I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh. She hasn’t blogged in ages and now she gives us a study guide? What the hell?” And yes, I understand that. But Christmas tests have given me some ideas. Maybe I’m pompous to say that this will be different/more beneficial than your average study guide. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Anyway, let’s begin.
So, you got your results back but they weren’t what you were hoping for. That is OK! Now you know where you need to improve. Alternatively, maybe you were happy with your results and want to keep up the good work.
Either way, I hope that this study guide will be beneficial to you and that you decide to take at least one of my tips into consideration.
The first thing that you need to process is that what happened in the past is in the past and that nothing can be done about it now. You need to find your motivation to study and start right now.
On another note, before we really dive in, here’s a statistic that will make this blog post a little easier to understand:
10% of what we read.
20% of what we hear.
30% of what we see.
50% of what we hear and see.
70% of what we say.
90% of what we do.
Believe it or not, that’s actually going to come in very handy in this guide.
A goals notebook.
You have to have goals. In everything in life, not just studying. Since this is a study guide (if you need me to sort out the rest of your life, I’m a waste of your time: I can barely sort my own out!), we will focus on that.
Goals have to be small and specific. Wanting to get better at German is not a goal: it’s too vague. However, promising to learn three German words/phrases per night is definitely a goal. It’s specific and you already know what you have to do.
It’s very easy to make a goal and then forget about it. To make sure that that doesn’t happen, equip yourself with a goals notebook. Write down weekly goals in it, writing the first and last date of the week at the top of the page (e.g. “Week 1: Monday 9th-Sunday 15th).
On the page, write down your subjects and what you wish to achieve with them in that week. Be realistic: it’s only a week after all.
At the end of the week, check your goals notebook. If you had achieved your goal, tick it off and enter a new goal in that subject for the next week. If not, re-enter it for the next week, maybe making it easier.
Remember, stick to these goals like your life depends on it! Work hard, but don’t over-work yourself. You know what your best is – do your best.
I’m aware that not everyone takes notes when studying. Those that do might not know all the useful techniques (I have only learned how to do so recently).
The first thing we need to make clear is that just reading the chapter is not enough. Sorry, but keep in mind that we only remember 10% of what we read. Highlighting key points only makes a minimal difference. No way around it – you have to take notes.
That is not as horrible as it probably sounds. You don’t need to write out big reams of stuff. In fact, you’re not supposed to write full sentences in your notes at all. Let me explain.
Only note down the key facts. Studies have shown that we remembers numbered list better than a list that isn’t numbered. However, the magic number for your memory is seven, so keep your lists to contain seven or less facts.
This probably makes no sense whatsoever, so I’m going to use my own notes as an example.
Here are the pages in the book (ignore the state of it):
And here are the notes I took:
OK, I admit that my notes aren’t perfect. I’m not a very keen student. But as you can see, I have the basic gist. I don’t use full sentences and I number my lists. Keep that in mind (not saying you have to use my style: everyone’s different).
It’s not enough just to take notes. You have to revise too!
There are many different ways of revision. But you have to actively involve yourself. Reading the notes alone won’t do you much good.
You can learn notes. You can draw diagrams from memory. You can attempt questions from old exam papers without looking at the textbook. As you can see, the possibilities are endless!
That’s all for this week!
I really hoped that this guide helped you one way or another. Any feedback, positive or negative, is welcomed! Post it in the comments section below.
And make sure to subscribe to my blog where I post things every Friday.