Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It is hard to believe that the fall semester is nearly over!  Depending on the sections that you are enrolled in, ELI classes will be ending December 10th and December 17th.   If you are looking for a valuable study plan, we recommend you consider the Four Day Study Plan from About.com.  The plan, which we have slightly tweaked from the original article, follows: 

Studying for an Exam Day 1
Communicate with Your Instructor, Find a Study Partner and Organize

1.     Type of Exam - Ask your instructor what type of exam s/he will be giving. Multiple choice? Essay? That will make a difference in how you study.
2.     Request a Study Guide-If there is not one in your Bb site, ask your instructor for a review sheet/study guide. Your textbook website may also have practice tests. 
3.     Find a Study Partner -- set up dates to meet to include the night before the test if possible – even via phone/Facebook/Skype.
4.     Organize - Print and organize your notes, old quizzes, textbook, assignments and handouts from the units being tested.  

As You Study: 
·       Organize handouts, past tests, and other information according to dates. Make note of anything you are missing. (Where's the vocab quiz from chapter 2?) Pay special attention to the questions that you missed and spend extra time studying those questions. 

·       Rewrite or type your notes.  Creating an outline of the information you need to know will help you understand how the material covered in the class is related.  

·       Review the material you have. Go through the review sheet to determine what material will be covered. Read through your quizzes/handouts/notes and study questions from your book's chapters.  Also, refer to the end of each chapter in your text – many have excellent summaries/reviews.  

Studying for Your Exam - Day 2:
Course Review, Review and Apply the Material to Better Comprehend
1.     Communicate with your instructor: If necessary, clarify areas you didn't understand and request any missing items (for example: vocab quiz from chapter 2).
2.     Couse Review – Continue to review notes and materials. Ask your instructor if there will be a review before the test and continue to review on your own and review with your Study Partner (if time permits). If there will not be a course review, consider organizing one - you can reserve a study room and meet in a campus library or local library. 

As You Study:
·       Create flashcards with a question/term/vocab word on the front of the card, and the answer on the back. Quizlet is a free website/app that will help you design flashcards, practice tests and quizzes. The website/app also has pre-made flash cards (a favorite app by many students).

·       Set a timer for 45 minutes, and review everything on the review sheet that you don't already know using mnemonic devices like acronyms or singing a song. Also, apply the material to your life in ways that you can remember and understand.  When the timer goes off, take a 15 min. break and revisit your review sheet.  Study again for a specified time, setting the timer if it works well for you.

·       If you are not using the Quizlet App, put your flashcards in your purse, backpack, or car so that you can review them when you are not busy.   

Studying for Your Exam Day 3:
Review and Apply the Material, Create Practice Tests
1.     When you have any free time, review your flashcards and ask yourself questions (when you're waiting for class to start, at lunch, when waiting for an appointment, etc.) As you review, think of ways to apply the material to help you recall.
2.     Create Practice Tests to study (see below).
3.     Confirm a study date, with your study partner, for tomorrow night.

As You Study:
·       Set a timer for 45 minutes again. Go back through your flashcards and review sheet, learning/applying material (especially reviewing areas that are causing you some struggles). Take a 5-minute break. If necessary, set a timer for 45 minutes again and continue if you're still unsure of any material!

·       Create a few “practice tests” for yourself and your study partner (you can create your own, use study guides or visit your textbook website for practice tests, and you can also use Quizlet.com which was referenced earlier).  A practice test should include questions about key terminology, facts, and concepts that are likely to be on the test.

·       Be sure to have your flashcards  or Quizlet App/website ready for review again tomorrow.  

Studying for Your Exam Day 4:

Review, Study/Self, Confirm Meeting Time with Study Partner
1.     Throughout the day, pull your flashcards out and review.
2.     Confirm your study date with a friend or classmate.   

 As You Study:
·       Again, review your flashcards paying special attention to the remaining material that was giving you some struggles.

·       Quiz. With your study partner, take turns asking possible exam questions to each other. You will learn the material better by alternating asking the questions. Stop once you've been through the questions a few times and get a good night's sleep.  

For additional study resources, consider visiting About.com and How To Study.org.  For free online tutoring available to ELI students, visit Smarthinking.   

If you are using a campus testing center, if possible, do not wait until the last day to take your test – emergencies can come up and in many classes, you will not be able to take the test late. 

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the ELI Success Coaches at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076. 

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