Are you ready to ace your Biology class? These tips can be applied to any class or goal you set in life.
It takes focus and action to reach any goal yet there are always a few key tips to keep in mind as a strategy to get you there.
Tip #1: Know your learning style.
We are like fingerprints; there are no two alike, even with identical twins. There are a variety of learning style models, yet the one we will discuss in this article is the Fleming’s VAK model (VAK stands for Visual Auditory Kinesthetic):
VISUAL learner: Use charts, maps, filmstrips, notes and flashcards. Practice visualizing or picturing words/concepts in your head. Write out everything for frequent and quick visual review.
AUDITORY learner: Record lectures to help you fill in the gaps in your notes. Listen and take notes, reviewing notes frequently. After you have read something, summarize it and recite it aloud.
KINESTHETIC/TACTILE learner: Trace words as you are saying them. Write out facts several times. Keep a supply of scratch paper for this purpose. Taking and keeping lecture notes will be very important. Make study sheets.
Take your FREE learning style quiz!
Tip #2: From big picture to details.
In order to understand the details, you may have to step back and get a bird’s eye view to truly put the pieces together.
Do you remember piecing together jigsaw puzzles? No, not the virtual ones. The cover of the box was typically a picture of the finished puzzle. Inside the box were tiny puzzle pieces waiting to be snapped together. What if the box had a big question mark on the cover? Wouldn’t it make it a tad bit harder to piece the puzzle together? It is always nice to have a road map. This is very important for visual learners.
Tip #3: Trust yourself.
Trust your study techniques and trust that when you are ready to take the exam or practical. You would not have made it to where you are now if you were not smart and capable human being.
Stress can cause you to temporarily forget what you have spend all that time learning. So, take two or three deep breaths, and think about the fun plans you have made or something funny to distract you from becoming too stressed about your upcoming exam.
You’ve studied for at least a day! Hey, I am not condoning cramming the day before an exam yet I want to be realistic. When you are taking 5 classes or more a semester or quarter, it is impossible to cover every single detail. If you have seen it, read it, smelled it, and heard it; it is in your head, snuggled in your brain.
Do you remember that semester of Spanish you took 3 years ago? You have not used it in, let’s say, 3 years, and when you hear someone speak Spanish or you read written Spanish, it mysteriously makes sense. You have that memory connection, it did not vanish into thin air. Practice will only strengthen the connection! You know it, simply have faith!
Tip #4: Be present.
Stay present when taking the exam. This means, you do not focus on what you should have studied or how hard the questions are. Reassure yourself! Skip the questions you do not know and come back to them. Other questions and answers may trigger your memory. Bring ear plugs to block out any noise distractions.
Tip #5: Reward yourself.
Eat a good breakfast, a hearty protein and fiber based breakfast works wonders. This is very important as our body needs the basic nutrients we receive from food to function properly. You are what you eat!
Make a list of fun and enjoyable activities. After each study session or exam, choose something from your “fun” list to check off. Don’t take this lightly. Who says you have to wait until the end of the semester or quarter to celebrate!
In a nutshell..
You know yourself the best! Pay attention to what makes you unique. What study techniques did you use when you aced your last exam? Keep notes so that you will know what is working and what does not work for you.
Our education system was traditionally based on auditory learning yet this is rapidly changing, mainly with the internet. Do not be afraid to seek out information that better suits your learning style.