By Vernon Every
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Everyone uses a technique to help them study, and these can help or hinder you when you learn. The important issue is to find techniques that suit you best.
A friend of mine would plan study periods well in advance of her exams, divide her material accordingly, and systematically work through it. That worked well for her, but it is not suitable for everyone.
Another made sure he never missed a class or lecture. At each lecture, he paid attention, made notes, recorded his questions, then made sure he got the answers the same day. Before the exams, he used his time to review the whole course and refresh his memory.
Then there was a friend who listened to lectures, questioned and challenged, researched, and discussed during the semester. Finally, almost at the last minute, he plunged himself into his books and materials, and focused on the subject. He would be awake at 3 a.m. if necessary. For him, the adrenaline was what he needed to study, and his technique provided for that need.
Having said that, certain common denominators emerge in every technique. If your personal style includes these, then you can adopt it with confidence.
Every subject has a content range you are expected to know. No matter what technique you use, it must help you to know the content defined by the lecturer during the semester.
Reading and remembering are part of every technique. You need find how you best do them. It might be that you need to make notes as you read. Or, after you have read, write down what you read, and then go back and fill in the gaps.
Memorizing the work is part of studying. Some will boil the whole subject down to a set of key points that they memorize, then use as keys to unlock the subject when they need it.
Another way is to use visual techniques. When you study, create a picture plan that is easy to visualize. For example in geography, you can draw a map of the country, then fill it in with information. Memorize it, and when you need the information visualize it, and it will trigger the points.
The main issue is your lecturer expects you to have absorbed certain information. To be properly educated, you need to know and remember that content. Use whatever technique that will help you do so.
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