Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Speed Study

1 - Watch lectures, pause video's and take notes as you go along so that you can fully comprehend what they are saying. Videos typically discuss KEY points of what you need to learn. They won’t cover every single topic, which is what your study text is for.
2- Skim or read study text, update your notes with anything pertinent. Write a 1 paragraph summary, in your own words after each section. This summary will be your quick review notes; I do mine on a separate piece of paper.
3- Practice your questions with feedback enabled. Information sticks better if you get immediate feedback on what you are currently focused on.

Tough/Struggling area's

1- Get a piece of paper and write at the top of it an idea or process that you want to understand
2- Read and review your study notes and quick review notes on this area
3- Explain this idea, out loud, as if you were teaching it to someone else
* Somewhere in your explanation you will come to a stopping point, where you don't know what to say or are unsure, this is the "stopping point"
4- Stopping point is the area or gap of what you are having trouble with understanding, focus your study on that area. Google it specifically, make notes on what you are researching about it.

 i.e. Trouble area, Inventory testing. Rather than Googling "inventory testing" be more specific. What are the procedures for inventory testing as applicable to its assertions (or a specific assertion)

This is especially true with FAR:

Also on tough areas, don't attempt the difficult questions until you have the easier question's mastered. It will only confuse and frustrate you which will lead to a lack of focusing, or reduce the chances of you wanting to study. 

Don't laugh at that, if you do not "want to study" then you won't. Try to make studying as easy as possible.

Taking Notes

How to take notes during a lecture:

My Focus Notes

Instead of transcribing exactly what the professor says, capture the big ideas or main points. Pause your lecture at each main point.  Going through the process in your mind of thinking about what the lecture has said and then re-wording it to what you have gathered out of it solidifies the concept. This allows you to better understand the actual concepts being taught.
  • Take notes in the form of short questions followed by short answers, this will help with your MCQ's.
  • Group together the questions and idea's which cover the same topic into a cluster.
  • Don't hesitate to make reference to your own notes within other notes. When you review your notes later and don't understand a topic, it helps to see where you reference to more notes that might help you understand.
  • Add a few general background questions regarding the topic at the end of the cluster, I review the MCQ's in the section and then write the ones down that I miss at the bottom of the notes that the section applies too. Write the question, answer, AND the explanation as to why this is the answer.

To study using these notes: print each cluster onto its own page. Format the answers so that they’re not on the same line as their question. Proceed through the cluster, trying to answer each question out loud without peeking at the answer. (I use a sheet of blank paper to block the answer.) If you get more than one answer wrong, then treat the entire cluster as unlearned and return to it later.

I hand write all my notes, so when I start a new section/area I use a fresh piece of paper. I write my learning objectives at the top (typically found in your study book at the beginning). Then at the end of my notes I write a 1-3 paragraph summary of what I learned. This summary is what I read 2-3 times a week to keep the information fresh in my mind.