MANAGING STUDYING FOR EXAMS 5
ManagingStudying for Exams
ManagingStudying for Exams
Theimportance of education in the 21stcentury cannot be gainsaid as far as enhancing the quality of life ofan individual is concerned. Indeed, research has shown that there isa positive relationship between the level of education and thestandards of living of an individual. It goes without saying thatsuccess in education or learning is primarily measured by anindividual’s scores in exams. This has necessitated thatindividuals put immense effort towards enhancing one’s scores inexams with numerous strategies and processes being developed in aneffort to improve learning and memory. It is worth noting that thereis a difference between memory and learning in spite of their closerelationship. Learning underlines the acquisition of knowledge orskill, while memory underlines the expression of the knowledge soacquired. However, the two concepts intersect especially consideringthe fact that learning has the immediate goal of helping anindividual remember or rather be able to recall the memories of whathe or she learnt (Newport,2007).While exams are bound to be challenging, consistent success in themwould occur upon comprehension of the fact that one’s capacity torecall information is primarily determined by the manner in which heor she studies the material. While there is no distinctive process oflearning, there are varied helpful and unique stages for learning andmemorizing.
First,it is imperative that an individual gets an overview of the learningmaterial. This involves listening to discussions, going through thematerial and leafing through the varied forms of media in which thematerial is presented. Scholars have underlined the importance ofensuring that the information is disseminated in small chunks(Landrumet al, 2006).
Thesecond stage of learning would involve comprehensive examination ofthe reading material. This stage is usually accompanied by increasedreading, taking notes, recitation, asking questions, as well asrelating the material to prior learning experience (Newport,2007).This may also be complemented by further reading, group discussionsor even interactive website so as to enhance comprehension andremembrance of the varied concepts learnt. This stage is primarilyaimed at developing an immense comprehension and the capacity toutilize the ideas that one is learning. More often than not, studentsenhance the utility of this stage by increasing the number of sensesthat are involved in the process of learning (Landrumet al, 2006).Of particular note is the importance of recitation or the repetitionof information aloud, which would enhance recall via the stimulationof the hearing and visual sense. The ideas so learnt may betransformed into maps and diagrams or even written down, which notonly increases the sensory input but also allow for enhanced recallof the information as a result of the extra thought that is involvedin the development of such diagrams (Newport,2007).
Thethird process in the learning process involves a more practicalapproach where the learner tries it out. Varied activities may becarried out in this stage including handling practical projects,designing of tasks or even role play. Further, the individual mayhold discussions with teachers and peers pertaining to the ideas oreven take part in skills laboratories. This step often imbues in anindividual the knowledge pertaining to the things that he or sheunderstands about the project (Tamblin& Ward, 2006).More often than not, an individual will not have grasped every otherinformation that is in the reading material, a fact that will berevealed in this stage. In essence, this stage often allows for arecap or repetition of the reading so as to appropriately cover thesubject or information in the same.
Thenext step is tied to trying out the learnt concepts as it involvesobtaining feedback pertaining to one’s knowledge and comprehensionof the concepts in the course (Tamblin& Ward, 2006).This feedback may be formal or informal in nature with the criteriafor evaluation being derived from varied sources including oneself,the teachers, peers, colleagues, or even friends and family (Landrumet al, 2006).As noted earlier, this feedback reveals the areas where an individualis lacking in knowledge or skill or rather the areas in which anindividual would need to pay attention so as to enhance comprehensionand memory on the subject matter.
Thelast stage in the learning and memory process involves reflecting,making the necessary adjustments and trying again. These adjustmentsare made with particular note of the feedback obtained regardingone’s performance in trying out the problems (Newport,2007).This is done via contemplation, reflective journals, writing anddiscussions. In an effort to enhance the comprehension of the subjectmatter with particular attention to the areas in which an individualwas deficient or lacking, an individual would not only take notes butalso tackle questions regarding the subject matter (Tamblin& Ward, 2006).However, this should not be limited to these areas but also theentire subject as the stage is usually carried out when an individualis close to the exam. Indeed, this is seen as the stage where anindividual does the final revision in preparation for the exam.
Landrum,R. E., Turrisi, R., & Brandel, J. M. (2006). College students’study time, course level, time of semester, and gradeearned. PsychologicalReports, 98,675–682.
Newport,C. (2007). Howto become a straight-A student: The unconventional strategies realcollege students use to score high while studying less.New York: Broadway Books.
Tamblin,L., & Ward, P. (2006). Thesmart study guide: Psychological techniques for studentsuccess. Malden,MA: Blackwell.