Exam study strategies presentation

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Exam study strategies presentation

  1. 1. Exam Study StrategiesExam Study Strategies that REALLY Work!that REALLY Work! A Student Services WorkshopA Student Services Workshop
  2. 2. Why Can Studying forWhy Can Studying for Exams Be Such AExams Be Such A Challenging Task?Challenging Task?  It can be overwhelming to study 5 months worth ofIt can be overwhelming to study 5 months worth of material for one testmaterial for one test  Sometimes we are exhausted by the end of theSometimes we are exhausted by the end of the semestersemester  The exam can be worth a fairly high percentage ofThe exam can be worth a fairly high percentage of our final mark in the courseour final mark in the course  We often have 1-3 other exams we also need to beWe often have 1-3 other exams we also need to be studying for…where do we find the time?studying for…where do we find the time?  We don’t teach students how to study, we assumeWe don’t teach students how to study, we assume they know how best to do this, for every individualthey know how best to do this, for every individual subject areasubject area
  3. 3. How Do Students Make ExamHow Do Students Make Exam Studying An Even MOREStudying An Even MORE Stressful Experience?Stressful Experience?  They have unorganized and/or incomplete notesThey have unorganized and/or incomplete notes from the coursefrom the course  They have not been asking questions along the wayThey have not been asking questions along the way to ensure understandingto ensure understanding  They don’t budget their time wisely or start studyingThey don’t budget their time wisely or start studying far enough ahead of timefar enough ahead of time  They don’t consider ways to make the most of theirThey don’t consider ways to make the most of their studying timestudying time  They don’t recognize the time and effort that will beThey don’t recognize the time and effort that will be required to be adequately prepared for the examrequired to be adequately prepared for the exam  They don’t adjust other priorities during exam timeThey don’t adjust other priorities during exam time to make the exams their primary focusto make the exams their primary focus
  4. 4. The Keys to EffectiveThe Keys to Effective StudyingStudying  Effective study skills must beEffective study skills must be practiced in order to improvepracticed in order to improve  It’s not enough to “think about”It’s not enough to “think about” studying – you actually have tostudying – you actually have to do it and then reflect on whatdo it and then reflect on what you could be doing betteryou could be doing better
  5. 5. General Exam Study Tips…General Exam Study Tips… Tested and True!Tested and True!  Begin studying no less than 30-60 minutes after aBegin studying no less than 30-60 minutes after a mealmeal  Never study within 30 minutes of going to sleepNever study within 30 minutes of going to sleep  Prioritize! Make a list of what you intend to studyPrioritize! Make a list of what you intend to study and prioritize the listand prioritize the list  Study no more than 45-60 minutes at a stretch, andStudy no more than 45-60 minutes at a stretch, and then take breaksthen take breaks  Take breaks away from your desk and doTake breaks away from your desk and do something differentsomething different  Try to continue your daily habits as usual (don’tTry to continue your daily habits as usual (don’t drastically reduce your sleep, eliminate exercise, ordrastically reduce your sleep, eliminate exercise, or overeat)overeat)
  6. 6. Creating the RightCreating the Right Environment for StudyingEnvironment for Studying  When deciding where you should do your examWhen deciding where you should do your exam studying consider the following:studying consider the following:  Make sure the environment is moderatelyMake sure the environment is moderately comfortable (furniture, temperature)comfortable (furniture, temperature)  Work somewhere where you will be free ofWork somewhere where you will be free of distractions (phone, TV, MSN etc.)distractions (phone, TV, MSN etc.)  Try to use a space that is YOURS only andTry to use a space that is YOURS only and doesn’t have to be shared with other familydoesn’t have to be shared with other family membersmembers  Keep the study space organized with a specificKeep the study space organized with a specific place for paper, pens, books etc.place for paper, pens, books etc.  Have everything you need to study with youHave everything you need to study with you before you sit down so you don’t waste timebefore you sit down so you don’t waste time looking for thingslooking for things
