In preparation for the upcoming exam period, we’ve compiled some PMC Learning-Strategist-approved tips to make the most of your study time.
What will be covered?
Before doing anything else, do your best to figure out what material will be covered on the exam (chapters, lecture materials, concepts, overall themes); review your class notes for topics emphasized by your professor; is there/was there a review class? Take comprehensive notes and compare will a classmate if you can. Take these topics and see how they relate to the learning outcomes and objectives listed on your course syllabus.
What do you already know?
Try the SPEW Method (Smith-Chant, n.d.) to see where your knowledge is at. Stop; jot down all the course information that you can think of without looking at your notes; compare your jot-notes with your class notes and materials. Anything that you can SPEW organically is material that you have learned and retained and your can shift your focus to the gaps.
Make a plan!
Plan out when you’re going to study what and avoid cramming whenever possible! Spacing out your studying and self-testing over multiple days leads to greater long term retention and comprehension.
Also take the time to self-test your information recall. Plan to leave a couple of days between learning/studying and understanding/applying in practice.
Create a Study Group
If you are able, and it works with your learning style, consider creating or finding a study group so that you can teach, review, and learn material with and from your peers.
Still feeling stuck?
For more tips, enroll in the PMC MORE Modules on Brightspace and check out the “Studying” module. For more individualized support, ask your coordinator for a referral to work with a learning strategies.