Study Skills


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Study skills-test taking strategies from our Learning Specialist

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Study Skills

  1. 1. Study Skills, Test-Taking Skills, and Test Anxiety How to Prepare for Trimester Exams
  2. 2. Planning for Success <ul><li>NO ONE PLANS TO FAIL… </li></ul><ul><li>THEY JUST FAIL TO PLAN </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have a study plan, you will not perform your best </li></ul><ul><li>Persistent and responsible students achieve higher grades and score higher on tests </li></ul><ul><li>Managing your study time is a key to success </li></ul>
  3. 3. Question: When should I study? <ul><li>Answer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review daily – keep information current in your mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule weekly study times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AVOID CRAMMING! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Rule of thumb: </li></ul><ul><li>REPETITION AIDS RETENTION </li></ul>
  4. 4. Question: Where should I study? <ul><li>Answer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find a comfortable (but not too comfortable) space with good lighting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure it is clean and uncluttered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study in a place with limited distractions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other helpful tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have all materials you need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>before you begin to study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of when you become </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distracted and when you may </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to take a break </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Question: What should I study? <ul><li>Answer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen carefully in class during the week of exams and take notes on what your teacher says is important to remember or study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your teacher does not give you a study guide, make sure you listen to what chapters, notes, or assignments your teacher tells </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>you to study, and if you are not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sure of what to study, ask ! </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Question: How should I study? <ul><li>Answer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skim through textbooks and read through notes – try reading them aloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-write notes and chapter summaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: outlines, lists, flow charts, webs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review study guides and quizzes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make flashcards for terms and key concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for connections with what you already know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attend review periods held by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize a study group with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your friends – teach each other </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Information About Learning and Memory <ul><li>Interesting facts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You remember: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10% of what you read </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20% of what you hear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30% of what you see </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>50% of what you see and hear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>70% of what you say </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>90% of what you say and do </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Rule of thumb: </li></ul><ul><li>To remember as much as possible </li></ul><ul><li>for exams, you should be TALKING </li></ul><ul><li>and DOING HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES ! </li></ul>
  8. 8. General Test-Taking Strategies <ul><li>Glance through the entire test before you begin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write down memory aids, formulas, equations, facts, or material you may forget in the margins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you do not understand the directions or a question, raise your hand or go to your teacher and ask for help </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure you read the question carefully and that you are responding to the question asked </li></ul><ul><li>Pace yourself – don’t spend too </li></ul><ul><li>much time on any one question – when </li></ul><ul><li>stuck, do your best and move on </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the easiest questions first , </li></ul><ul><li>then go back to questions you skipped </li></ul>
  9. 9. General Test-Taking Strategies (cont.) <ul><li>Underline the details to help you focus on the important points of difficult questions </li></ul><ul><li>Visualize your notes, webs, flashcards, study guides, etc. when thinking about answers </li></ul><ul><li>Check for clues in other test questions </li></ul><ul><li>If you are unsure of an answer, mark the item with a “?” so you know to return to it later </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spend time rewriting answers or worrying about neatness </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t worry about who is </li></ul><ul><li>finished before you </li></ul><ul><li>Check all your answers before </li></ul><ul><li>you turn in your test </li></ul>
  10. 10. Strategies for Multiple Choice Questions <ul><li>Read the ENTIRE question and ALL answer choices before marking an answer </li></ul><ul><li>Underline key words in the question </li></ul><ul><li>Cross out choices you know are incorrect </li></ul><ul><li>Plug in your answer – make sure it makes sense </li></ul><ul><li>Do not change your answers unless you are certain your first answer choice is incorrect – in general, your first instinct is usually correct </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t look for answer patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Answer every question , and if </li></ul><ul><li>you are unsure, make the most </li></ul><ul><li>intelligent guess you can – don’t </li></ul><ul><li>leave any items blank! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Strategies for True/False Questions <ul><li>Read each question carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Words such as no , none , never , every , only , all , and always tend to appear in statements that are FALSE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>True or False? It always snows in winter in St. Louis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Words such as usually , not usually , most , some , generally , ordinarily , seldom , occasionally , often , sometimes , and many tend to appear in TRUE statements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>True or False? It often snows in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>winter in St. Louis. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Strategies for Matching Questions <ul><li>Count the number of items in each column to see if they are equal </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the items you know for sure first and complete the most difficult items last </li></ul><ul><li>Through the process of elimination , you may be able to correctly answer some items you don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Use grammar to help you – match verbs with verbs and nouns with nouns </li></ul><ul><li>Cross out items in each column after </li></ul><ul><li>you use them </li></ul>
  13. 13. Strategies for Short Answer and Fill-in-the-Blank Questions <ul><li>Questions usually ask for definitions or short descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on key words and facts </li></ul><ul><li>Follow directions carefully – if asked to write in complete sentences, make sure you do </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your answers brief – do not add extra “filler” </li></ul><ul><li>If a word bank is available for fill-in-the- </li></ul><ul><li>blank items, count the number of blanks </li></ul><ul><li>and the number of words in the word </li></ul><ul><li>bank – cross out terms as you use </li></ul><ul><li>them </li></ul>
  14. 14. Strategies for Essay Questions <ul><li>Read carefully, be sure you know exactly what each question means , and answer all parts of the question </li></ul><ul><li>Pay close attention to signal words , such as explain , describe , interpret , compare , or contrast </li></ul><ul><li>These questions will likely take you longer to complete, so plan your time wisely </li></ul><ul><li>These questions are often worth more points because there are more parts to each question </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your answers before you begin writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make an outline, list, or web of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you only know part of an answer , </li></ul><ul><li>write it down – you may get partial </li></ul><ul><li>credit </li></ul>
  15. 15. Strategies for Open Book/Open Note Exams <ul><li>These are generally the most difficult types of tests </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t assume you don’t need to study </li></ul><ul><li>While studying, write down key ideas and formulas in your notes so you don’t have to look for them later </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and color code your notes so that information is easy to find </li></ul><ul><li>Use paperclips or tabs to mark important pages in your book so you </li></ul><ul><li>don’t waste time flipping pages </li></ul>
  16. 16. Tips for Avoiding and Overcoming Test Anxiety <ul><li>Be prepared by studying a little each night </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t wait until the last minute to study or ask for help </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a parent or friend to quiz you with practice tests </li></ul><ul><li>Arrive a little bit early to class </li></ul><ul><li>Think positive thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Visualize yourself in a peaceful place </li></ul><ul><li>Relax your muscles </li></ul><ul><li>Take several deep breaths </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Night and Morning Before Exams <ul><li>The night before: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review key concepts and any information that you have found difficult to remember </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to bed early, or at least on time, to make sure you get plenty of sleep </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The morning before: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eat a good breakfast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think positively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to leave home a little earlier than usual so that you arrive at school with plenty of time before exams begin </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Key Points to Remember <ul><li>No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Having a study plan in place will ensure that you are prepared, and when prepared, you will not fail </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review study guides and study materials for short periods every day – don’t wait until the last minute! </li></ul><ul><li>To maximize your memory for test material, recite information aloud, participate in study groups, and engage in hands-on activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember: You learn and remember the most from SAYING and DOING at the same time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When stressed, relax and breathe deeply </li></ul><ul><li>Read exam items carefully, ask for help when needed, pace yourself, and check your work </li></ul>
  19. 19. GOOD LUCK WITH 1 ST TRIMESTER EXAMS ! <ul><li>Questions or Comments? </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to contact your teacher, advisor, </li></ul><ul><li>or Mrs. O’Toole with any study or exam questions </li></ul>