  7. 7. The Value of a StudyThe Value of a Study ScheduleSchedule  It will not be possible to allocate yourIt will not be possible to allocate your time effectively if you don’t have atime effectively if you don’t have a schedule to keep you focused andschedule to keep you focused and realistic about what you need torealistic about what you need to accomplishaccomplish  The time taken to create theThe time taken to create the schedule is well worth it – it will saveschedule is well worth it – it will save you much time that could have beenyou much time that could have been lost to disorganization, stress, andlost to disorganization, stress, and poor planningpoor planning
  8. 8. The Keys to Effective ExamThe Keys to Effective Exam Study SchedulingStudy Scheduling  Obtain an exam outline for each of your coursesObtain an exam outline for each of your courses including what material will be covered, the lengthincluding what material will be covered, the length of, and format of the examof, and format of the exam  Complete all of the preparation that will be requiredComplete all of the preparation that will be required for you to study effectively BEFORE you sit downfor you to study effectively BEFORE you sit down and actually study (i.e. complete missingand actually study (i.e. complete missing homework, correct tests, organize notes in orderhomework, correct tests, organize notes in order etc.)etc.)  Realistically plan for the amount of time that youRealistically plan for the amount of time that you think will be required to review the material for thethink will be required to review the material for the course at least twice…and then double that amountcourse at least twice…and then double that amount of timeof time  Decide which previous commitments will need to goDecide which previous commitments will need to go “on hold” while you are studying (i.e. reducing shifts“on hold” while you are studying (i.e. reducing shifts at work, no baby-sitting etc.)at work, no baby-sitting etc.)
  9. 9. The Keys continued…The Keys continued…  Make every hour count in your schedule –Make every hour count in your schedule – time at lunch, before school, after schooltime at lunch, before school, after school  Begin to study for each exam AT least aBegin to study for each exam AT least a week before it will take place to have plentyweek before it will take place to have plenty of time to ask questions, review etc.of time to ask questions, review etc.  Give yourself reasonable breaks (15-30Give yourself reasonable breaks (15-30 min) and try to maintain as “normal” amin) and try to maintain as “normal” a schedule as possible in terms of sleepschedule as possible in terms of sleep time, eating time etc.time, eating time etc.
  10. 10. Proven Study StrategiesProven Study Strategies  SQ3RSQ3R  SurveySurvey – get the best overall picture of what– get the best overall picture of what you’re going to study before you do ityou’re going to study before you do it  QuestionQuestion – ask questions to reinforce your own– ask questions to reinforce your own learninglearning  ReadRead – actively read over the material and be– actively read over the material and be alert to main ideas, bolded terms, and keyalert to main ideas, bolded terms, and key understandings and detailsunderstandings and details  ReciteRecite – recalling and then orally or through– recalling and then orally or through writing communicating the information – makewriting communicating the information – make connectionsconnections  ReviewReview – re-reading, summarizing key points,– re-reading, summarizing key points, testing yourself, asking final questionstesting yourself, asking final questions
  11. 11. Proven Study StrategiesProven Study Strategies continued…continued…  Getting OrganizedGetting Organized  Putting time into organizing notes and other papers for the coursePutting time into organizing notes and other papers for the course  Reading with PurposeReading with Purpose  Not glossing over reading material but actively searching forNot glossing over reading material but actively searching for important ideas and thinking about them while you readimportant ideas and thinking about them while you read  Getting the Main IdeasGetting the Main Ideas  Questioning yourself about the main “points” from the notes,Questioning yourself about the main “points” from the notes, assignments, or chapters you are reviewingassignments, or chapters you are reviewing  Extracting Important DetailsExtracting Important Details  Considering key information that support the main ideas, and thus,Considering key information that support the main ideas, and thus, give them more meaninggive them more meaning  Taking NotesTaking Notes  Bolding, underlining, and categorizing information that you are studyBolding, underlining, and categorizing information that you are study to give it more meaningto give it more meaning  Outlining Textbooks/ Novels/ Supporting MaterialsOutlining Textbooks/ Novels/ Supporting Materials  Making notes on key main ideas, supporting details, and connectionsMaking notes on key main ideas, supporting details, and connections between concepts from print sourcesbetween concepts from print sources
