It seems to me that despite so many wonderful time-saving technologies, people are busier than ever. Saving you time, therefore, is an essential aspect of this study guide and that is why this book offers you many time-saving techniques that are also presented in an easily readable timesaving format. Whether you want to explore different learning styles, improve your memory recall or reduce exam anxiety, this book will give you the information quickly and easily. Overall, this study guide provides a kit of resources that can lead you to successfully improve your exam results. Even if you only put into practice some of this information, you will have the potential to dramatically improve your final grades. I wish you every success. 4© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 5. This Book is About…Exam Excellence is a study guide designed to give you all the informationyou need to learn and to pass exams with great results. Here is an overviewof the entire book.SECTION I – Preparation and PlanningHelp your brain study quickly and effortlessly Key Points• Acknowledge your purpose for studying. Your purpose will influence SECTION I your thoughts and intentions and these can modify the reality around Preparation and you and bring the results you want. With the right thoughts, your Planning academic success is assured. – that is finding out• How do you programme your thoughts? Learn to access your how we can create subconscious mind, where memory and learning take place. You can the best conditions do this by: for increasing the – Relaxing. Relaxation techniques include learning to juggle, stretching efficiency of our and breathing, meditation and movement to music. Relaxation will learning Key Points induce the alpha state, which is the brainwave frequency required when you programme your mind for effective learning. – Using visualisations, affirmations, seeding and music.• It is also useful to have information about the levels of brain wave frequency, the functions of the different parts of the brain, and its needs (exercise, food, water and air) in order to operate efficiently.• Learning environments and styles are next, covering the visual, auditory, analytical and kinaesthetic (movement) modes of learning. Similarly, your multi-intelligences show you why you are better at some things and not others.Carefully prepare yourself for learning• Once this inner review is complete, there are more practical methods of preparation, including organising your study space, setting your goals and intentions, planning your activities, time management and the timeline strategy for reducing stress.SECTION II – How to Review SECTION II• Learn how to listen in class, read and take notes efficiently. How to Review• Use former knowledge when studying, along with how to concentrate more effectively. – that is learning how we take theOnce your information is sourced, you can move into understanding how to information in.remember it. 5© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 6. Key Points SECTION III – How to Retain • Learning takes memory, so it is important to know about how you SECTION III remember and how short- and long-term memory operate. Much How to Retain of the information you take in can be lost or forgotten, so specific memory aids, such as using mnemonics, mind maps and flash cards – that is how are vital to your success. Techniques for remembering numbers, we remember names and dates, vocabulary – both English and foreign languages information – and science formulas are also important. Practise using memory effectively. tests to build your confidence. SECTION IV – How to Recall SECTION IV Finally, as you near exam time, tips for effective cramming and ways to How to Recall deal with stress are offered. – that is how we • General guidelines for getting yourself organised to sit the exam get information on are important now. to paper under the pressure of exam • Next, exam strategies for how to answer multi-choice questions, stress. write essays, and deal with events if something goes wrong are identified. Tips on what to do as the exam finishes are offered and finally, after the exam, the importance of celebrating your success is explained. You Can Do It! This study guide has been specifically designed to save students time. It will not give you screeds of reading and academic summaries. As a student, you are already bound to be overloaded with information to read. This book, therefore, also gives you the choice about how much time you will devote to the main text. It has been designed so that the inside page is the general text and the outside gives quick-access visuals and key points. This way, it becomes two books in one. You can get the time-saving techniques quickly by Key looking through the outside column and if you want more in-depth Points knowledge, you can spend more time on the inside. Furthermore, if you want to delve deeper into a topic, there are great websites recommended for each topic at the end of the book. Examples, Challenges, Quizzes and Questionnaires will help you practise what you learn, while the Learning Spellbook, will point out very important information on each topic and marvellous learning tips will sprout from the Tip Of The Wand. 6© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 7. SECTION I: Preparation and Planning PurposeOne of the most important aspects of studying is a clearly definedsense of purpose. Sometimes a student’s purpose is not clear and this Key Pointscan have a major impact on their motivation to learn. Do you have a strong sense of As with everything in life, you get out of learning what purpose? you put in. So if you want to do well, take some It is important to time to look at why you are studying, what your know what your motivation is, and what your intentions are purpose is so that you once you have finished your study. can maintain your drive to succeed – especially when theSome students are studying because they do not really know what else going gets tough!to do with their lives. Some do it because that is what their parentsexpect of them; others are working for specific reasons, for example to Do the questionnaireup-skill or to prepare for higher education. Each of these reasons can below to get a clearinfluence the result. idea of your purpose. Attitude Questionnaire Finding your purpose for wanting to achieve something is important because it identifies why you want it, what drives you, and what keeps you going when faced with difficulties. To help you get clear on your purpose, answer the following questions Rate on a scale from 1-10 (10 being the highest) how motivated you are to succeed at your studies. If you are in the lower half, it may be helpful to redefine your purpose and reasons for doing this. 1 Why are you studying? (For example: To get good marks.) Rate: _______________________________________________________________________ ______ 2 Does your purpose motivate you to study? (For example: Yes. I am totally committed to doing this work!) _______________________________________________________________________ ______ 3 What is your intention once you have finished? (For example: To go to university.) _______________________________________________________________________ ______ 4 What are you prepared to give up in order to stay on purpose? (For example: Watching television until exams are over.) _______________________________________________________________________ ______ 5 Are you aware of any limiting attitudes or beliefs about undertaking academic study? (For example: I am only doing this to please my parents.) _______________________________________________________________________ ______ 7© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 8. SECTION I Preparation and PlanningPhotocopy these and put them up around your study area as a little reminder. I’m going to stop procrastinating and… STAY ON PuRPOSE! STAY ON PuRPOSE! 8© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 9. SECTION I Preparation and Planning The Power of Clear & Direct ThoughtEach of us interacts with people, places and events. This is each person’souter world. At the same time, we have our thoughts, attitudes and Key Pointsemotions, which make our inner world. You live inThe first thing we need to do is become aware of each of these two two worldsworlds we live in and try to keep them separate, so that we can gain simultaneously.control over the way we react to the often rapid changes outside You can think of yourourselves. outer world as being a reflection of your inner world. Challenge By harnessing the Take a look at this. power of your clear and directed thoughts, you can achieve remarkable results in your life. Now imagine that each of the two sentences below goes into the thought bubble. Which of them would give you more power to control the outer world to your advantage and stay on purpose? Discuss. 1 “...My inner world is a reflection of my outer world...” 2 “...My outer world is a reflection of my inner world...”Constant reaction to exterior changes does not give us much peace, butif we can learn to separate the two worlds, to stop reacting to all theseevents and think of the outer world as a reflection of our inner world,we will start to develop a remarkable power.This is the power of clear and directed thought – the same power thatcan produce exactly what we want in our lives. Therefore, the momentwe stop reacting is the moment we start creating – and, as students,we want to create better learning and exam skills. 9© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 10. SECTION I Preparation and Planning The Holographic universe The concepts of positive thinking and mind power have been Key Points around for quite some time, and for many people they have brought remarkable results. This new millennium will bring many changes to Science has our lives, with technological advances and advances in understanding researched a theory human consciousness and our interaction with reality. Today, science according to which is beginning to explain how our thoughts affect our reality through the universe is theoretical models. one limitless sea of energy that can New discoveries in Quantum Physics suggest that true reality is energy be manipulated by – dynamic, alive and ever changing at a quantum level. Our brains our thoughts and interpret this energy through our senses to create a perception of intentions. reality that is three-dimensional. If this is true and we Two prominent European scientists, Dr David Bohm and Dr Karl can influence our Pribram, are working on a theory according to which our three- reality, what are your dimensional reality is actually an illusion – more a holographic image intentions towards interpreted by our brains. This holographic model, which can be studying for exams? understood as a complex set of conventions, becomes the basis that helps us create – and coexist with – our reality. If everything in the universe is one limitless, interconnected sea of energy, then our individual consciousness, being part of it, is also energy. Therefore, by shifting the energy of our consciousness through Manipulating directing our thoughts and intentions at a quantum level, we can reality is a piece manipulate the energy of our outer world so that it reflects back the reality of our choice. of cake! So what? Well, under this model, understanding the power of our intentions is vital to anything we want to achieve in our lives – and that includes improving in exams. If thought influences reality, have you analysed your thoughts about studying and exams yet? Go on, do it now. I shall study My exams will 10© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 11. SECTION I Preparation and Planning RelaxationThe Alpha State Key PointsBefore you can start programming your thoughts for success, you need Learning to relax isto know how to relax into an Alpha State. vital if you want toThe Alpha State brings your brainwaves to 8–12 cycles per second. This improve your learningstate is an essential key to improving learning and exam techniques for and exam results.two reasons: Relaxation helps1 It unlocks the door to your subconscious mind, which is where most you access your of your effective learning will take place. subconscious mind,2 It can help you reduce stress during exams. which aids memory and helps you reduce stress, especially during exams. Relaxation into the Alpha State Because of the mind- Here is one way you can relax quickly. body link, when you 1 Sit in a comfortable position with your hands on your lap, one relax your body, you cupping the other, facing upwards. relax your mind. Close your eyes and roll your eyeballs up twenty degrees. (This is the position they go when you are sleeping and tricks the brain into thinking it is time to relax for sleep.) Imagine you are looking at the centre of your forehead. Breathe deeply into your stomach, without expanding your chest. Inhale through your nose and gently out through your mouth. Feel your weight in the chair, paying attention for a moment to any tension, aches or pains in your body. Let them go as you breathe out. 2 Now visualise a memory of a time in your life when you felt incredibly relaxed. It could have been a holiday scene. If you cannot remember, create a scene in your mind of the most relaxing time you can imagine. Perhaps you are sitting in a hot bath. Bring in as much detail as possible. As you visualise this scene, start affirming to yourself, “relax, relax, relax”, over and over, slowly and deeply. Feel your body becoming increasingly relaxed as you go through this process. Because of the bodymind link, as you relax your body, your brainwaves will begin to slow down. This is what you want in order to enter your subconscious mind. After a few minutes, you should reach a reasonable level of relaxation. 3 Now return to the room by opening your eyes. You can reach this state of relaxation again, simply by sitting in a comfortable position, cupping your hands, breathing deeply, imagining your relaxing situation and affirming to yourself the words, “relax, relax”. The more often you do it, the more easily and quickly you will find that space in the future. Practise for five to ten minutes a day for at least 30 days. This will help make it habitual and part of your life. 11© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 12. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Relaxation Techniques Key Points There are a number of great general relaxation exercises that you can employ immediately to Practise some of the help you relax during your day. The following relaxation techniques are some easily learned practical examples. given here, so that You could also consider more structured you can improve your alternatives such as Yoga or Tai Chi classes. learning ability and reduce stress. Juggling Learning to juggle is Buy some juggling balls from the local a great way to centre toyshop and teach yourself this enjoyable your mind and let hobby. The process of juggling brings in go of any worrying hand-eye co-ordination and mind-body thoughts. co-ordination. By being totally focused in this enjoyable way, you free your mind from thinking about stressful thoughts or worries. Try a stretching and Stretching / Breathing breathing technique. How often do you consciously stretch and Stretch and breathe breathe when you get up in the morning? through all your body By gearing your body up in this way, you from your head down feel brighter and more alert, ready to face to your toes. the day. Follow the sequence of stretches on the next page for five minutes every morning and you will be surprised at how bright and alert Tip of the Wand you feel – even if you Stretching and breathing are not a morning exercises can be performed outside of the comfort of your home. person! Find a moment in a break at school to shake out your arms and legs, or stretch your neck and back. You can do it even while you are sitting down, at a desk or in the car (provided it is stationary). Try to become more in tune with your body and what it needs. It can tell you what it needs – if you find time and stillness to listen. 12© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 13. SECTION I Preparation and Planning The Five-Minute Morning Stretch Sit down on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Take some deep breaths, right down into your stomach. Put your awareness into your breathing throughout the exercise to help you stay focused in the present moment. Move your ankles around, stretching them forwards and backwards. Wriggle your knees. Move your Now move your Turn your hands around head slowly shoulders up to stretch your wrist from side to and down and joints. Raise your arms side, then up then loosely above your head and and down – move your clasp your hands. As stretching arms around. you stretch, feel your your neck. shoulders release. Massage your face Open your eyes wide and move them and scalp from side to side and up and down. Bring your right foot to your with your pelvis and lean forward over hands. Move your jaw. Try making some your left leg. Hold the stretch noise while you do this. for 15 seconds and then do the same on the other side. Spread your legs wide out in Return your legs out in front of you and lean front and lean forward slightly forward, stretching over them, gently the inner thighs. stretching your lower back. Bring your left leg up by bending your knee and placing the foot over your right leg. Turn your upper body around to the right, stretching by placing the outside of your left arm against the outside of your right knee. Do the same twisting to the left. Stretch your back the other way by raising your buttocks up to stand in an Now release, relax and turn over, inverted ‘V’ on your hands and feet. lying on your stomach. Arch your Feel the stretch in your calves. back by raising your upper body Let your head hang loosely between your shoulders. up with your arms. Breathe deeply, lower, relax, then repeat three times. When you have finished, sit quietly on your knees for a few moments, breathing deeply again and being aware of your body. 13© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 14. