Someone recently wrote me asking me specifically how I study information for an exam. As I’ve said before, I’m just writing about what works for ME. I make no claims that this will work for you. But since people are curious, I thought I’d share. Here’s my basic study plan for most exams:
1) I watch the lecture (most people actually attend it…I try to review the lecture notes before I watch). On the same day, I review every lectures’ notes once (I print out the Powerpoint handouts…but also keep an electronic copy).
2) On the weekend, I review all lecture notes a second time (either paper, electronic, or both, depending upon the class…for path, you need to see the pics in color) and make a “high yield” document. This is one big electronic file with short notes arranged by subject and lecture topic. I find this to be a great way of doing it, because I end up with one big searchable file that I can quickly use to find information. I just write down the high yield info, and any mnemonics that I make up. I also read books and look at review materials (like First Aid) on the weekends.
3) On the last few days before the exam, I review the lecture notes for the third time (and reference the “high yield” file if necessary).
4) Then, on the very last day before the exam, I just review my “high yield” document, to help remember the big picture.
Note: Depending on how much time I have, I also like to do practice questions (books, online, etc.). But I don’t do the questions until I think I have a good handle on the info, otherwise I think it’s a waste of time. I also look up the explanations for why I got a question wrong.
Okay, there you have it all ye curious souls!