  12. 12. Memorization StrategiesMemorization Strategies  Some material for your courses will simplySome material for your courses will simply require that you memorize the information.require that you memorize the information. This comes easy to some people, but notThis comes easy to some people, but not all. Here are some strategies that you canall. Here are some strategies that you can try:try:  AcronymAcronym: ie. PMAT for phases of mitosis: ie. PMAT for phases of mitosis ((PProphase,rophase, MMetaphase,etaphase, AAnaphase,naphase, TTelophase)elophase)  AcrosticAcrostic: i.e.: i.e. PPleaselease EExcusexcuse MMyy DDearear AAuntunt SSally stands for the order of operations in mathally stands for the order of operations in math (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication,(Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction)Division, Addition, Subtraction)
  13. 13. Memorization StrategiesMemorization Strategies continued…continued…  Rhyme KeysRhyme Keys: memorize key words that can be: memorize key words that can be associated with numbers, example- bun = one, two =associated with numbers, example- bun = one, two = shoe, three = tree etc. Then come up with visuals toshoe, three = tree etc. Then come up with visuals to remember a list, ie. Cheese on a bun, a cow with shoesremember a list, ie. Cheese on a bun, a cow with shoes on etc.)on etc.)  Method of LociMethod of Loci: imagining a list of items in a location: imagining a list of items in a location you are familiar with and the events that are taking placeyou are familiar with and the events that are taking place  Image-Name TechniqueImage-Name Technique: invent a relationship between: invent a relationship between the name of something and one of it’s physical traits (i.e.the name of something and one of it’s physical traits (i.e. curly-haired Shirley Temple)curly-haired Shirley Temple)  ChainingChaining: creating a story where each word or idea you: creating a story where each word or idea you have to remember cues the next idea you have to recall –have to remember cues the next idea you have to recall – i.e. a story where a character in a Shakespeare playi.e. a story where a character in a Shakespeare play bumps into four other characters as he goes for a walkbumps into four other characters as he goes for a walk
  14. 14. The Problem withThe Problem with ConcentrationConcentration  At times when you may beAt times when you may be trying to study for exams…trying to study for exams…  Your mind may wander from oneYour mind may wander from one thing to anotherthing to another  Your worries may distract youYour worries may distract you  Outside distractions may take youOutside distractions may take you away from your studies before youaway from your studies before you know itknow it  You may find the material boring,You may find the material boring, difficult, and/or not interestingdifficult, and/or not interesting
  15. 15. Concentration StrategiesConcentration Strategies  Here are some strategies studentsHere are some strategies students can use to focus during studycan use to focus during study timetime::  Study in a set place that is naturally freeStudy in a set place that is naturally free of distractionsof distractions  When your mind wanders, tell yourself,When your mind wanders, tell yourself, “now is when I must study”“now is when I must study”  Stick to a routine, realistic, and effectiveStick to a routine, realistic, and effective study schedulestudy schedule  Focus on your goals with the materialFocus on your goals with the material you are studying, each and every timeyou are studying, each and every time
  16. 16. Concentration StrategiesConcentration Strategies continued…continued…  Change your study topics every 1-2 hoursChange your study topics every 1-2 hours to keep things interestingto keep things interesting  Vary your study activities – don’t try andVary your study activities – don’t try and study in the same way for more than anstudy in the same way for more than an hour or sohour or so  Take regular scheduled breaks and enjoyTake regular scheduled breaks and enjoy them!them!  Give yourself rewards for even smallGive yourself rewards for even small achievements with your studyingachievements with your studying
  17. 17. Student Study StrategiesStudent Study Strategies that DON’T workthat DON’T work  Reading information out loud without writing it downReading information out loud without writing it down  Glossing over notes without “proving” you know itGlossing over notes without “proving” you know it (by teaching someone else, by writing it down from(by teaching someone else, by writing it down from memory etc.)memory etc.)  Highlighting texts or novelsHighlighting texts or novels  Reviewing the material only one timeReviewing the material only one time  Studying with someone else – unless you areStudying with someone else – unless you are equally committed and focusedequally committed and focused  Staying up really late or pulling an all-nighterStaying up really late or pulling an all-nighter
