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Study Skills

Study Skills



Study skills-test taking strategies from our Learning Specialist

Study skills-test taking strategies from our Learning Specialist



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  • AO 2008-2009 11/3/2008

Study Skills Study Skills Presentation Transcript

  • Study Skills, Test-Taking Skills, and Test Anxiety How to Prepare for Trimester Exams
  • Planning for Success
    • If you don’t have a study plan, you will not perform your best
    • Persistent and responsible students achieve higher grades and score higher on tests
    • Managing your study time is a key to success
  • Question: When should I study?
    • Answer:
      • Review daily – keep information current in your mind
      • Schedule weekly study times
        • The night before the test, you should only have to study difficult concepts and review main ideas and vocabulary terms but NOT re-read the textbook or memorize your notes
    • Rule of thumb:
  • Question: Where should I study?
    • Answer:
      • Find a comfortable (but not too comfortable) space with good lighting
      • Make sure it is clean and uncluttered
      • Study in a place with limited distractions
    • Other helpful tips:
      • Have all materials you need
      • before you begin to study
      • Be aware of when you become
      • distracted and when you may
      • need to take a break
  • Question: What should I study?
    • Answer:
      • Listen carefully in class during the week of exams and take notes on what your teacher says is important to remember or study
      • If your teacher gives you a study guide, study and know the information on it – if you know this information, you should do well on the exam
      • If your teacher does not give you a study guide, make sure you listen to what chapters, notes, or assignments your teacher tells
      • you to study, and if you are not
      • sure of what to study, ask !
  • Question: How should I study?
    • Answer:
      • Skim through textbooks and read through notes – try reading them aloud
      • Re-write notes and chapter summaries
        • Examples: outlines, lists, flow charts, webs
      • Review study guides and quizzes
      • Make flashcards for terms and key concepts
      • Look for connections with what you already know
      • Attend review periods held by
      • your teacher
      • Organize a study group with
      • your friends – teach each other
  • Information About Learning and Memory
    • Interesting facts:
      • You remember:
        • 10% of what you read
        • 20% of what you hear
        • 30% of what you see
        • 50% of what you see and hear
        • 70% of what you say
        • 90% of what you say and do
    • Rule of thumb:
    • To remember as much as possible
    • for exams, you should be TALKING
  • General Test-Taking Strategies
    • Glance through the entire test before you begin
      • Write down memory aids, formulas, equations, facts, or material you may forget in the margins
    • If you do not understand the directions or a question, raise your hand or go to your teacher and ask for help
    • Be sure you read the question carefully and that you are responding to the question asked
    • Pace yourself – don’t spend too
    • much time on any one question – when
    • stuck, do your best and move on
    • Answer the easiest questions first ,
    • then go back to questions you skipped
  • General Test-Taking Strategies (cont.)
    • Underline the details to help you focus on the important points of difficult questions
    • Visualize your notes, webs, flashcards, study guides, etc. when thinking about answers
    • Check for clues in other test questions
    • If you are unsure of an answer, mark the item with a “?” so you know to return to it later
    • Don’t spend time rewriting answers or worrying about neatness
    • Don’t worry about who is
    • finished before you
    • Check all your answers before
    • you turn in your test
  • Strategies for Multiple Choice Questions
    • Read the ENTIRE question and ALL answer choices before marking an answer
    • Underline key words in the question
    • Cross out choices you know are incorrect
    • Plug in your answer – make sure it makes sense
    • Do not change your answers unless you are certain your first answer choice is incorrect – in general, your first instinct is usually correct
    • Don’t look for answer patterns
    • Answer every question , and if
    • you are unsure, make the most
    • intelligent guess you can – don’t
    • leave any items blank!
  • Strategies for True/False Questions
    • Read each question carefully
    • Words such as no , none , never , every , only , all , and always tend to appear in statements that are FALSE
      • Example:
      • True or False? It always snows in winter in St. Louis.
    • Words such as usually , not usually , most , some , generally , ordinarily , seldom , occasionally , often , sometimes , and many tend to appear in TRUE statements
      • Example:
      • True or False? It often snows in
      • winter in St. Louis.
  • Strategies for Matching Questions
    • Count the number of items in each column to see if they are equal
    • Complete the items you know for sure first and complete the most difficult items last
    • Through the process of elimination , you may be able to correctly answer some items you don’t know
    • Use grammar to help you – match verbs with verbs and nouns with nouns
    • Cross out items in each column after
    • you use them
  • Strategies for Short Answer and Fill-in-the-Blank Questions
    • Questions usually ask for definitions or short descriptions
    • Focus on key words and facts
    • Follow directions carefully – if asked to write in complete sentences, make sure you do
    • Keep your answers brief – do not add extra “filler”
    • If a word bank is available for fill-in-the-
    • blank items, count the number of blanks
    • and the number of words in the word
    • bank – cross out terms as you use
    • them
  • Strategies for Essay Questions
    • Read carefully, be sure you know exactly what each question means , and answer all parts of the question
    • Pay close attention to signal words , such as explain , describe , interpret , compare , or contrast
    • These questions will likely take you longer to complete, so plan your time wisely
    • These questions are often worth more points because there are more parts to each question
    • Plan your answers before you begin writing
      • Make an outline, list, or web of ideas
    • If you only know part of an answer ,
    • write it down – you may get partial
    • credit
  • Strategies for Open Book/Open Note Exams
    • These are generally the most difficult types of tests
    • Don’t assume you don’t need to study
    • While studying, write down key ideas and formulas in your notes so you don’t have to look for them later
    • Organize and color code your notes so that information is easy to find
    • Use paperclips or tabs to mark important pages in your book so you
    • don’t waste time flipping pages
  • Tips for Avoiding and Overcoming Test Anxiety
    • Be prepared by studying a little each night
    • Don’t wait until the last minute to study or ask for help
    • Ask a parent or friend to quiz you with practice tests
    • Arrive a little bit early to class
    • Think positive thoughts
    • Visualize yourself in a peaceful place
    • Relax your muscles
    • Take several deep breaths
  • The Night and Morning Before Exams
    • The night before:
      • Review key concepts and any information that you have found difficult to remember
      • Go to bed early, or at least on time, to make sure you get plenty of sleep
    • The morning before:
      • Eat a good breakfast
      • Think positively
      • Try to leave home a little earlier than usual so that you arrive at school with plenty of time before exams begin
  • Key Points to Remember
    • No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan
      • Having a study plan in place will ensure that you are prepared, and when prepared, you will not fail
    • Review study guides and study materials for short periods every day – don’t wait until the last minute!
    • To maximize your memory for test material, recite information aloud, participate in study groups, and engage in hands-on activities
      • Remember: You learn and remember the most from SAYING and DOING at the same time
    • When stressed, relax and breathe deeply
    • Read exam items carefully, ask for help when needed, pace yourself, and check your work
    • Questions or Comments?
    • Remember to contact your teacher, advisor,
    • or Mrs. O’Toole with any study or exam questions