STUDY SKILLS & TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES OBJECTIVES • Critical Thinking • Learning Styles • To Learn how to develop or improve study skills • To learn test-taking techniques • To learn strategies for reducing test anxiety
STUDY SKILLS DEVELOPING GOOD STUDY HABITS BEGINS WITH YOU.
Critical Thinking • Critical thinking is a mental process that uses elements of reasoning to shape choices and make sound judgments. • It is the cornerstone of one’s ability to function in today’s society. • It can be see as having 2 components: • A set of skills to process and generate information and beliefs • The habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior.
How learners learn… Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I will remember Involve me, and I will understand -Confucius
Types of Learners Left Brain Language and word use Logic, reasoning and analysis Rational thinking Sequence and order Right Brain • Artistic perception • Creativity • Intuitive thinking • Music and rhythm • Imagination and abstraction • Daydreamers • Reflection • Random thinkers
Learning Styles Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Global Detail Learning
Visual-learn best by watching or reading Resources available: -books -demonstrations -handouts -internet resources -personal notes -articles -videos
Auditory:-Sounds like… You tune into the things you hear: -discussions with others -lectures -Q&A -reading aloud -study groups -tape recordings
Kinesthetic-Can do… If you prefer to jump right in and do something new…your motto “Learn by doing” -attend labs -do demonstrations -group study -take part in special projects or activities -volunteer
Global Learning-The big picture… Find the answer by looking at the big picture -sweeping theories and overall trends fill your vision -like to find the conclusion after considering all the options -write summaries -use diagrams to show relationships -develop question lists
Detail Thinking • You follow instructions closely and follow logical orders and you like the teacher who follows the lesson plan closely • Create bullet summary lists from class notes • Use diagrams to connect specific ideas to larger concepts • Make specific to-do lists before beginning study sessions • Write questions as they appear in the lecture • Be prepared to illustrate specific details with examples
The Learning Process Bloom’s Learning Level (1956)
Bloom’s Learning Levels Analysis You break down the concept into parts and understand how they work Identify assumptions Decide if data is valid Application • You apply the information you have gained, translated or interpreted to solve problems or accomplish concrete tasks • Complete a project by following directions • Use a theory or formula to solve problems
Bloom’s Learning Levels Evaluation Most complex level of cognitive functioning You use all the stages to determine the value and relevance of the information Synthesis • You can put parts together and find a new and larger whole • Developing your notes into presentations • Writing a poem or story
Bloom’s Learning Levels Comprehension Involves converting information from the form received to your own words Making illustrations Describing relationships Knowledge stage of critical thinking • Requires memorization for recall: • Math formulas • Phone numbers
Set the Stage… An action plan gives you control over your immediate future. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, frustration, and unnecessary use of time and energy. If you don’t have a plan, you jeopardize your chance for success and increase your chance for failure! A winner has a PLAN! A loser has an EXCUSE! -Sides and Korchek
Set the Stage… • Make consistent space for yourself to study • Insure adequate lighting and quietness • Have all of your tools for success • Schedule your time
The Keys for Success Develop a winning attitude Identify motivators Set short and long term goals Use time wisely Reward yourself
Time ManagementHow do you handle it all? Chores Studying Self Friends Sports BF/GF School Work
Time Management • Schedule your time • To study • For friends or GF/BF • For chores and work
Time Management • Develop a weekly calendar to keep track of assignments and due dates • Make To-Do lists • Don’t procrastinate
Everyone is different. Pick what is best for you. Review the material right when you get home. Learn general concepts first, then focus on the details. Take short study breaks: no more than 15 minutes. Study with others who are serious about academic success. Test yourself or get someone to test you knowledge. Listen to relaxing music on your iPod while studying. Don’t study later than the time you usually go to sleep. Studying Skills Help & Study Tips
The LISAN Method LEAD, don’t follow. Anticipate what the teacher is going to say. IDEAS. What is the main idea? SIGNAL WORDS. Listen for words that tell you the direction the teacher is going. ACTIVELY LISTEN. Ask questions and be prepared. NOTE TAKING. Write down key points, and be selective.
Note taking skills and strategies • If the teacher writes something on the chalkboard/overhead or repeats an idea, then it is usually a key point and you should write it down. • Try to sit towards the front and center of the class where you'll be less distracted and can hear the teacher the best and have a good angle on any visual aids that may be shown. • Don't rely on someone else's notes. You may not understand everything that they right down, and you'll learn the best by taking your own notes. • Date your notes; add titles and subtitles when you move onto a new topic for easy referencing.
Test taking skills, tricks, strategies, & techniques Studying is only a part of getting good results on your test. No matter how hard you study as a student, if you don't know how to go about taking a test, whether multiple choice or essay, you won't score the highest possible grade.
The Study Group • Set location and time • Have an agenda • Everyone must follow the rules • Do their share • Be courteous • Attend regularly Can be a great source of moral support
Food and Nutrition Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to build up your natural reserve. Make a list and prepare some healthy snacks you can keep for use during studying or breaks. Try to maintain regular meal times and eat healthy balanced meals. Your body will need all the help you can give it to serve you well during this time.