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Mindful Breathing Key Points Have you noticed that when you are concentrating, feeling nervous, or afraid, you reduce your breathing? Mindful breathing is a vital tool to Breathing exercises help reduce stressful situations. for relaxation are A good breathing exercise is to register the in-breath and the out- very effective. breath. Pay attention to the rhythm and flow of your breathing. Where Become more aware does the air fill first – the chest or the stomach region? How long is the of your breathing gap between breaths? Is it longer on the in- or the out-breath? patterns and try the techniques When you are in a stressful situation, always take a number of deep mentioned here. breaths. Try to breathe out longer on the out-breath than when you breathed in. Count to yourself – up to four on the in-breath and up to eight on the out-breath (or any count using a ratio of 1:2). On the out-breath let the tension and emotion you are feeling go with it. Make some movement and noise too, if it feels appropriate. Meditation Some people believe that meditation is about spending hours sitting in serious contemplation or humming “AUM” for some mountain guru in India. Others practise meditation by simply walking in the countryside. Any quiet time that frees your mind from thoughts and worries can be classed as meditation. Even if only for a few minutes, try to clear your thoughts and bring your mind to a resting state. Being totally focused in the present moment calms the mind and brings in a stillness that can also help alleviate stress. Affirmations Cup your hands over your eyes to make it One simple exercise you can do, when you need to relax, is to place the dark. This tricks your palms of your hands over your eyes to create darkness. This tricks the brain into thinking brain into thinking it is night time and signals it is time to sleep. Now it is night time and repeat to yourself a relaxing affirmation, e.g. “peace... peace... peace....” signals the body to Remember to always breathe deeply and feel your body relax. relax. Body Awareness How long can you keep your body still? Lie on your back with your arms and legs slightly apart. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and imagine your whole body relaxing. Move in your mind’s eye through your body from your feet to your head, relaxing each part as you go. When you feel as relaxed as you can get, stay lying there as still as you can for at least three minutes. If your body becomes tense or fidgety, stop the exercise and try again later. 14© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 15. SECTION I Preparation and PlanningMental AwarenessAnother exercise you can try is to help you realise just how much timeyou spend thinking thoughts you may not even be aware of. Take your Key Pointswatch and look at the seconds turning. Concentrate only on them and Try this mentalsee how long you can go before your mind thinks about something awareness exercise toelse. Can you make 30 seconds, a minute or even two minutes? Just see how much controlhow short is your concentration span? you have over yourThere are many meditative exercises you can do that will help you thoughts.to relax. Find out about meditation classes from your local library ornatural healing centre.Movement to MusicFree creative movement to music is an enjoyable exercise. Put on somemusic that feels appropriate to the type of mood you are in. Close youreyes and let your body move with the music – but not to it. Your bodyknows how it wants to move and that may not be to the beat or rhythmof the music. Let your soul express itself. It may be just lying on yourback, moving a hand, or anything you want. Free-dance movement to musicProfessional Relaxation Sessions is a wonderful way to release stress. DoTreat yourself to regular relaxation sessions. Therapeutic Massage it in private and letor Aromatherapy, for example, can do wonders to your self-esteem, yourself go wild!confidence and general outlook on life. Because the body and mindare so integrated, keeping your body relaxed has a positive effect onyour mind. Give yourself a regular therapeutic massage.Fun and Pleasure Bodywork of this nature is beneficialFinally, it is important to give yourself plenty of time for fun and mentally, emotionally,pleasure. Ask yourself these questions. How much fun do I have in my physically andlife? Do I have balance in my life, or am I spending all my time studying? spiritually.Do I need to find new ways to enjoy myself? What did I do for fun as achild? Fly kites or go to a sports game? Would I like to do these thingsagain—to let my ‘inner-child’ express itself? If you have veryYou could start a night class or take up a new hobby, just for fun—and little fun in yourit is a good way to meet new and interesting people. Get out into the life, perhaps youparks and the countryside. Learn to appreciate your surroundings more. could create more.Acquire a pet—having a dog or cat can allow you to be playful. Invite Get some cluesfriends over more often. Go out dancing. There are plenty of ways, if from the things youyou take time to think about it. enjoyed during your childhood. 15© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 16. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Your Subconscious Mind Some scientists say that our personality, self-image, beliefs, values and Key Points long-term memories are stored in the subconscious mind. They believe it is the subconscious that is needed for improving learning. Accelerated learning programmes Many years ago, a Bulgarian scientist named Georgi Lazanov realised are founded on the importance of the subconscious mind in learning, after he found the belief that our he was getting remarkable results with teaching students foreign subconscious mind languages. This was the beginning of accelerated learning programmes. plays a big part in Sandy MacGregor, an Australian personal and professional developing learning development trainer, thinks that between the conscious and and memory. subconscious minds there is a filter controlled by the conscious mind. To access the This filter allows information to pass into your subconscious mind and subconscious long-term memory. However, up to 80% may not get through. This is mind you need because the filter opens only when you are relaxed – in the Alpha or to be relaxed so Theta State (see Brainwaves on page 21). Furthermore, if you are not information can pass interested in the topic you are learning, the filter is less likely to open. through to it. You have to trick your mind into accepting the information by using, Think of the for example, positive affirmations, such as “I am really enjoying learning subconscious as a this…”, while consciously relaxing. garden that needs tending. You need to plant your thought seeds and nurture You see, the subconscious mind is also them to grow into like a garden. You need to plant seeds your personal – ‘thought seeds’ of what you want to academic goals. achieve. If you continue to feed them and pay attention to them, they will sprout and grow into a wonderful garden you call your life. You plant seeds by using specific mind/body techniques such as relaxation and thought control. You can plant whatever thought seeds you want because your subconscious mind does not know the difference between fact and fiction. You are limited only by the extent of your imagination. 16© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 17. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Programming for SuccessCreative Visualisation Key PointsThis is probably the most popular mind-power technique for creating Hold a vivid visionyour reality. Famous actors, Olympic athletes, even successful students of exactly what youwill swear that this method has helped them achieve incredible results. want to achieve.A pioneer in the field of personal growth and consciousness whose Spend ten minutesmany books have sold millions of copies in over thirty languages, programming yourShakti Gawain, describes visualisation as using your imagination to subconscious mind,mentally rehearse something you want to obtain or achieve that has twice a day – beforenot happened yet. you go to bed and when you wake upFor example, say you want to be calm and relaxed during your exams. in the morning. It’s aYou would close your eyes, breathe deeply to relax then, after a few powerful techniqueminutes, see yourself in the exam room looking and it really works!calm and relaxed. Research has also shown that visualisation works well when imaginingYou could imagine yourself the process neededsmiling as you work through to achieve a result.the paper, easily recalling all See yourself sitting down doing the studythe information you need preparation for exams.to get a great mark. Whatwould you like, 70% – 80%, The goal is more likelywhy not more? Bring in as to be realised whenmuch detail as you can. See the you not only visualiselayout of the room, the people your outcome butaround you, and yourself as you you also visualisediligently work away. Make it so real the steps needed tothat you could almost be there now. When you accomplish it.have completed your visualisation, repeat it over every day, if only for a Visualisation has afew minutes. When the day actually arrives, you would have been there physiological effectin your mind so many times that you will feel exactly as you imagined – on your body becausecalm and relaxed. your brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is vividly imagined. Mentally rehearse your ideal exam situation to condition your body to be calm and relaxed during exam time. 17© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 18. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Affirmations/Incantations Key Points From a metaphysical perspective, where everything in the universe is energy, Decree your the power of the spoken thought desires out loud in a is another important tool for private place. Notice manifesting the reality you desire. the effect doing Strong and concentrated spoken this has on your thoughts alter your physiology and physiology. help motivate you towards your goal. Affirmations work Try decreeing aloud at the top of your well when they are voice! short, catchy and To accompany your visualisations in an stated in the positive. exam situation, what would you say to Seeding adds yourself? Positive self-talk is essential the element of and makes all the difference. How about: feeling into your “I am clear, calm and confident”. programming. Never affirm what you do not want, Music enhances the such as “I do not want to be nervous”. intensity of your If you find you are saying negative programming. remarks about yourself, try wearing a rubber band on your left wrist and To programme and giving it a sharp flick if negativity power-up your mind creeps in. for success, you can use visualisations, affirmations, seeding Seeding and music together. The third technique to accompany visualisations is seeding. Seeding is energising your thoughts with emotion. What do you want to feel in this exam room? Can you generate a feeling of confidence, for example, as you see and hear yourself doing well in the exam? The strength of the emotion you bring to your imagined situation will increase the power of your intent Remember, it is intention that creates reality. Music A great way to empower your thoughts is to use music. Many people use emotive music, visualisations, affirmations and seeding together to programme their subconscious for exactly what it is they desire. The music increases the emotional intensity and strength of the programming, making it much more effective. Specific types of music, such as classical Baroque, help slow the brainwaves to access the subconscious mind and generate a state of calm alertness. This is the ideal state for studying new material. 18© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 19. SECTION I Preparation and Planning The BrainTo understand how we take information in, it is useful to know a little about the physiological make-upof our brain and brainwaves. Scientists have proven through brain scans that we use different sides of thebrain for different functions. The cortical brain covers the mid-brain and is the Functions of the Brain Parts most evolved section. This enables us to think and reason, set goals and think abstractly. This sets us apart from other animals. Noted for its grey colour, it controls the use of language and other responses received through the senses. The CORTICAL BRAIN (neocortex) enables us to think, reason and problem-solve. con Corpus Callosum . nects eres the two hemisph The left hemisphere is more The right hemisphere is more conscious, orderly, logical, subconscious, creative, imaginative, systematic and analytical. artistic, musical and spatial, and it processes information much faster Responsible for: than the left. LOGIC Responsible for: IMAGINATION LANGUAGE MUSIC MATHEMATICS ART SEQUENTIAL PATTERNS The MID-BRAIN contains the: - thalamus - hypo-thalamus - limbic system. The thalamus receives sensory information (except smell) and passes it on to the cerebral cortex. The BRAIN STEM (reptilian The hypothalamus controls bodily needs like hunger, thirst brain) The limbic system controls our and temperature. This keeps the emotions and motivation. It plays brain and the rest of the body a key role in long-term memory supplied with vital survival needs. and learning.The brain stem controls instinctual drives and responses, such as breathing and heart-rate. It is connected to the spinal cord. It takescare of information from our senses and coordinates the instinctive movements of the body that are used for our safety and survival.In states of extreme stress, the reptilian brain would become active, blocking access to higher parts of the brain. This is anotherreason why we need to find strategies to reduce stress if we want to study and learn effectively. 19© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 20. SECTION I Preparation and PlanningDid You Know? ChallengeThe cortex contains billions Now check your left hemisphere’s performance and try to highlightof neurons (brain cells) the key points of this topic.that are connected to eachother by tree-like branches There are three primary parts of our brain, which have evolvedcalled axons and dendrites. over time:A person is born with • The brain stem (or ________________________) is the oldestapproximately 100 and controls _______________________________ .billion neurons, andthe number of dendrite • The mid-brain holds the limbic system, responsible for ___connections increases to ____________________________________________. Otherup to twenty thousand asthe brain processes more parts include the_______________________, which works withinformation – that is, as a bodily needs, and the thalamus, which receives _____________person learns. ________________________________.As you learn moreinformation, a • The forebrain (or cortical brain, or ___________ ) coversphysiological change the _________________ and enables us to ___________,is happening inside ___________________ and _______________________your head. Your brain iscreating more dendritic Effective learning occurs when we use _______________connections, making it hemisphere(s) of the brain.easier for you to learn and For example, have you noticed how easy it is to learn andremember as time passes. remember the words (logical/left) of a song (musical/right)?Learning to learn is likeany new skill you take on. Are you more artistic/musical (right-side dominant) or logical/Practice makes perfect! analytical (left-side dominant)?__________ What makes you think so? Tip of the Wand • Our education system has tended to use the left hemisphere more and generally our left sides are more dominant, but researchers are now aware that in order to have more effective learning, both sides need to be developed equally. This can be done through specific exercises such as problem solving or cross-lateral exercises known as ‘brain gym’, which are discussed later. • It is possible for everyone to enhance his or her intellectual capacity by stimulating the brain with learning. New information is passed through the brain cells by an electro/chemical process, and the movement of this energy is what creates brainwaves. (See next page.) 20© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 21. SECTION I Preparation and PlanningBrainwaves Electro-chemical energy moving as new Key Points information passes through brain cells There are four main and creates brainwaves brainwave states: beta waves are usedResearchers believe brainwaves function with four main frequencies of in our normal stateelectrical energy. of alertness; alpha waves are created1 Beta Waves (13 – 25 cycles per second) are used in our normal when we are relaxed awakened state. All our senses are operating at this frequency and yet alert; theta waves these waves also direct our short-term memory while attending to begin when we are daily activities. exceptionally relaxed;2 Alpha Waves (8 –12 cycles per second) are generated when we and delta waves are are in a relaxed yet alert state, being still aware of our outside the slowest and occur surroundings. This is the ideal state to learn in. during sleep.3 Theta Waves (4 – 7 cycles per second) emerge when we are deeply When studying, relaxed. This state can be reached through meditation or deep place yourself in daydreaming, and it is beneficial for enhancing creativity and alpha state, ideal problem solving. Long-term memory is easily accessed in theta, for receiving and which is what hypnotists use in therapy. remembering new information.4 Delta Waves (0.5 – 3 cycles per second) are the slowest waves and usually occur when we are sleeping. At this time, only the automatic functions of the brain are required to keep the life-support systems operating. Tip of the Wand Ideally, all learning should take place in a relaxed state that accesses alpha (and theta) brainwaves. In alpha state, the Reticular Activating Filter will allow information to flow more freely into long-term memory. With deeper relaxation, in theta state, you can draw on greater inspiration and creativity. 21© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 22. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Activating Your Brain Key Points To activate properly, your brain needs exercise, food, water and air. If you are feeling Exercise for your Brain drowsy while With everything that goes on in our lives, it is easy to get tired, stressed studying, you could or anxious, especially when there is a mountain of study and exams do some brain looming. Brain gym helps you prime your brain for learning by relaxing exercises to wake your body and strengthening your mind. Brain researcher Dr Paul yourself up. Dennison created brain gym (also called Educational Kinesiology™) as a Try cross-lateral system of simple body movements that also stimulate the brain. These movements such as movements get both sides of the brain synchronised and help slow the touching your left brainwaves down. knee with your right elbow and vice versa. Try stretching The three main types of brain gym movements: movements such as 1 Any cross-lateral movements of the arms or legs that those discussed in the synchronise the left and right hemispheres of the section on relaxation. brain, such as walking, dancing or juggling. Try Try energising lifting your knee up to touch your opposite elbow, movements such as and then do the same on the other side. Repeat this opening your eyes exercise six times. wide and moving 2 Any lengthening and stretching movements that your eyeballs about release tension and aid relaxation, such as those while taking some described in the relaxation section. deep breaths. 