  18. 18. Types of Exams: TheTypes of Exams: The Objective ExamObjective Exam  Here are some helpful tips whenHere are some helpful tips when writing an objective exam:writing an objective exam:  Survey the entire exam first to see whatSurvey the entire exam first to see what kinds of questions are being asked, lengthkinds of questions are being asked, length etc.etc.  Quickly budget for how much time you’llQuickly budget for how much time you’ll spend on each questionspend on each question  Read over each question carefullyRead over each question carefully  Answer easy questions first to save timeAnswer easy questions first to save time and build confidenceand build confidence  Pick out key words in the questions toPick out key words in the questions to ensure you don’t misunderstandensure you don’t misunderstand
  19. 19. The Objective ExamThe Objective Exam continued…continued…  Circle any questions you have difficultyCircle any questions you have difficulty with so you can go back to them at thewith so you can go back to them at the end of the examend of the exam  For multiple choice, read each optionFor multiple choice, read each option separately and determine whether eachseparately and determine whether each statement is true or false – GUESS IFstatement is true or false – GUESS IF YOU DON”T KNOW!YOU DON”T KNOW!  Leave yourself at least 15 minutes atLeave yourself at least 15 minutes at the end of the exam to review yourthe end of the exam to review your answers and ensure you didn’t makeanswers and ensure you didn’t make any silly mistakesany silly mistakes
  20. 20. Types of Exams: The EssayTypes of Exams: The Essay ExamExam  Here are some helpful tips when writingHere are some helpful tips when writing an essay exam:an essay exam:  Do any initial preparation the teacher allows forDo any initial preparation the teacher allows for (i.e. novel review, outlining different topics)(i.e. novel review, outlining different topics)  Read over the entire exam firstRead over the entire exam first  Quickly budget for the amount of time you’ll beQuickly budget for the amount of time you’ll be able to spend on each questionable to spend on each question  Number questions exactly to match the questionNumber questions exactly to match the question numbersnumbers  Outline your answer to the question before youOutline your answer to the question before you begin writingbegin writing
  21. 21. The Essay ExamThe Essay Exam continued…continued…  Pay attention to key words that indicatePay attention to key words that indicate what you are being asked to dowhat you are being asked to do  Start with an intro and end with aStart with an intro and end with a conclusion for each questionconclusion for each question  Answer questions directly – don’t beatAnswer questions directly – don’t beat around the busharound the bush  Leave time at the end to check forLeave time at the end to check for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes,spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, clarity of ideas etc.clarity of ideas etc.
  22. 22. Coping with Exam AnxietyCoping with Exam Anxiety  Exam anxiety can be viewed inExam anxiety can be viewed in two different ways:two different ways:  Poor coping with the inevitablePoor coping with the inevitable stress of an exam BEFORE itstress of an exam BEFORE it takes placetakes place OROR  A strong emotional reaction of fearA strong emotional reaction of fear that interferes with thinking clearlythat interferes with thinking clearly DURING the examDURING the exam
  23. 23. Exam Anxiety SymptomsExam Anxiety Symptoms  Students who have exam anxiety often report theStudents who have exam anxiety often report the following symptoms:following symptoms:  Memory blocks or “blanking out” on things thatMemory blocks or “blanking out” on things that you have studiedyou have studied  Fear of failing before the exam is even writtenFear of failing before the exam is even written  Physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate,Physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating etc.shortness of breath, sweating etc.  Lower reading comprehensionLower reading comprehension  Poor attention and inability to concentratePoor attention and inability to concentrate  The key to dealing effectively with exam anxiety isThe key to dealing effectively with exam anxiety is to work on what you have control over (how youto work on what you have control over (how you study, what you study etc.) and not worry aboutstudy, what you study etc.) and not worry about what you can’t control (kinds of questions, howwhat you can’t control (kinds of questions, how other students perform etc.)other students perform etc.)
