Effective study tips 1
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  • 1. Effective study and examination tips Prof. Vajira Weerasinghe Professor of Physiology Faculty of Medicine University of Peradeniya
  • 2. What is learning? • Change of behaviour measured in terms of – Knowledge – Skills – Attitudes
  • 3. Examinations • Written exam – MCQ (3 min) • True false, Single best answer – SAQ (15, 20, 30 min) – OSPE – Spots – Viva – Clinical Exams
  • 4. Taking Notes • All good study techniques start with good note taking habit • Knowing how to take good notes will improve your ability to study more effectively
  • 5. The Three Stages of Good Note taking • Stage 1 – Get ready to take notes (Before Class) – Review your notes from previous lessons – Complete all assignments and readings before class – Bring all needed materials to take notes
  • 6. • Stage 2 – Taking notes (During Class) – Keep your focus on the teacher – Listen for signal statements like: • Most importantly • Remember that… • Be sure to include…. – Write quickly • Use abbreviation • Place a “?” by things you are not sure about
  • 7. • Stage 3 – Rewrite your Notes – After class rewrite your notes • Change abbreviations to complete words • Change symbols into words • Change shorter sentences to more complete sentences – Answer any “?” you had in your notes
  • 8. 10 Study Habits of Successful Students • Try not to do too much studying at one time • Plan specific times for studying • Try to study at the same times each day • Set specific goals for your study time • Start studying when planned • Work on the assignments or materials that are the most difficult first • Review notes before beginning an assignment • Eliminate distractions during study time • Call another student for assistance when needed • Review work daily, weekly, monthly, before semester exam
  • 9. Preparing an Effective Place to Study • The “Study Place” should always be available to you • The “Study Place” should be free from interruptions • The “Study Place” should be free from distractions • The “Study Place” should have all of the materials on hand that are needed to study • The “Study Place” should have a large enough desk or table • The “Study Place” should have a large storage area available • The “Study Place” should have a comfortable chair • The “Study Place” should have enough light • The “Study Place” should be kept at a comfortable temperature
  • 10. Specific Study Methods There are many methods and techniques available to use for studying You will have to decide which method is best for you depending on: -your learning style -the teaching method used -the course material to learn -the type of tests used
  • 11. Short Notes
  • 12. Using Flashcards Flashcards are a very useful tool in learning or remembering information such as: Vocabulary Words and Meanings, Math Formulas, History Facts, and Correct Spellings or Words.
  • 13. Strategies on how to use Flashcards • Make Flashcards as you learn to study – Carry blank cards with you – Organize your cards in decks by topic or subject • Use both sides of a Card when appropriate – Write words on one side and definitions on the other side – Flip the cards and learn the information both ways • Use flashcards in several different colors – Different colors can cue your answers • Illustrate the cards – Draw or cut pictures to place on cards – The more interesting looking the cards, the less bored one becomes using them
  • 14. • Do not put too much information on any one card – Each card should contain only ONE piece if information to learn • Always carry your cards with you – Review your cards often – If you always have your card, wasted or wait time can become learning time • Change the order of the cards frequently – You need to learn the information, not which card or answer comes next
  • 15. You can use online flashcards also one great site is FlashcardExchange.com With FlashcardExchange.com you can use the flashcards you create online In a game format or you can print the cards or print in a study sheet format. You have to register on the site, but the general services of the site are free.
  • 16. Using the Image-Name Technique • This method is very easy and short and used for remembering people or places. Example: remembering Jay Leno by picturing his protruding, large chin. Can you Think of an example?
  • 17. Using the ASPIRE System • A – Approach/Attitude/Arrange – Approach your studies with a positive attitude – Arrange your schedule to eliminate distractions • S – Select/Survey/Study – Select a reasonable chunk of material to study – Survey the headings, graphics, pre and post- questions – Study marking any information you do not understand • P – Put aside/Piece together – Put aside your books and notes – Piece together what you have study and try to summarize that information yourself
  • 18. • I – Inspect/Investigate/Inquire – Inspect what you did not understand – Investigate all available sources of information (textbooks, online, dictionary…) – Inquire from support professionals (Librarians, tutors, teachers, …) • R – Reconsider/reflect/Relay – Reconsider the content; what questions would you ask the author – Reflect on the material; how can I apply this material – Relay understanding; how would I make this information more interesting or easier to understand to other students • E – Evaluate/Examine/Explore – Evaluate your grades on tests and assignments and look for patterns or weaknesses – Examine you progress on improving weak areas – Explore options for you with teachers, tutors, other students
  • 19. Using Study Groups Study Groups can be very beneficial in some situations. There are Several things to consider when thinking about using Study Groups: 1. Benefits of a Study Group 2. Starting a Study Group 3. Characteristics of a Good Study Group 4. Pitfalls of Study Groups
  • 20. Benefits of a Study Group • A support group can be a motivator • Easier to ask classmates questions • Your commitment might be stronger because the group depends on all members • Study groups add a strong auditory aspect to your learning experience • One or more group member is likely to understand something that you do not • You can learn new study techniques or habit from other members • You can compare your notes with other students • Teaching or explaining concepts to other group members will reinforce your learning • Face it! Studying can be boring. Study with others can make the studying more enjoyable
  • 21. Getting a Study Group Started • Get to know your classmates well before asking them to join your study group – you should be able to answer “yes” to each of these questions: – Is this classmate motivated to learn? – Does the classmate understand the subject well? – Is this classmate dependable? – Would this classmate be tolerant of other ideas? – Would you like to work with this classmate?
  • 22. • Invite the correct number of classmates to your Study group (the best number seems to be between 3-5 students per group) • Decide how often and how long the Group will meet each week (best is 2 or 3 times a weeks, and sessions between 60 and 90 minutes) • Decide where to meet (this location should be without distractions) • Decide on the goals of the Group (goals can include; reviewing notes, discussing readings, and study for exams) • Decide on a leader for the group, and if the leader will be the same or change each week • Set an agenda for each meeting including specific member assignments • Develop a contact list for the members with all of their contact information and provide to each member.
  • 23. Characteristics of a Successful Study Group • Each group member contributes • Group members actively listen without interrupting each other • Group members work together to resolve any problems arising without the group • Members are prompt and come ready to work • The group stay on task according to the agenda • Members always show each other respect • Members should feel comfortable with constructive criticisms • Members should feel free to ask questions • At the end of each meeting, an agenda is set with assignments for the next meeting • Above all, a positive attitude that “we can do this together” is maintained
  • 24. Possible Pitfalls of a Study Group • Do not let the Study Group get distraction from the agenda • Do not let the Study Group become a social group • Do not allow members to attend unprepared • Do not let negativity slip into the group • Do not let one or two members dominate the group
  • 25. Importance of English • Read English books • Read English newspapers • Listen to TV • Speak in English • Write in English
  • 26. Importance of English • Pay attention to – spelling – grammar – punctuation – essay composition – reading comprehension – speaking ability
  • 27. Examinations • MCQ
  • 28. Examinations • SAQ
  • 29. Examinations • OSPE
  • 30. Examinations • Viva