3 Energising movements that help increase concentration, such as opening the eyes wide and moving the eyeballs from side to side and up and down while breathing deeply. For best results, it is preferable to do brain gym exercises from each group until you feel ready to proceed. Food for your Brain In The Brain: The Last Frontier (1979), Richard Restak talks about the importance of keeping our brain well fed, watered and oxygenated. Because our brains use an electrochemical process to operate, it has been found that good nutrition enhances brain activity. In order to remain mentally sharp, we need to keep our brains well fed, as energy is received from sugar compounds created in our bodies from the food we eat. Therefore, it is important to keep our blood sugar levels up to maintain our concentration and motivation especially through times of study and exams. Here are a few tips to consider. Never eat large 22© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 23. SECTION I Preparation and Planningmeals before study times. This draws energy for digestion and leavesyou feeling drowsy. Instead, eat smaller meals and frequent snacks Key Points– fruit, vegetables, nutty snacks, seeds and cereals. A good breakfast Remember to eatthat includes these complex carbohydrates is also recommended for well and take smallera balanced diet. The old saying, “You are what you eat”, is certainly meals before studyrelevant when it comes to studying. times. Fruit andWater for your Brain vegetables, which are high in water, areAlthough we draw our energy from food, effective brain functioning good.comes from drinking plenty of water. Our brain dehydrates quickly.Even without being thirsty, we can lose concentration and motivation. Drink plenty of waterWhile studying, always keep a water bottle handy and try to drink up to to keep your braintwo litres a day. If you cannot drink this much, supplement your water hydrated.intake with plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in water Supplements suchcontent. Stay away from high sugar energy drinks if you can. as Omega 3 fish oil capsules are good forAir for your Brain brain development. ItOur brain also needs plenty of oxygen in order to keep functioning is worth consulting aeffectively. One quarter of our oxygen intake goes to supply the brain. naturopath or healthIt is easy to begin feeling drowsy during study time. If you are hunched food professional forover a desk or sitting at a computer for hours on end, your breathing more suggestions.will be shallow. To stop yourself feeling drowsy, sit up straight and If you feel yourselfdo some deep breathing down into your stomach. Do this without becoming drowsy,expanding your chest. check to see if there isMake sure you get the residue air out of your lungs. A good way to a window nearby sodo this is to breathe in through the nose for a count of four, hold it for that you can open itsixteen seconds and then breathe out through the mouth for a count and get some air.of eight. This will re-oxygenate your brain and help you become more Breathing out foralert. Repeat this process ten times, and then return to your study. longer than you breathed in is a great technique to help you become more alert. If you can hold your breath in between, Tip of the Wand it is even more • When we concentrate during energising. study time, we tend to use shallow breathing. Remember Try using a ratio of to take some deep breaths from time to time. 1:4:2. That is, if the • Exercising regularly is also another good way to re-oxygenate in breath count is the blood. Walking, running, dancing – any physical exercise four, the hold will be for at least twenty minutes, several times a week – will keep sixteen and the out your brain effective and alert. breath will be eight. 23© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 24. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Learning Styles Do you know how you learn best? When learning new material we use Key Points most of our senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell; but often we have a primary mode of receiving and communicating information. You may use several modes of learning but often The four primary learning modes are visual, one is dominant. auditory, kinaesthetic and analytical Once you know how you learn best, you can direct your study time along this Primary learning modes: learning style. VISUAL LEARNERS learn best AUDITORY LEARNERS hear by seeing pictures in their information in their minds. mind’s eye. They like to make They learn best by attending lists, see lectures, listening to seminars charts and or audiotapes. They like to diagrams, give verbal and they instruction enjoy and rehearse reading. ideas by talking to themselves. KINAESTHETIC LEARNERS like to move about. They learn by doing, touching, ANALYTICAL LEARNERS use and feeling. You will often logical, hypothetical reasoning to learn new information. They find them are the scientists, researchers sitting and computer or lying programmers comfortably of the world. and fidgeting with a pencil or pen. If we can identify our primary mode for receiving and communicating At the same time, information, we can use this to maximise our learning potential. through practice you For example, if I am primarily kinaesthetic and learn best by doing, it can work to develop is going to be more difficult for me to sit still at a desk and listen to a your less dominant lecturer who uses primarily an auditory approach. learning style. Obviously, the trick is to develop all modes equally, so that we are not held back by a system that uses mostly one means of teaching. This will also aid in more effective long-term learning. 24© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 25. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Learning Style Quiz Undertake this quick-quiz by answering the following questionnaire. Circle the letter that most applies to you. At the end, tally up your score to get a broad idea about your dominant learning style. 1 If a friend asked you how to find a particular 6 How do you prefer your teacher to give classroom across the school grounds, how information? would you give her directions? V Use overheads, handouts, notes. V Quickly draw her a map. A Discuss topics openly. A Casually tell her how to get there. K Go on field trips that offer hands-on K Take her by the hand and guide her. learning. AN Logically explain to her the best path, AN Analyse and problem-solve topics. step by step. 7 When you have forgotten to spell a word, what 2 What would influence your decision to buy do you do most often? something new? V Try to see it in your mind’s eye. V It looks really good. A Try to sound it out. A It sounds like a good idea. K Write down both versions and work it out. K It feels right. AN Get a dictionary. AN You’ve worked out that it’s a good deal and will save you money in the long run. 8 In your spare time, what are you most likely to 3 How do you usually learn to use a new piece do? of technology? V Art, painting, photography. V I watch someone else do it first. A Listening to music, playing an instrument. A I get someone to explain it to me. K Sports, jogging, swimming. K I jump straight in and just do it. AN Reading, writing, computer programming. AN I read the instructions and work it out logically. 9 How do you most know when someone likes you? V When they show you through gifts. 4 Which of these games do you prefer? A When they tell you. V Pictionary. K When they give you affection. A Trivial Pursuit. AN When you know they understand you. K Charades. AN Monopoly. 10 What would be your preferred method of 5 When you go to a movie, what impresses remembering? you the most? V Doing mind maps. V The great visual effects and A Recording information on tapes and cinematography. listening to it. A The awesome sound track. K Acting or rehearsing the information. K How comfortable the seats were. AN Analysing, conceptualising, problem AN The technical mastery behind the scenes. solving. Add up your circled answers in the corresponding spaces provided below. The highest number is your preferred style of learning. Remember there is no right or wrong. You might have several styles that score similarly, indicating that they are equally strong methods of learning for you. VISuAL AuDITORY KINAESTHETHIC ANALYTICAL 25© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 26. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Thinking Styles It could be helpful for you to understand your thinking patterns as Key Points being either linear or circular. Are you a linear thinker? This thinking style progresses in a logical flow – one step at a time. Linear thinkers follow a step-by- step process when A linear thinker learns best by having an learning something overview of a topic and following a clear new. Circular thinkers logical sequence to understanding it come to understand a topic from many different perspectives. A circular thinker, on the other hand, needs an overview but comes to understand the topic Decide what your from many different angles simultaneously preferred learning method is. Are you an activist, reflector, theorist or pragmatist? Learning Methods: By visiting Activist/Reflector/Theorist/Pragmatist the websites The activist/reflector/theorist/pragmatist theory of learning is recommended here another method of finding out how you learn easier and faster. (see Bibliography Ask yourself which one of these relates most to your personality. p.78), you could check out Ned Herrmann’s ACTIVISTS are action oriented. REFLECTORS Whole Brain Model®. They learn best learn by This suggests you have four thinking through a variety of experiences, ID assimilating new information preferences. You can EA are open and taking time work out if you are a minded and to reflect and Logician, Organiser, keen to try discuss it with Communicator or something others. They like Visionary. new. to ‘sleep on it’. There are also many ways to draw or THEORISTS need a clear and PRAGMATISTS need learning map information to logical structure to learn new to hold relevant practical improve thinking, information. They will often applications reading and writing A DE ask if something does to their lives in skills. not ‘make sense’ order to learn I Dr David Hyerle and will gather best. They developed Thinking information to enjoy learning Maps® as a language formulate new ideas and for learning. theories. putting them into practice. 26© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 27. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Our Multi-Intelligences The prominent mind researcher Howard Key Points Gardner suggests that not only do we have Why is it that some primary modes of taking in information, but people are particularly we also have primary ways we associate and good at sports, others act with it He called these THE SEVEN MULTI-INTELLIGENCES at public speaking and others at music? The purpose of thisGardner suggests that these intelligences influence our individual book is to help younatural ability to learn and express ourselves. Our seven multi- develop an eighthintelligences are as follows. multi-intelligenceVerbal/Linguistic Intelligence – Exam Intelligence!This intelligence emphasises the use of language and words. It isenhanced by doing such things as debating, speech making, reading and writing. To take advantage ofthis kind of intelligence when studying, it is a good idea to write about your topic, record it and play itback. Vocalise your thoughts about it, rehearse it and practise it in your mind.Logical/Mathematical IntelligenceThis intelligence has characteristics associated with the left side of the brain. It is logical, analytical andgood at problem solving. It can be enhanced through doing mathematical exercises, experiments andanalysis. To take advantage of this kind of intelligence when studying, identify all aspects of a problemto work it out. Sometimes it helps to start at the end, look back and work out all the steps necessary toachieve this outcome.Visual/Spatial IntelligenceThis intelligence is associated with the right side of the brain. It is artistic, creative and imaginative.It can be enhanced by undertaking any artistic medium – painting, sculpting, model making. To takeadvantage of this kind of intelligence when studying, use drawing, graphs, videos or movies on the topic.Physical/Kinaesthetic IntelligenceThis intelligence is used through activities including sports, dance and drama. Getting involved inphysical activities can enhance it. To take advantage of this kind of intelligence when studying, it is goodto rehearse, act out or use role-playing to express an idea or topic. Do practical exercises like experimentsor other class activities – anything to get you physically involved.Musical/Rhythmic IntelligenceThis intelligence is used to interpret music – notes, tones and rhythms, playing musical instruments andsinging. It is also good for learning languages and for speaking with accents. Performing music, playingor singing can enhance it. To take advantage of this kind of intelligence when studying, play soft musicas a background or record your topic on tape with music combined. Make a little jingle of an importantconcept. 27© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 28. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Interpersonal Intelligence This intelligence uses social skills such as communication and leadership. It can be enhanced through active discussions and through any activity that requires you to work with a team, like acting. To take advantage of this kind of intelligence when studying, use this intelligence by discussing topics in a support group, listening to other points of view and taking initiative on class projects. Intra-personal Intelligence This intelligence uses more personal inward skills. It can be enhanced through journal writing, personal development exercises and relaxation time. Challenge Think about which of your intelligences you use mostly. Mind researcher Howard Gardner suggests intelligence is more than good academic grades. It extends across all areas of our lives including sport, music and being outgoing. He identified ________ primary ways we associate and act with information and called them _____________________. Verbal/Linguistic intelligence uses ____________________. Logical/Mathematical intelligence uses ________________ _______________________________. _______________________________ uses the artistic, imaginative faculties. _______________________________ uses practical experience to learn. Musical/Rhythmic intelligence uses _______________________ Tip of the Wand ________ to help us remember information. In study, use your intra- _______________________________ grows from good social and personal intelligence to communication skills. go within to help you contemplate a topic or _______________________________ takes us inward and is solve a problem. This expressed through contemplative thought. intelligence can get you into an alpha or In study, use your intra-personal intelligence to go within to help theta state effortlessly. you contemplate a topic or solve a problem. This intelligence can get you into an alpha or theta state effortlessly. 28© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 29. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Preparing Your Study EnvironmentNow that you have explored some inner aspects of studying, it is time Key Pointsto look at some practical aspects. Your place of study is importantbecause the environment you study in will either help or hinder Try to create youryour ability to think and learn. ideal study space – well lit, comfortableStudying on the kitchen table might give you space, but are you and airy.constantly distracted by movement in the kitchen, especially aroundmeal times? Soft music in the background, so long as it is not distracting, Everything in your environment can affect will help you relax. your concentration, so it is important that you create a space that supports your learning efforts and does not disturb themIf you are unable to set up a room for yourself, Readingdesignate an area of a room with a large table andcomfortable straight-backed chair.This is your study space, so proclaim it to the Diagramshousehold and be sure it is not overtaken byother people’s ‘stuff’ Note- taking Tip of the Wand How will you approach this topic – Planning Your Activities read, take notes, use When you prepare to study, it is a good idea to plan activities that diagrams, or rehearse will use as many of your multi-intelligences as possible. it out loud? For example, read your topic, make notes, record it on a tape, listen to it while driving to class, rehearse it aloud and make diagrams and charts if necessary. Get the picture? This way you will not slip back into your old familiar patterns of learning that may not be as effective. 29© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 30. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Six tips to set up your ideal study space 1 If you are not able to get your own room, use a wall divider to separate your space from the rest of the room. 2 Have plenty of drawers and shelves in place so that you have adequate storage and everything you require is at arm’s length and not a distraction to find. 3 Place inspiring comments, pictures, mind-maps or visual representations of your goals on the walls around your space. These help you keep motivated and focused on the bigger picture for all that hard work you are doing. 4 Make sure you have good lighting: a desk lamp or good overhead lights. Poor lighting causes eyestrain and will reduce your concentration and motivation. 5 Make sure a window is open and you are breathing deeply to keep oxygenating your brain. Bring a few plants into your study space to help enhance the air quality. Try burning some essential oils, such as black pepper and basil. This helps to enhance mental clarity. 