  24. 24. Tips for Coping with ExamTips for Coping with Exam AnxietyAnxiety  Be Prepared EarlyBe Prepared Early  Set up a study schedule at least 2 weeks beforeSet up a study schedule at least 2 weeks before your examyour exam  Sleep WellSleep Well  Maintaining a regular sleep schedule helpsMaintaining a regular sleep schedule helps reduce stress and increase performancereduce stress and increase performance  Keep the same caffeine and sugar intakeKeep the same caffeine and sugar intake  Greatly increasing either of these substancesGreatly increasing either of these substances can actually impair brain functioning by throwingcan actually impair brain functioning by throwing off your body’s metabolismoff your body’s metabolism  Learn relaxed breathingLearn relaxed breathing  When you get stressed, taking some slow,When you get stressed, taking some slow, relaxed breaths can help you think clearly againrelaxed breaths can help you think clearly again
  25. 25. Tips for Coping with ExamTips for Coping with Exam Anxiety continued…Anxiety continued…  Stop studying at least 1-2 hours before bedtime theStop studying at least 1-2 hours before bedtime the night beforenight before  Studying right up until the last minute increases yourStudying right up until the last minute increases your anxiety and will impair your ability to sleepanxiety and will impair your ability to sleep  Review main themesReview main themes  Go over main ideas or concepts in the material toGo over main ideas or concepts in the material to reinforce that you do understand the “big picture”reinforce that you do understand the “big picture”  Have a plan before the examHave a plan before the exam  As part of your studying, think about how you willAs part of your studying, think about how you will approach the exam and what you will do when youapproach the exam and what you will do when you run into troublerun into trouble  Aim to do your bestAim to do your best  Recognize and turn off your negative self-dialogue –Recognize and turn off your negative self-dialogue – focus on the task at hand and simply aim to do yourfocus on the task at hand and simply aim to do your best.best.
  26. 26. The Day of The Exam…The Day of The Exam…  Wake up at a reasonable time so you can get readyWake up at a reasonable time so you can get ready at a leisurely pace and have breakfastat a leisurely pace and have breakfast  Carry your notebook to the exam but don’t open it –Carry your notebook to the exam but don’t open it – will have it there if you absolutely need itwill have it there if you absolutely need it  Stay away from other stressed-out students whoStay away from other stressed-out students who may get you worried before the exammay get you worried before the exam  Admit to yourself that you will not know all of theAdmit to yourself that you will not know all of the answers on the exam…and that’s okay!answers on the exam…and that’s okay!  Try the “memory dump” strategyTry the “memory dump” strategy  Write down everything you can think of on a piece ofWrite down everything you can think of on a piece of scrap paper after the exam has begun…and thenscrap paper after the exam has begun…and then start writing the examstart writing the exam
  27. 27. In Summary…In Summary…  Studying is an important component ofStudying is an important component of being prepared for your final examsbeing prepared for your final exams  Any sort of studying is inherently stressful,Any sort of studying is inherently stressful, but there are ways to manage it to reducebut there are ways to manage it to reduce the stressthe stress  Your approach to studying will varyYour approach to studying will vary depending on the subject matter you’redepending on the subject matter you’re studying (see subject-specific suggestionsstudying (see subject-specific suggestions in your package)in your package)  The keys to effective studying are all aboutThe keys to effective studying are all about planning – it’s a good idea to start thatplanning – it’s a good idea to start that process NOW!process NOW!  Good luck on your final exams!Good luck on your final exams!

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