Saturday, July 31, 2010

Study Habits

Everyone once in a while someone will email me asking about my study habits and how I changed them in order to get better grades in school. To be honest, it wasn't the study habits themselves that changed, but how I go about the whole process.

I'm an atypical student in many ways. For one, I hate academic planners. Never used them, never will. Everything goes into my BlackBerry. Important dates, tasks to do, reminders, it's all there. It's always with me, much to the dismay of the wife, so it works out well for me.

And I like having a textbook. Usually about a week or two before a test I'll start studying for it. Using my notes and the book, I start at wherever we began and work my way forward. The first pass I make notes on what I'm stuggling on, and I keep repeating this process.

I have a tendency to become overconfident in my studying though. I often have to remind myself to cover material that I don't think is terribly hard because those are the questions that'll kill me.

In Orgo, for example, I could nail a 11-step synthesis problem, but lose 20 points on naming. Weird and frustrating.

I'm also a huge fan of notecards. I have killed so many trees in the past six years, its amazing. You can tell when I'm studying because I will always have a pack of notecards with me so I can randomly study throughout a day.

Namely I do repeition so that I end up visually memorizing pages as weird as it sounds. I also take a lot of breaks because my mind will start to get worn out after a certain amount of time, and then what's the point of studying?

That's my method, although I'm sure that won't work for everyone. Hopefully it'll answers some of the questions I've been getting.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

repetition and notecards are how I study too. I can't study too early for a test or I find it hard to retain. Apparently the pressure of looming exams makes it easier for me to study haha.

I only used the school planners with its monthly view so I could see what exams I had coming up.