6 Music is the next thing. As mentioned earlier, only use soft classical music to help you relax and access the other parts of your brain. Pop music with words will distract your conscious mind and break your concentration. Save that for later. Challenge From the list above, circle the number of each tip that has been used to set up this study space. 30© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 31. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Learning StatesOne of the great things about human beings is our diversity. Each of us Key Pointsis individual and unique. As such, when it comes to studying for exams,we each have our own personal strategy for learning, developed from Get clear on whatour schooling experience in the past. type of learningOften, students who perform well at their academic studies use environment orlearning states that fit the way the school or university achieves things. learning state you need to have in orderThose who do not may not have learned to ‘fit the system’ or are not to study effectively.aware of their ideal learning states. This certainly does not mean theyare dumb. (Some of the greatest thinkers and achievers of our time For example, afailed at school.) It simply means people use different strategies to learn. kinaesthetic learner may need to be moving about or lying Identify your current learning state down while studying. Some people need Check the choices that suit you best. If you are not sure of your music playing, others answer, try them all before you do. need complete silence. Location: classroom setting  Intake: plenty of water library  before  Find out what you at a friend’s  during  need from the list Key Points spare room at home  after learning  offered here. Room: furniture disorganised  snacks furniture organised  before  furniture well organised  during  after learning  Lighting: dim light  Time management: well lit  disorganised  bright sunlight  organised but flexible  desk lamp  well organised  Heating: cool  Attitude: pleasant  could not care less  warm  easy going  hot and stuffy  quietly confident  Sound: silence  determined  soft music  obsessed  Tip of the Wand radio on  Goals: going to fail  clock ticking  just pass  Essentially, you traffic noise  good result  are looking to excellent result  find a learning Posture: sitting on a chair  sitting on the floor  environment that sitting in bed  Now make a list of what you is comfortable, lying down  chose. Observe your normal relaxing, organised standing up  environment and add other and free from walking around  features that you like to your list. distractions. 31© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 32. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Setting Your Goals & Intentions It could be helpful for you to understand your thinking patterns as Key Points being either linear or circular. Are you a linear thinker? This thinking style progresses in a logical flow – one step at a time. Goal setting helps us direct Our thoughts, intentions and attitudes influence our our thoughts and decisions, which influence our actions, which influence consequently our what happens to us in our lives actions. Goal setting focuses our thoughts Our thoughts direct our actions but, as discussed in the holographic so that the outer universe theory, reality is also influenced by forces of energy that our world will reflect back thoughts direct. This is why goal setting is so important. It clarifies and what we desire. magnetises our thoughts, so we can send them out and the world can then reflect back to us their physical equivalent. "We create our lives 100%." John Kehoe, List one long-term and three short-term Mind-Power trainer goals in order of their importance. Visualise, affirm and seed your goal Long-term goal: thoughts from the For example: finishing high school position of already having achieved them. Reward yourself Short-term goals: with each successful 1. completion. For example: B+ pass on the next test How will you elebrate? A movie, perhaps? 2. 3. Now sign: Tip of the Wand Do not be limited Once you have your intentions set, it is necessary to focus on them by what you think every day, preferably before you go to sleep and again when you you will realistically awake. This is the time when you are most relaxed and your mind is achieve – shoot for susceptible to taking in information. Instead of thinking of your goals, the stars. think from them. Think as if you have them now – as if they are a living reality to you in this present moment. 32© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 33. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Time ManagementTime management is another important area of preparation. This is Key Pointswhere self-discipline comes in. It is helpful toManaging Distractions make a list of all theHow many distractions and little habits do you find using up your things you knowvaluable study time? Calling a friend on the telephone, preparing food, distract you and wastewatching television? your valuable time.Make a list of distractions, so that you Television is usuallybecome more aware of what they are c ti o n s high on everyone’s to f distrawhen you study. L is list. Write aIdentify the other areas of your life that timetable of all youralso take up a lot of your time. Are you over study deadlines –committed? Is there anything that you can assignment due dates,drop to give you more time for study? test and exam dates.PlannersIt is a good idea to write a timetable plan with all your deadlines. A yearplanner is fine, but the scale is too large for working to daily/weekly Use the N E Tdeadlines. Therefore, create a monthly planner as well. You will see (No Extra Time)exactly how much time you have to study and get assignments in on Technique. Personaltime. Also use a weekly planner. and professional development trainer,Identify time in your day that is otherwise unproductive. While taking a Anthony Robbins,shower, for example, you could speak aloud the details of a topic. While suggests you cantravelling to class, you could listen to a topic on a diskman, or car stereo.Make use of as much ‘spare’ time as possible. If you acknowledge such multi-task to savetime and make use of it by assigning learning items to it in your daily time. For example,planner, then, for example, twenty minutes a day of this time will get for exams, you couldyou an hour and a half extra study time per week. laminate your notes to review while having a shower! It Challenge takes no extra time. In which of your planners would you place the following deadlines? 1 End of year exams Use the examples 2 Homework for tomorrow on the following 3 Finish research for Science major assignment pages to create a year planner for the 4 Learn lines for your next Drama class big picture; use a 5 Research recipe for Food Festival monthly calendar for short-term deadlines; 6 Revise for Fridays Maths test and a weekly planner 7 Analyse the plot and characters in your Literature lecture while for more immediate you jog planning. 33© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 34. SECTION I Preparation and PlanningDaily Planner Day: Time Priority Completed Schedule (Mark most Task (Tick) important) 7am 8am 9am 10am 11am 12 noon 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm 5pm 6pm 7pm 8pm 9pm 10pm 34© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 35. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Weekend Friday Week Beginning: Thursday Wednesday TuesdayWeekly Planner Monday pm am 35© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 36. SECTION I Preparation and Planning Timelines Key Points One effective way to work when you are feeling under pressure to meet Because of the deadlines is to adopt a timeline strategy. interconnection between our brain FIRST CREATE YOUR STUDY TIMELINE. and body, when List all your assignments. Break each complex our brain registers assignment into simpler, smaller tasks. Consider a situation as not how much time you need for each task. Assign having enough time, milestones for the tasks, by placing them all on a our body instantly timeline. Work backwards from the final deadline to the begins to feel stressed. present moment and use a different colour for each subject. Do this You can change this carefully and honestly, so that you can convince yourself that there limited perception actually is enough time for you to finish everything you need to. by doing the simple visualisation Does your brain still perceive the situation as not having enough time technique below. to get everything done? If so, it sends signals to your body, which It works because becomes stressed. It is time then to change your brain’s perception our brain does not of how much time you have left, so that your body can relax know the difference The creators of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Richard Bandler between what is real and John Grinder, use the following timeline technique as a mental and what is imagined. visualisation that changes your inner perception of how much time you have left to achieve a particular goal. Timeline Visualisation Technique 2 Move your hand slowly towards you, until 1 Close your eyes and relax. Hold your arm out in front of you and point to your it feels like it is future. Turn your palm up and visualise the work you still have to achieve and in your face. This the deadline you want to meet. For example, you may have an assignment is your physical due on Friday. In your mind’s eye, you can see yourself actually handing in representation of not the assignment, knowing you have done the best you could. By placing this having enough time. picture out in front of you, you are creating a timeline from where you are As you imagine the now to where you want to be on Friday. picture getting closer, Now ask yourself, “How close does this your brain perceives deadline feel to me?” a sense of urgency, which is what is making you feel stressed. 3 Now, by consciously moving your hand back, and visualising creating more distance between your present state and the future scene, the scene will get smaller as it moves back and you will feel your body begin to relax. Although 4 Breathe deeply. your physical time may not have changed, your brain’s perception of the time Relax, and you have left has changed. It thinks you have trust that you more time and will send signals to your body will meet the to relax a little more. deadline. REPEAT THE EXERCISE: Imagine your future deadline in your palm in front of you. The length of your hand is your timeline. Reduce your timeline by imagining the scene closer. How does it feel when it’s in your face? Now move your hand out and imagine your deadline getting further away. As you do this, your body relaxes. 36© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 37. SECTION I Preparation and Planning ConcentrationIn order to study effectively, you need to have good concentration. Doyou consider your concentration to be poor? Can you sit and watch a Key Pointsfull-length movie for two or more hours and become very absorbed? Here are threeCan you perform an activity for long periods without thinking about keys to improvingwhat you are going to have concentration whilefor dinner? Perhaps your studying:concentration is better than youthink. Here are three basic keys 1 Reduce anyto good concentration. external distractions such1 Reduce your external as people wanting distractions. If you have a your attention. good working environment 2 Reduce any that is separate from the internal other areas of the house distractions like and is comfortable and well your inner voice organised, then you should asking, “is it break be free from most external distractions. time yet?” 3 Be well focused.2 Reduce your internal Make sure you distractions. If you have a strong are prepared for study, enough reason (or comfortable and alert, purpose) for doing and you are free from this. If you do not, mental anxieties such as try to create one. relationship problems or money worries, then you should be internally ready and tuned for the work at hand.3 Be well focused. You will lose concentration if you do not have clear reasons for applying yourself to this work. If you are well focused, have your goals and intentions set and have a strong interest in the topic, generally you will keep the concentration levels up. Tip of the Wand You may not be able to eliminate all distractions, but you can be flexible. For example, you know your personal alertness cycle. If you are a morning person, do not force yourself to study in the evening when you are tired and easily distracted. 37© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 38. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II: How to Review using Former Knowledge There are specific attitudes and techniques needed in reviewing when it comes to this and these are outlined in the following pages. At this stage, you will be reviewing information from many different sources – lectures, readings, the Internet – all of which will be contributing to your learning. To begin priming your brain for the information that is to follow, begin to think about everything you already know on the topic. The brain works through associations with past information (even if it is wrong) and these will make links to the new information coming Try to draw on what you already know about a subject before you enter class. This helps prime your brain to associate and link the new information that is about to follow. Key Points Listening in Class If you find class Have you ever had a boring teacher who .. . Z Z Z boring, still try to maintain an made coming to class enthusiastic attitude. a misery? Probably we If you shut off from all have, at one time what is being said, or another. you greatly reduce your learning potential. 38© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 39. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to Review The responsibility of learning as a student Key Points is yours – not the teacher’s Before class, review what was covered in previous lectures.If you do not like the teaching style, it is easy to shut off and not pay After class, review theattention. new material. This radically improvesIt is your attitude alone that will determine whether you will receive your chances ofthe information you need to continue your study, so try mentally memory retrieval (asaffirming to yourself that you are enjoying the lecture. By acting as explained in the nextif it is interesting, you trick your brain into accepting the information. section). During class, observe the teacher’s teaching Seven Rules to Make the Most out of style. Try to notice the points that are Listening in Class emphasised through 1 Prepare yourself before you go to a class. Review what was both verbal and non- done at previous lectures and what will be covered in the verbal language. coming lecture. This way you are up with the play and can ask If you do not questions on anything you do not yet understand. understand what 2 For memory purposes (as described in the next section) it is is being said, do also good to review in the evening what was done in class not be afraid to ask that day questions. It is likely that others in the 3 Sit in on all classes and try to sit near the front of the class. class are thinking the 4 Observe your teacher’s teaching style. Make a mental note of same question. the voice variation or body language that emphasises that what is being said is important and needs to be taken down. 5 As you listen to what is being said, try to associate it with what you already know Formulate questions and offer answers to yourself about it. If you do not have an answer, do not be afraid to ask the teacher. The chances are that a number of people in the room will also want the same information. 6 Learn to filter out the main points of what is important and what is not. Do this in your listening, study reading and note taking. 7 Finally, immediately after class, if possible, review your notes of the lecture you have just had. If you missed some points, try to fill in the gaps by asking others. The more you review now, the better you will remember later. 39© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 40. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II Reading Techniques How to Review Key Points Skim Reading SKIM READING Skim reading is a great way to survey Contents/Index information quickly. If you have a number saves valuable time of books from which to gather information relevant chapter – especially if you are and you are not sure whether they are searching for specific introduction & appropriate, the first step is to go directly information from a summary to the index to see if this particular book number of books. has the information you need. If so, go First, use the contents to the relevant chapter and read the main headings page and the index introduction and the summary. You now highlighted key to see if the book has have an overview of that information. Next, points the information you go through the chapter reading all the main need. headings, highlighted key points, picture picture captions captions and anything else that stands out Next, check out the on the page. Reading the first sentence first sentence in relevant chapter in each paragraph may also give you the each paragraph introduction or general theme of the paragraph as a whole. summary. Read all the main headings, picture Study Reading captions and topic In Seven Keys to Successful Study, Peter Edwards describes many styles sentences for each of reading, each with a particular purpose. paragraph. Study reading is the slowest form of reading you will need Its purpose is to get you to absorb what is being written so that it is retained in your long-term memory If the material does not need to be remembered, such as with a novel, speed-reading techniques can be helpful. In order to get the most out of your reading time, here are a number of tips that you might find useful. Never open a book and start detailed reading from the first page. Always survey the contents of the book to get a general idea of what is being covered and then identify areas that are of particular importance. This process should take around ten minutes depending on the size and detail of the book. Start by reading the title and drawing on your previous knowledge to prime your brain by building mental associations. Read the table of contents to summarise the main points of what you are about to read. Each chapter in the book could have an outline discussed at the introduction or summary. Read this and allow yourself a moment to let it sink in. 40© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 41. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to ReviewRead all the major headingsof each chapter, and then Key Pointslook at the beginning STUDY READINGof each paragraph. is more involved andThis is usually the topic time consuming. Itssentence and gives a purpose is to helplead in to the following you transfer theinformation. Make a note information intoof any illustrations, lists or memory.graphs. Finally, once you have 1 Skim read thereviewed the main points of each chapter of a newchapter, write down keywords or draw topic and drawdiagrams to summarise what the chapter is about. on any former knowledge toAsk yourself questions and offer answers about the text as you write. associate with theThis will help consolidate your survey and give you a good basic topic. (Detailedunderstanding of what is to follow. It also helps you to retain the reading of a totallyinformation in your long-term memory. new subject, too soon, can beSpeed Reading difficult for your brain to absorb.) Speed-reading is a technique to help 2 Read the table of you reduce the time it takes you to read contents, chapter information It is a process where you learn to summary and move your eyes differently across a page of text conclusion, if any. 3 Read throughDo you remember how you learned to read? One way was to first learn the text, payingletters, then sound out words by their syllables, and then whole words particular attentionby themselves, using your finger to guide you across the page, word to the main points.by word. Ask yourself questions as youSpeed-reading takes the process another step, so that you can read read to help directgroups of words at the same time and still understand the content. It your reading forworks like this. the answers.1 Relax yourself into an alpha state, and then place a book of text in 4 Take notes once front of your eyes. you have read the2 What you want to achieve is to train the eyes to stop looking at material. each individual word and focus on whole lines at a time.3 Stop only three times along each line. First, at the left third of the SPEED-READING line, then the middle third, then the right third. enables you to read groups of words at the same time and still understand the content. 41© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 42. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to Review Speed Reading Technique For example, in the following line, your eyes would normally concentrate on almost each word, so you would split the line into ten units, for which you would consume ten time units to read: Lisa sat down at her desk, determined to cover the full chapter in less than an hour. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Notice that, since you have first been taught how to read, you have already begun to associate meaning units to reading units,by reading small words (e.g. prepositions, articles) at the same time as the word they accompany. What you have to do next is to enlarge the reading/meaning unit to about a third of a book line. Sometimes punctuation helps decide where the break should be. Lisa sat down at her desk, determined to cover the full chapter in less than an hour. 1 (up to the comma) 2 3 This way, you read three reading units in three time units, which means that you can read the line three times faster. If you were reading a newspaper or magazine with short lines your eyes Key Points would look only at the left half, then the right half of each line. When With practice you start practising, do not be too worried if you do not comprehend you will begin the information as well. At this stage you want to create a new habit of reading. Soon it will become automatic for you to read like this, and the to increase your comprehension will follow. peripheral vision, looking past one word at a time to the whole phrase. This Tip of the Wand helps you derive the meaning quickly. One point to remember is not to say the words to yourself as you read. You save time by reducing your eye This can slow you down. As you get more skilled, see if you can movements. Try to read and understand the text without the inner dialogue. look across a page by focussing as if the page was divided into three columns. You save a huge amount of time if you can read without inner dialogue. 42© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 43. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to Review Test Your Reading Speed The average person reads approximately 240 words of light reading per minute. Read the passage below as you normally would, but time yourself for one minute. At the bottom of the passage, work out if your reading speed is below average, above average or average. Speed-Reading Speed-reading is a technique to help you reduce the time it takes you to read information. It’s a process where you learn to move your eyes differently across a page of text. Do you remember how you learned to read? One way was to first learn letters, then sound out words by their syllables, and then whole words by themselves, using your finger to guide you across the page word by word. Speed-reading takes the process another step, so that you can read groups of words at once and still understand the content. It works like this. Relax yourself into alpha state, then place a book of text in front of your eyes. What you want to achieve is to train the eyes to stop looking at each individual word and focus on whole lines at a time. Stop only three times along each line. First, at the left third of the line, then the middle third, then the right third. If you were reading a newspaper or magazine with short lines, your eyes would look only at the left half, then the right half of each line. When you start practising, do not be too worried if you do not comprehend the information as well. At this stage you want to create a new habit of reading. Soon it will become automatic for you to read like this, and the comprehension will follow. One point to remember is not to say the words to yourself as you read. This can slow you down. As you get more skilled, see if you can read and understand the text without the inner dialogue. Study Reading Peter Edwards (1989), in Seven Keys to Successful Study, describes many styles of reading, each with a particular purpose. Study reading is the slowest form of reading you will need. Its purpose is to get you to absorb what is written so that it gets retained in your long-term memory. If the material does not need to be remembered, such as with a novel, speed-reading techniques can be helpful. In order to get the most out of your reading time, here are a number of tips that you might find useful. Never open a book and start detailed reading from the first page. Always survey the contents of the book to get a general idea of what is being covered and then identify areas that are of particular importance. This process should take around ten minutes depending on the size and detail of the book. Start by reading the title, and drawing on your previous knowledge to prime your brain by building mental associations. Read the table of contents to summarise the main points of what you are about to read. Each chapter in the book could have an outline discussed at the introduction or summary. Read this and allow yourself a moment to let it sink in. Read all the major headings of each chapter, then look at the beginning of each paragraph. This is usually the topic sentence and gives a lead-in to the following information. Make a note of any illustrations, lists, or graphs. Finally, once you have reviewed the main points of each chapter, write down key words or draw diagrams to summarise what the chapter is about. Ask yourself questions and offer yourself answers about the text as you write. This will help consolidate your survey and give you a good basic understanding of what is to follow. It also helps you to retain the information in your long-term memory. Total Words: 597. The 240th word is highlighted in this phrase: “and the comprehension will follow.” (Third paragraph of speed-reading). 43© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 44. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II Note Taking How to Review The purpose of note taking at lectures and readings is simply to record Key Points and learn from material that will be needed for study before exams. In his book Take Notes (1991), Ron Fry gives a number of tips that you Note taking might find useful. enables you to extract concise information from lectures and Linear Notes readings. It gives you the opportunity to • Think about the material before writing it down. Do you revise the information understand what you are writing? at a later date, prior to • Place the key point headings on the first line and then indent exams. subpoints below. There is no ‘right’ • Number each point and sub-point. For example, point way to note take. 1 has sub-points 1.1, 1.2, 1.3. You need to find out • Use a different colour pen for each major section. what works best for you. The three ways • When the teacher is talking, or you are note presented here are taking from a book, write your notes in Linear Notes, the your own words, not in theirs. Princeton Method, and the Concept Tree. Linear notes are structured in a sequential format s with headings and ta i l De listed sub-points opi c t in g ts T poin indented below. e a d Po i n ub- point H • S ub- int Ke y • S ub-po d in g • S He a t igh To n Tip of the Wand Draw a line down the left-hand third of your page placing your main points on the left-hand side and further details of each on the right side. 44© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 45. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to ReviewThe Princeton MethodThis approach divides your page Heading Details Extra info.into three columns. As with the Main Points (review time)previous example, the first columnis for headings and main points.The middle column is for the detailsof that subject and the third column is left blank for later. Key PointsHere you place any ideas that come to you when you review your The Princetonnotes. You can put examples related to your own experience, insights Method dividesthat contribute to the topic, or condense the middle section into key your page into threepoints that are easily remembered. This becomes useful when you are columns. The firstpreparing for your exams. column is for key points, the second column is furtherThe Concept Tree information and theIf you are note taking to plan a particular writing assignment, circle final column is forthe main point in the centre of your page and place your key points in your own notes, orclockwise order around the outside, with lines connecting to the centre. review informationBranch off the key points with smaller branches noting other points in leading up to exams.more detail. It is also useful when you want to condenseThis is information downsimilar to a to key words thatmind map can be memorised Ke y Po int 1– a visual later using visualtechnique in association techniques.important Ma nt Ke y Po int 2for memory Poiretention, Ke y Po int 3 Detaildiscussed The Concept Treein the next Ke y Po int 4 has similarities to Detail Detailsection. a Mind Map. It is a visual representation of your notes. Place your main point in the centre of the page and connect the key points around it Tip of the Wand with branches leading THIS is the time for learning the out. Finer detail can material – not later just before exams. That time is for revision, so then branch off the make an effort to write and understand the material now – as you surrounding key listen, read and take notes. points. 45© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 46. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to Review Note Taking Challenge Take your notes on the topic NOTE TAKING, using the three methods described. The Linear System Note Taking Linear System a b c d Princeton Method a b c d Concept Tree a b c d The Princeton Method Note Taking Linear System a b c d Princeton System a b c d Concept Tree a b c d 46© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 47. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION II How to Review The Concept Tree a Linear System b c d Note Taking a Princeton Method b c Concept Tree a d b c d Which of the methods suited you best? In this particular case, do you think that it was the nature of the topic, or your own way of studying that made you prefer one method to the others? Explain why. Think of some topics in this book for which you would have chosen a different method of note taking. Explain your choice. 47© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 48. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III: How to Retain Memory There is no doubt about it. Learning takes MEMORY. Without memory, Key Points you cannot learn, make decisions, conceptualise, reason or study Memory works effectively. The better your memory, the better you will be able to by brain cells achieve academic success. (neurons) making Many students memorise their study notes by re-reading and re-writing connections with repeatedly. This is called Rote Learning. Although it works, it is slow and each other through less effective than specific memorising techniques. Smart students use association links. more creative techniques to enhance memory. Memory works Ask yourself: “If I could take my notes into the exam with me – what in three stages. would I take? The answer helps you decide what notes to memorise. Information is Your goal, by the end of this section, is to condense all your exam notes received and held down to one single sheet of A4 paper by using many different memory in our short-term techniques outlined as follows. memory (review). If it is rehearsed, it enters into long-term Physiologically, memory is a process of memory (retain); if neural activity where electrical impulses not, it is forgotten. form connections between the brain cells The information then (neurons) These connections are linked by needs to be retrieved associated information from memory (recall). Actively review new information within twenty-four hours of first learning it. Then Tip of the Wand try to review it again at the end of the A 19th century memory researcher week. Memorising named Herman Ebbinghaus suggested that it was important to does take time, but rehearse information as soon as possible after it entered short- think of it as a muscle term memory. From his to strengthen. research, he created the With practice, in time, Ebbinghaus Curve. This you will become better, shows that if you do The Ebbinghaus stronger and faster at not actively rehearse Curve using your memory new information over for exam recall. a short space of time, you will forget it. It is vital, therefore, to review new material, preferably within twenty-four hours. 48© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 49. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainWhen you hear a certain piece of music or smell a particular scent thatyou used to know well, all the associations of this stimulus will come Key Pointsup from long-term memory (usually subconscious) into the conscious According to theshort-term or working memory. To put it simply, memory operates primacy and recencythrough three stages: effect, your memory1 We receive new information through our senses that enters our is stronger at the short-term (working) memory. beginning and at the end of the2 If it is rehearsed, it enters long-term memory or, if it is not information being rehearsed, it is forgotten. reviewed. So, instead3 The information then needs to be retrieved from memory. This is of having one long the final stage. study period, have plenty of short ones.Our short-term memory is the device where thinking occurs andit is where all sensory information is stored It lasts for about 20seconds. It has a capacity of about seven items, give or take two, sothat in order to commit large amounts of information to long-termmemory, we need to condense it down into key words and arrangeit into chunks or groups to be stored in a specific place known as amemory peg.Researchers also know thatmemory seems to be stronger Primacy and Recency Effectat the beginning or end of theinformation being covered. This isknown as the primacy and recencyeffect. Therefore, in order to takeadvantage of this fact, it is better tostudy in short spurts, giving yourmemory intake many beginningsand endings, as opposed to one largestudy period where memory lapsesin the middle.With these basic insights into the waymemory works, we can now utilisesome specific memory tools. Tip of the Wand When you review, use as many of your senses and multi-intelligences as possible. Do what you can to see (use mind maps), hear (use recordings), or feel (act out) the information. 49© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 50. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III Memory Tools How to Retain Take two minutes to look attentively at the picture below. Rhyming Route maps Music Rehearsing m Mne onic s Mind maps Spreadsheets Now cover the picture with a sheet of paper. Answer the following questions. How many kinds of maps were mentioned? ___________ What maps were they? Which word in the picture began with mne-? What words were written on parchment sheets? What was the man with the sword saying? What kind of cards were mentioned? What kind of box was there? What other words in the picture can you remember? Think about what you did to help you memorise the information you recalled 50© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 51. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainMnemonics Key Points Mnemonics are simple techniques used to Mnemonics use help aid memory Acronyms and acrostics acronyms and are two mnemonics acrostics. The sillier theBy taking the first letter of a list of words you can rearrange them to acronym, the moremake up an acronym – a creative new word that is easy to remember. likely you are toFor example, the great lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and remember it.Superior spell the word HOMES. The more humorous,You can also take the first letter of each word and absurd or rude themake a rhyme or a humorous sentence. This is acrostic is, the morecalled an acrostic and is helpful for remembering likely you are toshort lists. Any list of words from any topic can remember it.be remembered with this technique. SpreadsheetsSpreadsheets can present rows and columns ofYou can graph the information you want into a spreadsheet. For information in a linearexample, with a topic that has a lot of theorists and theories, such as format. This logicalHuman Development, you can chart the key words into a spreadsheet formatting enableswith all the ages and stages of development inserted into it. The whole you to sequentiallycourse can be covered by this technique, which is laid out on a single memorise apiece of paper. By learning several rows at a time, it is not long before large quantity ofyou have the whole subject memorised. information. Of course, you need to understand the concepts This is a great behind the key words in order to write about them technique for in an exam, but at least this technique brings memorising key everything you need to mind. If you design your information that can spreadsheet with lists of information in each row be used for short- or column, you can use acrostics to remember answer questions in what goes where (see Mnemonics). an exam.Flash Cards Flash cards are greatA good way to test yourself on how well to test yourself (oryou have remembered information is to make have a friend test you)flash cards. These little cards have the key word or title on one side, and on the definitions ofthe meaning on the other. Make them yourself and then work through new concepts. Writethem one at a time, placing the ones you did not get correct on a the concept on oneseparate pile. side of the card and the definition on theCome back to this pile when you have finished the first run through. other.This technique uses linguistic intelligence. 51© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 52. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Mind Maps Key Points Mind maps were first introduced by Tony Buzan in the late 1970s and Mind maps are have become one of the most widely used methods of structuring and a great way to remembering information. This is because they use functions of both summarise readings, the left (logic, words and symbols) and right (patterns, shapes and brainstorm ideas, or colours) hemispheres of the brain, and both mathematical/logical and test your recall. They visual/spatial intelligences. can be applied to all They can be used to summarise your readings, formulate ideas for a subjects. planned essay or test your recall, and can be applied to all subjects. To revise notes, place Here is how to do them. your heading topic in the centre of the To remember a text, consciously relax, and then read the information page with main points through, highlighting the key words and headings. branching off around 1 What was the general overview from the text? Take a blank sheet of it. You can branch your paper and write the main heading in the centre of the page. subtopics off from 2 Consciously relax again and then, without looking at the text, write these. down as many of the key words or headings as you can remember around the central heading, attaching a line from them to the centre. 3 Go through the text and extract the remaining key words. Place them on your mind map. 4 Loosely structure the words or equations that seem to fit together. Put a circle around the key words that represent the title of a group. These could be used as subheadings. Use visual enhancers 5 Using lots of colour, redraw your mind map with your subject in the such as plenty of centre, four to six subheadings branching off and the remaining key colour, symbols, or words branching off from the subheadings. drawings. 6 Place pictures and symbols of any keywords or equations you feel Review them often will help you remember them. Make them personal. and place them where 7 Finally, consciously relax again and they can be seen and review each successive branch one at a not forgotten. time, starting from the centre. Explain aloud what each branch means and how it ties in with the main subject. Walk about the room and pretend to lecture to a group about it. Bring in as much energy and enthusiasm to your Mind maps presentation as possible. Remember, the emotion helps to seed the information into the subconscious. 8 Place your mind maps on your wall in your study area, or have them available in a flip-file. Review them as often as you can. 52© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 53. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Challenge Take a look at this example of a mind map. Notice how key words are branched off from the centre topic and more detailed information is branched off from these key words. By using this approach and adding colour and pictures, we create a way to remember information more easily. Brainstorm use Summarise Readings Formulate Ideas Structure Essays Time Saving Note Take Review / Revise Easily Formalize Your Thinking Benefits Retrieve Information Easily Mind maps use Association Links Topic in Centre Test Your Recall use Both Sides of Brain Enhanced Memory Design Branch Keywords Sub-branch Related Ideas use Your Imagination use Colour, Pictures, Symbols, Arrows Have a go at making a mind map using information from a chapter in a textbook. In a short time, you will see how useful this method is for brainstorming, summarising readings, formulating ideas, structuring essays and note taking. Have fun with it. 53© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 54. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Key Points Essay Route Maps Route maps have many Essay Route Maps applications for academic are an excellent way writing but in this case to organise your we are creating Essay thoughts when Route Maps which help us preparing an essay. plan and write essays for They help you assignments and exams. decide exactly what They are a great way to information is to go take in a large amount of where – paragraph information and arrange it by paragraph, into a specifically designed introduction to sequence from paragraph to conclusion. paragraph, introduction to conclusion. How to Do Essay Route Maps The first step is to analyse the essay question to decide what areas and how many sections you will write about. Draw a line down the centre of the page and then put side-route lines out from the centre, alternating left to right as you go down the page. Each one provides space for a new section of information. You can number them from 1 – 4 (or however many there are). Place the introduction next to the first side-route and the conclusion at the last. Now key-point your main ideas in sequence under the remaining side-routes. When gathering information for your essay, you can then write in your Essay Route Map detailed information, such as the book title(s) and page number(s) of where to find the information. This creates ‘location notes’, which enables you to resource ideas you want to use in the essay when it comes to write it at a later time. Introduction 1st Section (Your essay question) Under the introduction, jot down key points that Your essay question will define how you will structure will provide an overview of what your essay will say. your layout. There may be three or four main points or Sometimes using a direct quote is an interesting way to sections to it that require further discussion. These form start an essay. the basis of your essay structure and can be laid out like this, with side-routes off a centre line. 2nd Section (Organising your essay content) Once you know what your main points or sections are, 3rd Section (Sourcing information) you may be able to break them down into subpoints Go to the index of a book and look for the topic. Find under each section: the page and skim read the information. If it is relevant Section 1 might have three points to discuss. You would to your essay, photocopy the page making sure you number them: 1 1, 1 2, 1 3 include the appropriate reference information. Do not get too held up with reading. At this stage, we are just Now you have a clear idea of what you are going to write, planning to see if it is suitable or not. and where it will go. This will direct your research reading to find the appropriate information about each section. Write the appropriate section and sub-point number (e.g. 1.3 or 2.1) on the photocopy. If you dont need to 4th Section (Writing your essay) photocopy the page, tag it with a slip of paper with the When you have found information for each section, appropriate numbering. Similarly, write the author’s you can start writing your essay beginning with your initials and page number of the book under the first section and working your way down. You should appropriate section of your Essay Route Map. You are have books and other information around you with now creating location notes. These help you easily refer numbered slips of paper sticking out of the appropriate back to the information when you are ready to write. pages. This way you save hours of writing time as all the information you need is preplanned from following the Conclusion structured layout of your route map. Include any points such as where to find the ideal final quote for your essay. 54© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 55. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainEssay Route Map FormatsThere are two types of Essay Route Maps: Ones for planning your essay and ones for memorising essaysfor exams. The formats for doing both are shown here.N.B. The difference between high school and university essays is that university essays draw informationfrom many different sources, which also have to be identified. Essay Route Maps are particularly good for thisbecause they provide a format to place a lot of location notes. Planning Your Essays to Write 3 Write ‘location notes’ of where you can 1 Use the format described on page 54. Your find the information for each section. For essay question will determine how many example: Page 37 – quote for introduction. side routes there are. Draw and number 4 Mark the page of your books (Internet them. printout, journal articles etc.) with a slip of 2 Once you have decided on your essay paper that holds the corresponding section structure, write the key topics under each or sub-section number. For example: 1, 2.1, numbered section. 3.2 (or whatever). Go to number 5 below. Introduction 1st Section Conclusion 5 When you have planned your essay, write it in the sequence you have used in your Essay Route Map, drawing from the material you have located. 6 When you have finished writing, look for key words from each paragraph. These will be transferred to your exam essay to be memorised (see next page). 55© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 56. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Planning Your Exam Essays to Memorise 1 Use the space below to take the key words from Introduction 1st Section each paragraph you have written for a planned “Romeo, Romeo Montagues wherefore art - Romeo essay. Here is an example of keywords for a review of thou Romeo…” - Family Feuds Shakespeares play, Romeo and Juliet. - Verona - Challenges 2 Create a crazy picture for each key word by either - Ancient Grudge 3rd Section using a sound-alike or symbolic picture to represent 2nd Section Union R & J the key word in your mind. For example: ‘Ancient Capulets - Dreams Grudge’ could be pictured as an angry old man - Juliet - Forbidden love - Family Feuds - A plan stomping his feet. - Challenges 3 Link each word picture to the next by using the Story Conclusion Method (as outlined on page 59) to create a vivid 4th Section “To bury their Tragedy parent’s strife.” scene that is impossible, exaggerated and highly active. - Mistaken death The more ridiculous, emotive and action-packed the - Self-sacrifice story, the more likely you are to remember it. 56© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 57. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainMusic and Memory Key PointsHave you ever noticed how hearing a piece of music that you used to Using music tolisten to a lot will trigger associated memories of what you were doing enhance yourback then? All sorts of pictures and feeling will come up with it. memory is alsoThis uses musical/rhythmic intelligence possible. When you learn new informationOur bodies will also have a tendency to synchronise with music. When with music, both sidesclassical baroque is being played, it is at 56–64 beats per minute. Our of the brain are beingheart rate will match this and our body will naturally enter alpha state – stimulated.the relaxed state, ideal for memory retention. An Active Concert uses music in the There are two specific techniques for background while using music for memory retention – you actively verbalise Active Concerts and Passive Concerts the information. A Passive ConcertThe Active Concert has baroque music playing in the background emphasises the musicwhile a person actively says the text you are learning aloud. You focus by recording it withon the person’s words and allow the music to relax you. the information and playing it back.With the Passive Concert, you sit in a relaxed position with your eyesclosed, focusing on the music while the text is spoken softly beneath it.The music will carry this information naturally into your subconscious(and memory) more easily because the Reticular Filter will be open.You can record your own Passive Concert and play it back to yourselfrepeatedly, preferably when you wake up or when you are about tosleep. Of course, you can also listen to it in the car on your way to Musicschool or work. Rhyming Challenge Make little rhyming slogans to remember information. For example, "Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred ninety-two.” 57© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 58. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainRehearsing RehearsingDo you like acting? If so, here is your chance.By reciting what you are studying aloud and moving your body in creativeways, the information becomes associated not only in your head but also part ofyour whole body. A movement or posture can hold a feeling-memory and tap intoyour physical/kinaesthetic intelligence. Tip of the Wand Practise acting out your topic as if you were teaching it to your classmates. Rehearsing Challenge Have you memorised your memory tools? Check the result by filling in the blanks below Note the tool you yourself have used to memorise the information Tool Two __________________ are acronyms and acrostics. An acronym is __________________________________________. An acrostic is ___________________________________________. _____________ present rows and columns of information in a ___________ format. Location (_______________________) helps memorising by _______________________________________________________. Mind maps are used to ___________________________________. Essay Route Maps are generally used for _____________________. You can use music to enhance memory in two ways: _______________________ and _____________________________. By the way: When did Columbus discover America? _________. 58© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 59. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Association LinksMemory works through visual association. This means that you thinkin pictures and to memorise anything, you have to create pictures of Key Pointsthe key words (condensed exam notes) and link them to other pictures General word/(memory pegs) already stored in memory. picture associations are a great way to remember new THE ASSOCIATION LINK TECHNIQUE vocabulary, such as suggests you create crazy, illogical, the name of a famous exaggerated, funny, rude, sexy or painful academic. pictures of your keywords and associate or The method of link them to pre-memorised lists of pictures loci (Location They also have to be HIGHLY ACTIVE! Method) enables you to memorise information that hasMethod of Loci been reduced to key words. By usingThe method of loci (location) is a powerful visual association method your imagination tothat allows you to memorise and store large amounts of keyword visualise a familiarinformation using the memory-peg system. It does so by using a location – say fourfamiliar location you already have in long-term memory to link to new rooms in your houseinformation you want to remember. with five differentTake the inside of your house, for example. Go through the house in pieces of furnitureyour mind, visiting each room in a particular order. Bring detail to the in each room – youlayout of each room, noting five items of furniture in four rooms. This can create a list ofwill give you a list of 20 pegs on which to hook new information. Now 20 memory pegs onusing your imagination, picture each key word you want to remember which to store yourlinked to each of the pieces of furniture in the rooms. key words. Then, by creating vivid,Rehearse this method several times in your mind. Create vivid, illogical, crazy, exaggeratedexaggerated, crazy, rude, sexy or painful images (the more weird and pictures of each itemactive, the better) of each keyword linked to each piece of furniture. of furniture with theRemember to keep the original sequence of items going from one room keyword pictureto the next. attached to it, whenThe next time you need to recall those twenty items, you simply have you come to laterto retrace your steps through the house, seeing the furniture (memory recall the furniture,pegs) in your mind. The other key information will follow. It works. Try it the keyword picturefor yourself. will follow. Try ‘chaining yourThe Story Method pictures from one keyword to the next.Another way to visually associate pictured information is to link it This can create afrom one keyword picture to the next visual story of yourKevin Trudeau (the author of Mega Memory) calls this technique information and is‘chaining’. It is how we create visual ‘stories’ to memorise information. great for rememberingChaining your key words is a great way to memorise an exam essay from a sequence ofparagraph to paragraph – introduction to conclusion. (see page 56, paragraphs for anPlanning Your Exam Essays to Memorise) exam essay. 59© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 60. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Key Points Remembering Numbers Remember The easiest way to remember numbers is to numbers by associate them with a number that you have associating them with already memorised in your head This could sounds. It takes some be a phone number, pin number, person’s age, time to memorise or date of birth Any number that you already what number is know can then have a picture-link associated to it associated with what sound, but once you Numbers can be remembered using pictures. There are two ways to do this. have it, remembering numbers becomes 1 You can memorise their sound-alike picture. This is called the much easier. Phonetic Number Technique. For example: MEMORY AID 0 = H, V or F 0 rhymes with Hero Follow these steps 1=N 1 rhymes with Nun to remember 2 = Z, S or soft C 2 rhymes with Zoo 3 = K, hard G, or C 3 rhymes with Key numbers. Memorise 4=R 4 rhymes with Roar each number 0-9 5 = J, SH, CH or G 5 rhymes with Jive 6 = T, D 6 rhymes with Tricks to its rhymed word 7=L 7 rhymes with eLeven equivalent. You might 8 = B, P 8 rhymes with Bait 9=M rhymes with Mine like to use words that have more relevance 2 Or you can memorise a picture that symbolises the number. to you. Letters can 0 looks like a ring so you picture a ring on a finger. then be associated to 1 looks tall like a tree trunk. the numbers. 