ORIGINAL LEARNING must take place. You have to learn the material before you can review it.
1. EARLY REVIEW—Daily—is most efficient, most productive.
A. Before you attempt to learn new material in class or through reading:
• Glance over previous chapters or notes.
• Run through your mind what you know already.
B. Immediately after learning:
• Rework your notes, adding material that comes to mind (don't recopy; this is wasteful).
• Order and organize what was learned (Star, use arrows, additional comments, etc.).
• Integrate new material with what you already know.
Forgetting is most rapid right after learning. Review helps combat this. Relearning is easier if it is done quickly. Don't wait until it's all gone. Move the information from short term to long term memory!
2. INTERMEDIATE REVIEW: is important when work is spread out over several months or longer. For example, when the final is 4 months away, follow this schedule:
• original learning.
• immediate review of limited material same day (~1 hr /wk/class).
• intermediate review of material covered so far, after 2 months.
• final review, before exam.
Intermediate and final reviews should stress understanding and organization of material.
3. FINAL REVIEW is a REVIEW, not "cramming" of unlearned material. No new learning takes place except to draw together the final main currents of thought.
• Be brief. Review entire semester's work (set a time limit and stick to it).
• Outline and organize from memory. Don't bother copying.
• Recite (in writing or out loud to a friend or self).
Make a Semantic Map.
Predict Essay questions.
Predict Objective Questions.
Write Questions and Answers using a 2-column format.
• Ask the instructor what to anticipate on the test. If he or she does not volunteer the information, pay particular attention—just prior to the exam—to points the instructor brings up during class.
• Pay particular attention to any study guides or past tests that the instructor hands out before the exam.
• Generate a list of possible questions you would ask if you were making the exam, then see if you can answer the questions.
• Review previous tests graded by the instructor.
• Confer with other students to predict what will be on the test.
• Pay particular attention to clues that indicate an instructor might test for a particular idea, as when an instructor:
This section includes information from On Becoming a Master Student by David B. Ellis and How to Study in College by Walter Pauk.
Overcoming Test Anxiety
Before the test:
During the test:
If you are aware that you have a problem with test anxiety, be sure your teacher or dean knows before any testing begins (and not the hour before).
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." —Mark Twain
Once you think you are done:
If you have any doubts about the fairness of tests, or of the ability of tests to measure your performance, discuss these issues with your teacher or dean.
Anxiety is something that everyone experiences to some extent in any stressful situation. For students, one of the most frequent stressful or anxiety-provoking experiences is taking tests. All students may feel some effects of the anxiety associated with exams. Anxious feelings can range from a nervous feeling to forgetting and blanking out or actually becoming physically ill. Slight amounts of anxiety frequently result in improved test performance, but anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to adversely affect a person's performance on the exam.
There are three main areas students can work on to reduce test anxiety when it begins to interfere with test performance.
Mental Preparation—Mental Preparation is of primary concern in dealing with test anxiety. Before the exam, the student can do several things:
Relaxation Techniques are a third way you can reduce anxiety. When used with mental and physical preparation, relaxation before and during an exam can aid retention and improve test performance.