Drugs and Medication Assess your current drug and medication intake. Are there any that will cause sedation or stimulation that will inhibit your preparation for tests? Assess your current caffeine use. Constant use tends to diminish the effectiveness of any drug. Keep caffeine intake below 200 mg/day. Be aware that street "speed" is almost a combination of caffeine, ephedrine and/or phenylpropanolamine, the same ingredient in some diet pills. Alcohol and other central nervous systems depressants are discouraged if you are trying to stay awake and alert beyond normal limits and/or trying to maximize performance.
Sleep & Relaxation Maintain as normal a sleeping pattern as possible. Don't try and fall asleep until you've had a chance to calm down and relax. Select several different relaxation techniques. Practice them so they are handy for use during studying.
How Can I Avoid Cramming? • Cramming doesn’t work—the brain needs time to assimilate information • If you have to: • Outline the lecture • Focus on the main points • Read your notes and make flash cards or a summary sheet/study guide • Get at least 4 hours of sleep, but preferably MORE • Review one hour before the test
Breaking the Procrastination Habit • Identify your motivators • Make a list of self-motivating statements • Recognize that negative predictions do come true
Breaking the Procrastination Habit • Set your goals • Establish a clear timetable • Write reminders • Pinpoint where your delays typically start • Break down large tasks into smaller ones
Breaking the Procrastination Habit • Reward yourself for successes • Also give up something if you fail
General Pre-test Tips Budget your time. Make sure you have sufficient time to study so that you are well prepared for the test. Pay attention to the review and any hints that the teacher may give about the test. Take careful notes and ask questions about items you may be confused about. Go over any material from old tests, sample problems, review material, the textbook, class notes... that might be on the test. Eat and healthy breakfast before a test. Having food in your stomach will give you energy and help you focus. Try to show up as early as possible to ask any last minute questions about things you may need clarifying. Go to the bathroom before walking into class so that you are not disturbed or distracted while taking your test.
General Test Tips Bring at least two pens/pencils with good erasers, a calculator with enough batteries and any other resources that your teacher allows you tohave. Keep a positive attitude throughout the whole test and try to stay relaxed, if you start to feel nervous take a few deep breaths to relax. Do the easiest problems first; don't stay on a problem that you are stuck on especially when time is a factor. Write legibly. If the grader can't read what you wrote they’d most likely mark it wrong. If you don't know an answer skip it, go on with the rest of the test and come back to it later. Maybe on another part of the test there'll be something that will help you out with that question. When you are finished, if you have time left look over your test. Make sure that you have answered all the questions, and only change an answer if you misread or misinterpreted the question. Usually your first instinct is right!
How To Keep Calm During Tests PREPARE WELL IN ADVANCE DON'T TALK ABOUT THE TEST. IT WILL ONLY INCREASE YOUR ANXIETY READ OVER THE TEST AND PLAN YOUR APPROACH WORRY ABOUT WHAT IS REAL DEVELOP AN AGGRESSIVE, YET REALISTIC ATTITUDE ACTIVITY REDUCES ANXIETY. GET MOVING! RELAX YOURSELF PHYSICALLY. TAKE SLOW DEEP BREATHS PAY ATTENTION TO THE TESTAND WHAT THE TEACHER IS ASKING YOU AND NOT EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM DON’T PANIC IF EVERYONE IS FINISHING EARLY AND YOU ARE ONLY ½ WAY THROUGH. EVERYONE WORKS AT A DIFFERENT PACE
The Test Question • Three parts of a question are: • The background statement • Is a brief scenario that provides necessary information for answering the question • May provide a framework for the stem • A stem • Contains specific problem or intent of the item • And a list of options • Are the possible answers to the questions • The correct answer is the key response and the other options are distracters.
Types of questions • Knowledge • Recall or remembered information • Comprehension • Need to understand the information • Application • Show, solve, use or manipulate information • Analysis • Interpret data, recognize commonalities, differences, interrelationships among presented ideas
Answering the question… • Read the question before looking at the options • Identify key words in the stem • Except: the word except directs you to something that is not typical or does not fit • If you miss the word, you will select the WRONG answer • Look for key words • First, initial, early, most important, except HASTE MAKES WASTE AND ERRORS!
The Options Attempt to answer the question without looking at the responses. Identify your response in the options. Eliminate the obviously incorrect responses first, then select the BEST of the remaining options. DON’T CHANGE answers without a good reason or sound rationale.
NEXT… Identify the theme of the item and base it on the information given. Don’t assume information that is NOT given.
OTHER TIPS… Responses that use absolute words, such as “always” or “never” are less likely to be correct than “usually” or “probably” Funny responses are usually wrong “all of the above” is usually correct Watch for double negatives The longest response is usually correct Do not hesitate to ask for clarification during the test
Other Objective Tests Short Answers Break into three categories: Know w/o hesitation Should be able to answer if you think about it Have no idea Answer the questions you know first, then attack the rest True/False Answers • Assesses recognition of material • If question is only part true, then it is FALSE • Watch for key words • All, always, because • Generally, Never • None, only sometimes • Usually