What’s going on, where am I going, and what am I doing in this class room?


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“Don’t let school get in the way of your education.” –Mark Twain.   
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 9:00pm

The biggest cause of stress with college, other than the cost, is taking tests. There was another workshop at the USU Eastern this Thursday, but this time it was for tips on test taking.

The most common methods for test taking is to make an outline of the subject, a line by line representation showing how ideas relate to one another. It’s good for studying, keeps things organized, shows levels of material, it’s easier to review, allows on to skim the main points quicker.

You could make a spider web chart, or a think link, with the main idea and all the supporting, related and resulting ideas. You can break out a time line with three boxes; one for questions, one for research and the last box is where you solve the problem.

Why are these methods great? They turn your notes into great study guides. They’re the perfect five day student study plan. They adapt to any class or instructor’s lesson styles. They make take more time than what you’re doing now, but remember; learning is not simple or quick!

Find the main idea of the passage helps you put everything in context and will enable better understanding. Topic + Controlling Idea = Main Idea. The topic is the subject of the passage and the controlling idea is what the author wants you to know about the subject, it may be clearly stated or implied. Just ask yourself “what is the topic?” and “what does the author want me to know about the topic?”

To help you better understand the passage, write a brief statements that bring together the most important facts and ideas. It helps you remember the information by restating it all in your own words.

If you are capable of explaining it someone, you understand it. 1) Produce one sentence that sums up the entire paragraph. 2) Select the main idea of the passage. 3) Rewrite the facts and ideas into sentences that show the connections among them.  

Make sure you high light sparingly. If everything is highlighted, what do you study?

Question everything: Turn the headings and main ideas into study questions; formulate questions and then read the passage, looking for the answers as you read. Questions give reading a purpose, after reading always ask “therefore this means?”

To prepare for a test, make sure you go to class. If you miss classes, you’re missing the instructor’s information. Set a schedule for yourself to study, ask yourself when would be the best time, where will I study, what techniques will I use, and who will I study with? Listen to your instructor’s cues about what will be or might be on the test and make sure you keep up on reading assignments.   

Before a test, don’t ever over load on caffeine: while it might help you stay awake it’s been proven that it promotes lack of memory. Study really hard three days before the test. Prepare yourself physically for it by eating a healthy breakfast, getting lots of rest and exercising. Stay positive, you know you can pass this test. Ten steps to excellent test take:  

1)When you’re in your seat and the test is sitting right in front of you, hurry and write down all the information your remember from the past nights of studying to refresh your memory. 2) Put your name on the test and then preview it. 3) Write down what you remember now that you’ve previewed the test. 4) Determine the point value and don’t waste time racking your brain. 5) Work from the easier questions to the harder ones. 6) If you find a question you don’t know, skip it and go back. 7) Watch the clock. 8) Eliminate wrong answers and look for qualifiers. 9) Look for errors or other mistakes you made. 10) Use all the allowed time to take the test, you’re in no hurry.

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