2 could be a light switch as this has two settings, on and off. When a number needs And so on. Whatever picture reminds you of the number. to be remembered, such as a date, Challenge you can recall the associated letters and Make your own pictures for the numbers 0-9. make a word, inserting vowels between the consonants. Visualise that word to make a word/picture. This system can be used to remember dates, Remembering Dates phone numbers or Dates can be remembered by taking the last two numbers and visually linking or chaining them. For example: any sequence of numbers. In New Zealand history, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. You know it is ‘18 something’ so all you have to do is remember the 40. Your Another simpler way pre-memorised (sound-alike) number pegs state that 0 = hero and 4 = door. Your is to associate the picture for 40 is Superman (hero) flying out of control and smashing his head number with one through the door-frame of a building. Vivid, illogical, exaggerated, active! you already know, Similarly, you could take the D from Door and the H from hero and put a vowel like a person’s age or between them. This will spell DoH. Your picture for 40 could be Homer Simpson birthday. with an empty beer can saying Doh! 60© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 61. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainRemembering Names and Dates Together Key PointsThe same system can be used to remember people’s names and birth If you are studyingdates, or significant dates when they introduced a new theory or subjects that havebecame important historically. historical significance,First, use the association link for the person’s name. you can combine two memory techniquesFor example: John Bowlby, the psychologist who introduced a theory to remember namesof early childhood attachment in Human Development, could be with dates.remembered by visualising an unusual bowl with a baby in it crying outfor its mother. Use word/picture associations forNext, to remember the date 1982 as the year he introduced the theory, remembering nameswe could use the phonetic number link technique. and couple these with1 1=N 9=M 8=B 2=Z or S the word/number2 NMBZ are the equivalent letters for 1982. approach.3 ‘NiMBuZ’ is the word we make by adding vowels.4 Incorporate the word nimbus into the above association of Bowlby and you can visualise Harry Potter’s first broomstick (Nimbus 2000) being flown by a baby in a bowl. Remember, the stranger the picture, the more likely you are to remember it!Remembering Foreign LanguagesEver wondered how to make foreign-sounding words have a meaningthat can be easily remembered?The substitute-word technique is an effective way to learn andremember foreign language vocabulary. Here is how it works. Take aforeign word, for example, the French word for love is amour.Now create an English word/picture that incorporates both thepronunciation and the meaning. Amour could be short for ‘amorous’and you could see yourself holding hands with someone you like in anamorous (loving) relationship.The German word for ‘paddock’ is ‘wiese’ (pronounced ‘visa’).Here you could imagine a visa card with a smiley face lying in apaddock, looking up at you. Make the pictures as ridiculous as possible.Remember, the more exaggerated they are, the better chance you haveof remembering them. 61© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 62. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Key Points Remembering Vocabulary Try using the The same technique can be applied for unfamiliar English vocabulary. word/picture For example: the word ‘inebriate’ means ‘to make drunk’. You could technique to imagine a mouldy piece of Brie cheese being eaten by a drunk in a pub. remember foreign languages and other unfamiliar vocabulary. Spelling Do you have words that you persistently spell incorrectly time and time again? There are two techniques that can help you catch yourself when Two ways to correct you spell a word wrongly. bad spelling habits 1 Write the incorrectly spelled word, but make the wrong letters are to: bigger than the others. Now put an X through those letters so 1 Write the you can register they are spelt wrong. Repeat this process five misspelled word times, until you are conscious of the incorrect spelling. Now do the out, emphasising opposite. Write out the correct word five times, but this time put a the wrong letters. circle around the correct part of the spelling. Then repeat the 2 Another method is to break big words down into smaller words process spelling or letters that you are more familiar with. Then make some link with the right with the small word or letters. For example, ‘business’ is often spelt letters. ‘bussiness’. Think bus with one ‘s’, and associate a 2 Break big words word/picture to it, such as a bus into smaller ones full of businessmen that you are more going to a familiar with. Then meeting. associate a word/ picture with them. Stationary – standing still – can be misspelled stationery, which is what you write on. Stationary is associated with the word pause, and stationery with envelope. 62© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 63. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to RetainScience Formulas Key PointsTo remember science formulas, you can use several different memory Science formulaslink techniques – letters, words and numbers together. It is up to you to can be rememberedwork out how to create the best visual picture link to the information. by making visualAn example: The formula for E=MC2 associations to imaginative words E=MiCe squared created from their Visualise fat little letters or values. square-shaped MiCe spending tremendous amounts of Energy as they run around their cage.StatisticsExample: The speed of light is 186000 miles a second. How about this? 1 186000 = N,B,T,F,F,F as being the appropriate letters 2 NeBiTFuFF. An unusual name of a comet speeding through space.Mathematical EquationsExamples: The square root can be visualised as the square roots of a tree. ¼ can be seen as the U.S. 25 cent piece. × (times) can be visualised as a newspaper name, for example, The Daily Times, or a large grandfather clock.Use these ideas to help you create your own ways of visuallyrepresenting any scientific formulas you need to rememberNow that you have the tools to transform numbers into pictures, youare limited only by your imagination – and the more imaginative youare, the more likely you will be able to remember them. 63© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 64. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III Memory Practice How to Retain Challenge: Build up Confidence and Belief in Yourself 1 Practise using some of the memory aids given in this section Try to explore and expand your understanding of how they work Practise, practise, practise, until they become easier to adopt as part of your study preparation As you get better at using memory aids, your confidence and belief in yourself will flourish Remember, all learning uses memory, and great memory is the key to great exam results By the way, some people believe that memory gets worse as people get older. This is a fallacy. Research has shown that if people keep their brains active, memory, like a muscle, will improve. Good luck. 1 Acronyms take the first letter of each item in a list to make a new word. Example: The great lakes, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior spell HOMES. Make your own acronyms for the following words. heptagon Bujumbura deoxiribonucleic 2 Acrostics: The first letter of each item stands for a word in a phrase. Example: The names of the planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune give: M My V Very E Energetic M Mind J Just S Saw U Utterly N Nothing Have a go at this list of brain cell parts: Axon Sentence: Myelin Dendrite Fascicle Synapse Cell Body Neurotransmitter Remember, make them outrageous or funny and you will remember them. 64© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 65. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Challenge: Build up Confidence and Belief in Yourself 2 3 Spreadsheets structure information into specific rows and columns. Use a mnemonic to remember the list then place key words in the appropriate places. Memorise a row at a time, by writing and re-writing it from memory. This is a great technique for exam preparation. The example below shows information about our planets, their position from the sun, number of moons and main moon names. M Mercury 1st Planet from sun No. of moons Names of Moons V Venus 2nd Planet No Moon E Earth 3rd Planet 1 Moon Moon M Mars 4th Planet 2 Moons Phobos, Deimos J Jupiter 5th Planet 63 Moons confirmed Io, Europa, Ganymede, etc. S Saturn 6th Planet 62 with confirmed Titan, Mimas, etc. orbits, plus rings U Uranus 7th planet 27 confirmed, plus rings Titania, Oberon, etc. N Neptune 8th Planet 13 plus rings Triton, etc. You can use this technique for any subject that has different categories of information associated to it. Think about what you are studying and use the space below to build up your own spreadsheet. See if this method works for you. 65© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 66. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Challenge: Build up Confidence and Belief in Yourself 3 4 The Method of Loci links a list of items to a familiar location. Example: If you needed to remember the names of countries around the Mediterranean, you could link them by making mental pictures with familiar items in the rooms of your house: Greece could be visualised as oil on your garage floor; Turkey could be a roast turkey in the fridge of your kitchen; Israel could be seen as a hand-rail in your bathroom. Get the picture? When you have finished, write them down, being careful to follow the same order through the house. The familiar location is the hook that brings the associated information back into your memory. Now try associating people in history with this method Describe your locations 5 Rhyme or Rhythm: Making little rhymes is a great way to remember information. “30 days hath September, April, There are often familiar ones, or you can June and November. make up your own. Remember this? All the rest have 31, save February alone with 28, except at leap year, at which time, February has 29.” Try this exercise: Use rhyming with mnemonics and see what you come up with Rearrange the order of these planets and make a rhyming mnemonic (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) 66© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 67. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Challenge: Build up Confidence and Belief in Yourself 4 6 Association Links: Memory works through association. This means that you can associate or link new information through different senses to information already stored in your brain. Visual associations are the most effective, but you can strengthen them if you associate all your other senses. Peg-words are a common memory association technique, but you do need to spend time learning your peg-word links first. 0 - Hero 5 - Jive It helps if you rhyme the peg to the number. 1 - Nun 6 - Tricks Here is a list of ten peg-words that you can use, but it is better 2 - Zoo 7 - Eleven if you make your own words. 3 - Key 8 - Bait 4 - Roar 9 - Mine Write your peg-words here: 0 __________________ 1 __________________ 2 __________________ 3 __________________ 4 __________________ 5 __________________ 6 __________________ 7 __________________ 8 __________________ 9 __________________ Once you have memorised your peg-words you can associate any list of information to them, especially when the order is important. Make your visual associations and have some fun with them. Remember, the more outrageous the visual associations, the more likely you are to remember them. Have a practice at remembering this list of metals: Aluminum, Copper, Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Platinum, Silver, Uranium, Zinc Now list information that is important to your course using this method 67© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 68. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Challenge: Build up Confidence and Belief in Yourself 5 7 Remembering Numbers: Numbers are remembered best by associating letters to them. Again, this takes time but when you have them firmly lodged in your memory, this method works well. Refer back to the main text for how to use this method. Once you feel comfortable with your phonetic number link, try some numbers or dates that are applicable to your course To begin, however, practise with these 47 1963 2003 _ 21 8 Remembering Vocabulary: Use the substitute word technique for remembering unfamiliar words and foreign languages. As explained in the text, you can create word-picture associations of unfamiliar vocabulary by using similar but substitute words. What would you picture for the following words? Belligerent Protagonist Croissant (type of French bread, pronounced krwasan) 9 Choose one of the techniques called Mind Map and Essay Route Map. Explain how it works and give an example. 10 Now do the Challenge on page 60 again and compare the results. 68© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 69. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Cramming for ExamsAs you lead up to exam time, the preparation you have done is thesingle most important aspect to doing well on the day. Let us summarise Key Pointseverything you could have done for preparation. During the course, Preparation is thetake the attitude that each class, each reading, each assignment is most important aspectpreparation for the final exam. This helps reduce stressful cramming to sitting exams.before exams. With a matter of weeks remaining, now is the9 You have set your goals and intentions, prepared your study space time to devise real and worked out your preferred learning environment and style. strategies for success. Read on.9 You have mastered the relaxation techniques and used various memory aids, practising your recall ability many times.9 You should have covered all material at least once through the year, by working diligently to your timetable. Now it is only a matter of weeks before your exams.If you have not been able to prepare as well as you would like, you mightneed to do some cramming. Carefully read the top ten cramming tips onthe next page. Dealing with Stress During this time, you can sometimes feel that the only purpose of life is to pass exams. Understandable, if you have put in a lot of energy to get to this point. Nevertheless, step back from it all for a moment. If you are suffering from pre-exam stress, what is the worst thing that can happen? Are you going to die if you do not do well? Does your entire self-worth balance on the outcome of these exams? NO! Exams are there to test your recall of a large quantity of information, on a specific day in a specific situation. They are not worth losing self-worth, friendships, or sleep over. You are still a valuable person, regardless of the outcome. • Try to do relaxation exercises. Remember, balance is the key. Do not be hard on yourself by giving up the rest of your life because of exams. • Eat well, sleep well and exercise. Reward yourself with a treat after the successful completion of a study session. Be gentle on yourself. Give yourself time to breathe; try to have some fun with it all. • If you are still feeling anxious, you may need to get some professional help. Go and see a counsellor and discuss your symptoms with him or her. There may be a solution you have not thought about yet. Refer to the relaxation section of this study guide to develop stress management strategies. 69© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 70. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain The Top Ten Cramming Tips t Exam Pap Pas er 3 Strategise Your Mat s her Organise erial how you will at approach each exam. Get hold of and look G your books, through some previous years 2 notes and mind/route exam papers. These will show maps, etc. for each subject. you what questions are likely anageme These are what you will eM nt review. Also, make sure you to be asked and help you im Plot have the correct information to be more selective in T a one-month what to review. about when and where Exam Content 1 calendar with dates, a the exam is to be held. schedule of what subjects Organise yourself 4 Before you will revise and when, in for it. relation to the exam dates and the end of your the importance of the exam. study, your teacher/ lecturer should present Prioritise your schedule. Aids It will reduce further mory you with specific information Me anxiety nearer to While (or clues) about what will the time. e reviewing, bring be in the exam. This is in any memory aids you feel important. Do not miss us will help you retain the information it and make sure 6 7 Practice more effectively – mnemonics, peg- words, association links, anything that you listen well. Once works for you. Review, using your memory aids. your review If your exam is four essays, plan each essay r Materia You Now l and retain process is using route maps. Try to condense all your route complete, test yourself map info onto one single piece of paper that is as much as possible. divided into quarters. If your exam is multi-choice, w you have 5 Revie Rehearse aloud, teach read through the appropriate course material and a more specific it, use mind maps or mind map each main section to get a clear over- idea of what to cover, flash cards. The more view. Persevere. Use any mnemonics, peg-words, review your material practice, the or association links that you think appropriate. accordingly. Remember, better. relaxation is the first Again, aim to condense your entire exam preparation onto one sheet of paper. step to any study You will rewrite this in the planning you do. 8 Specific Pra stage of the exam rsal ct ic itself. ehea al R Get Start into a relaxed nt e state and imagine e doing mental rehearsal visualisations, ersevere M yourself in the exam. Try to imagine what questions are 9 P affirmations, seeding of exactly 10 being asked – essays, short answer, Keep how you would like to see yourself multi-choice. Write down what you repeating responding during the days of the exams. anticipate being asked in this exam. steps 5 - 8 over for See yourself feeling clear, calm and confident,Trust your intuition. Now practice how each subject. Do not settle as prepared as possible, and ready to give it your you would answer these questions. for an average recall on your best shot. See yourself smiling as you are writing, Write mock essays, go over science self-tests. Keep practising until knowing that all the information you need is formulas, multi-choice questions you know it well. What are you coming to you effortlessly. See yourself walking – anything and everything shooting for – 70%, 80%, out of the exam room, pleased with your efforts. that comes to 90%? Alternatively, are What would you say to yourself during this mind. you happy just time? What would you be feeling? Bring in as much detail as possible, repeating to pass? this mental rehearsal technique every day until the exam has finished. 70© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 71. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Students Memorised Exam SheetThe goal after all your exam revision is to condense your notes down to Key Pointsa single A4 sheet of paper using different mnemonics and association You should condenselinks. You memorise this sheet to then recall it during the first few your exam matter to anminutes of the exam. Here are some examples. A4 sheet to memorise. Acronyms for listing Acrostics for lists information (make a silly story or ryhme) H Huron, (make a word) M My Mars O Ontario V Very Venus E Energetic Earth M Michigan, M Mind Mercury E Erie J Just Jupiter S Superior S Saw Saturn U Utterly Uranus Essay Route Maps N Nothing Neptune (Use key words to recall whole paragraphs of information in a Spreadsheets for short answer questions sequence.) (Put your information into interrelated sequences) Introduction 1st Section “Romeo, Romeo Montagues M Mercury 1st Planet from sun No. of moons Names of Moons wherefore art - Romeo V Venus 2nd Planet No Moon thou Romeo…” - Family Feuds - Verona - Challenges E Earth 3rd Planet 1 Moon Moon - Ancient Grudge 3rd Section M Mars 4th Planet 2 Moons Phobos, Deimos 2nd Section Union R & J J Jupiter 5th Planet 63 Moons confirmed Io, Europa, Capulets - Dreams Ganymede, etc. - Juliet - Forbidden love - Family Feuds - A plan S Saturn 6th Planet 62 with confirmed Titan, Mimas, etc. - Challenges orbits, plus rings Conclusion 4th Section “To bury their U Uranus 7th planet 27 confirmed, plus rings Titania, Oberon, etc. Tragedy parent’s strife.” - Mistaken death N Neptune 8th Planet 13 plus rings Triton, etc. - Self-sacrifice Number/word pictures for dates Keywords and mathematical equations Keywords 1 - Nun (Make your own pictures 2 - Zoo from the words or a 3 - Key combination of first Mind Map 4 - Roar letters in a word to recall Keywords Keywords 5 - Jive dates etc.) N.B. Unusual words like people or place names can be broken into syllables to make pictures Keywords Keywords for memorising. Try attaching them to your house list using the location method. 71© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 72. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION III How to Retain Challenge Think about your next test in class. What will you choose to have on your A4 memorised test sheet? Make a sketch. 72© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 73. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION IV: How to Recall Guidelines for Sitting ExamsPractical Advice Key PointsThis is it. This is the time when you need to bring all your work together Organisefor the exams. everything you need the night before On the night before the exam, you the exam. Try to should have everything organised – pens, get a good night’s paper, calculator, extra batteries, water, sleep and in the identification morning prepare yourself, mentally,It is preferable not to study new information before the exam. Make emotionally andsure you get a good night’s sleep, and a good breakfast in the morning. physically. Do yourIf your exam is in the morning, do not eat too heavily. Try to exercise, relaxation exercises,stretch, breathe and centre yourself. visualisations, and affirmations. BelieveDo some brain gym. Run through your mental rehearsal again, setting in yourself!the scene for a positive outcome. Visualise, affirm and seed yourthoughts right up to the point of leaving the exam room. Think ofnervousness as static excitement. If you are feeling nervous, smile andtell yourself, “It is OK to feel nervous; it is really OK to feel nervous; it isreally, really OK to feel nervous.” This method helps your body/mindaccept the emotion, and the acceptance of this feeling helps shift it intoexcitement. You can do it!Try to arrive early and preferably do not talk to your friends about thecontent of the exam. They will be nervous too, and this will only increaseyour own feelings of nervousness. If you are extremely nervous, orhaving an anxiety attack, put your relaxation strategies into practice.Ask For HelpWhatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, it is at times like this thatyou could use a little extra help from something greater than yourself.Before the exam starts, find a quiet place and say a little prayer askingfor help. Clarity, calmness and confidence would be useful. Use wordsfrom your affirmations. Whatever you feel is right for you. This tip maysurprise you, but miracles can happen, especially if you are not asprepared as you would like to be. Tip of the Wand Breathe and believe in yourself! 73© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 74. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION IV Strategise an Exam Plan How to Recall Key Points When you get the exam paper, look over it, reading the instructions carefully Having done your How many sections are there? mental rehearsal, How many questions are there? quietly take your seat Which ones will you answer? and centre yourself What is their value and how much time do you have for each one? emotionally. Work out a plan of attack Look through the paper at the 1 Look over the longer essay questions, then on a spare sheet of questions and begin paper, write or sketch any planned information that you have to strategise which memorised for them Keep returning to this sheet during the ones you will answer. exam as you recall more information. Sometimes, a multi-choice question can trigger something you want to write in the essay. Work out how much time you can allocate 2 Start with multi-choice (if there are any), doing only those that to each question you can answer easily. Come back to the others later. from their percentage Check your time. Have you completed this section before or after value. the time allocated to it? Make a mental note of it. Move on to any Make a written note short answer questions. Again, complete the ones where the to yourself of the time information comes to you easily. Others can be left until later. you need to finish a Check your time again. Are you on time? particular question 3 Finally, write your essays from the material that you have placed so you know when on your memorised exam sheet. As this is the last section, be to stop and start the particularly aware of the time you have remaining. next one. If you need to write two essays and you have one hour left, once If allowed, scribble you have spent half an hour on the first essay, drop it and start the down, as quickly second. The second essay may take less time, in which case you as you can, your can come back to the first. You will get more marks for two near memorised exam complete essays than one complete and one half finished. You can review sheet. always write your conclusions for all essays last. Time management is crucial at this stage Keep checking your time against the percentage value of each exam question Write the time you need to finish a question on a piece of paper so you know when to stop and move on Tip of the Wand Timing is crucial when writing exams. If you are allocated one hour per essay and you are only half way through the first essay when the hour is up, drop it and start the second. If you finish that one early, return to the first. 74© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 75. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION IV How to Recall Multi-choice will not match an answer in the past tense. The 1 Always do the easy ones first. Then do the ones mismatched answer can then be eliminated. that require a bit more thought. Then do the 6 Generally, do not change your first answer ones that you can only guess. unless you are convinced it is wrong after 2 Make sure you understand the question and further investigation. possible answers fully. If you do not know, come 7 If you do not know, guess. Do not leave a blank. back to it, but do not make a rushed response. Occasionally the longest answer is the correct 3 Rule out the obviously wrong answers straight one, and if there are two opposite answers, one away. of these will most likely be the correct answer. If you still do not know, choose ‘All of the above.’ 4 Choose the answer that is most likely to be correct. 8 Timing. As a rule of thumb, use 30 minutes for 20 points, 15 minutes for 10 points and leave 5 Check for mismatching aspects between the about 10 minutes at the end for quick revision. question and answer, such as past or present tenses used. A question in the present tense Do not rush it! Essays The key to writing good essays in exams is to plan what you are going to write beforehand. If you have some idea about what the essay questions may be, route-map the key points for potential essays in a logical order. This should have been part of your pre-exam revision, which you really need to memorise. The examiner wants to see that you have understood the question, can organise your thoughts and present them in a clear, concise and logical manner within the time constraints. 1 Use at least 10% of your allocated time for essay 5 Make each sentence count. A new point is a planning. Do you fully understand the question? new mark, so the more points of relevance the Pay attention to keywords such as ‘discuss’, better. ‘compare and contrast’, or ‘outline’. 6 Answer every essay question. This sounds 2 If you have more than one essay to write, do the obvious, but even if you are not sure about it, planning for each at the same time. attempt to write something relevant. It could be 3 When writing, incorporate an introduction, the difference between passing and failing the body and conclusion. If you run out of time, entire exam. reduce the conclusion to a few rounding-off 7 If you run out of time, the conclusion to the sentences. Memorise a catchy quote to grab essays can be left when you only have a few the examiners attention. You could even have a minutes remaining. Just make sure you have “quote bank” prepared for all your essays. all the key points in. The examiner wants to see 4 Make sure your writing is legible. Try to write as how much you know, so even if you just list the clearly as possible and if you have time, check remaining key points, and write ‘out of time’ in for any grammar or spelling mistakes. the margin, you will score some marks for them. Tip of the Wand During revision, have your Essay Route Maps memorised and condensed on to one single sheet of paper. You can then quickly recall your prepared essay formats during the exam. 75© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 76. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION IV How to Recall What if Something Goes Wrong? Key Points If something goes Memory block is the most common complaint from students feeling wrong – rule number disheartened as they leave the exam room. one: Don’t Panic! Just try Like any performer, you need to manage your nervousness to ensure to relax and breathe. you can call on your memory efficiently. There are, however, ways to If you have memory work through memory blocks during the exam. block follow these 1 Relax, Relax, Relax! This is the only way you will gain access to simple steps. your memory retrieval. Take some deep breaths and try to let go of 1 Relax, relax, relax! your tension as you breathe out. You can also interrupt the thought Anxiety kills pattern that creates memory block, by getting up and going to the memory recall – so do some deep toilet. Calm down by splashing some water on your face. breathing and 2 Go within your mind and categorically tell yourself: “I know this imagine your information and it’s coming to me now. I let go and trust that it will anxiety going return.” Take another deep breath. away every time you breathe out. 3 Now let it go and move on to another question. The forgotten 2 Silently affirm answer will return to your memory. Go back and answer the to yourself that question as soon as you have it, then return to where you left off. you do know this information and it is coming to you now. 3 Now let it go Tip of the Wand and move on to If you have prepared as much as another question. possible and condensed your exam preparation into a single More often than piece of paper, memory block is less likely to occur. not, the required information will come flooding back when you are less anxious about Nearing the End of the Exam it. When it returns, jot down the key If you finish your exam paper early, stay in the room. Do not leave, just points on a spare relax and go through the questions again. Try to include any more piece of paper and relevant material that may come to mind. Make certain that you have return to it later. not left any questions unanswered When your time is up, hand in all relevant material, including extra If you finish early, notepaper to be marked. Make sure your name and identification stay put. Have you number is legible. Well done! One down, ‘x’ to go. Try not to be answered everything? enticed into checking through the exam question paper to see if Can you add or change you answered some of the questions correctly You could become what you have written? disappointed, and this will lower your morale. Simply let the entire Can you fix spelling exam go from your mind and focus on the next one. Once you have mistakes, grammar, or finished your last exam you can revisit material if you wish. punctuation to present a better overall paper? 76© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 77. ExAM ExCELLENCE SECTION IV How to Recall CELEBRATE!When exams are over, give yourself a treat. It is nice to be able tocongratulate yourself for all the hard work you have putin over the year.Celebrate your effort, do not wait for the results Thatwill be another good opportunity to celebrate againGive yourself a few days away, buy yourself a gift, or dosomething you have not done before.Let it all go and relax Well done! 77© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents
  • 78. BibliographyFor references to this study-guide and for further reading, consult the following material:Arksey, H. (1992). How to get a first class degree. Lancaster: O’Brien, D. (1993). How to develop the perfect memory.Unit for Innovation in Higher Education. London: Pavilion Books.Blume, F.E. & Lazerson, A. (1999). Brain mind and behavior – Paul, K. (1996). Study smarter, not harder. North Vancouver:second edition. Oxford: W.H. Freeman Self-Counsel Press.Bowkett, S. (1996). Meditations for busy people. California: Pease, A. & Pease, B. (1992). Memory language. Avalon Beach,Thorsens NSW: Pease Learning Systems.Brennan, B. (1993). Light Emerging – The journey of personal Race, P. (1998). 500 tips for open and flexible learning. London:healing. New York: Bantam Books. Kogan Page Limited.Butler, P. (1981). Talking to yourself. New York: Harper Collins Restak, R. M. (1979). The Brain: The Last Frontier. New York:Publishers. Warner Books.Buzan, T. (1977). Make the most of your mind. London: ColtBooks Ltd If you want to delve deeper into a topic, here are great web sites that you can find on the Internet:Drydon, G. & Vos, J. (1993). The learning revolution. Auckland,N.Z: Profile Books. Page no. Web SiteDunmore, J. (1983). How to succeed as an extramural student. 10 www.learnmindpower.com/Palmerston North, N.Z: Dunmore Press. 11 www.crystalinks.com/holographic.htmlEdwards, P. (1989). Seven keys to successful study. Victoria: The 12 www.sound-remedies.com/alrelsys.htmlAustralian Council for Educational Research. 17 www.calm.com.au/pages/02learning.shtmlFry, R. (1991). How to study – take notes. New Jersey: The 18 www.spiritsite.com/writing/shagaw/part1.shtmlCareer Press. 19 www.affirmationsforpositivethinking.com/Fry, R. (1991). How to study – write papers. New Jersey: The 20 www.thebrainstore.com/store/Career Press. 22 www.brainwaves.com/Fry, R. (1991). How to study – how to study. New Jersey: The 23 www.braingym.org/Career Press. 25 www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSdir/ilsweb.htmlGawain, S. (1978). Creative visualization. California: New 27 www.thinkingmatters.comWorld Library. http://www.mapthemind.com/Gawith, G. (1991). Power learning – a student’s guide to http://www.12manage.com/methods_herrmann_success. Lower Hutt: Mills Publications. whole_brain.htmlHansen, M.V. & Allen, R.G. (2002). The one minute millionaire: 28 www.showcase.htmlplanet.com/multiintelligences.The enlightened way to wealth. New York: Harmony Books. htmlKalat, J. (1998). Biological psychology – sixth edition. 33 www.about-goal-setting.com/California: Brooks/Cole Publishing. 34 http://muskingum.edu/~cal/database/time.htmlKehoe, J. (1987). Mind power. Ontario: Zoetic Incorporated. 44 www.turboread.comKwok, W. (1999). Net-working: teaching, learning and 46 http://slc.otago.ac.nz/studyskills/ch1sect5.aspprofessional development with the internet. Dunedin, N.Z: 51 www.learnmem.org www.memletics.comUniversity of Otago Press. 52 www.education-reform.net/memory.htmLorayne, H. (1992). Improve exam results in 30 days – memory www.memorylifter.com/learning/improve-memory.enhancement techniques for all students. London: Thorsons htmlPublishers. 55 www.mind-map.com/EN/index.htmlMacgregor, S. (1992). Piece of mind. Lindfield NSW: Calm Pty. 72 http://www.mindtools.com/smpage.htmlMacgregor, S. (1994) Students’ steps to success. Lindfield NSW:Calm Pty. http://www.mindtools.com/smpage.html 77 www.slc.auckland.ac.nz/resources/for_McQueen, H. (1993). Education is change – twenty viewpoints. undergraduates/sitting_exams.phpWellington: Brigit Williams Books. 78© User Friendly Resources. Copying permitted by purchasing school only. Contents