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  1. #11
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    I don't think those techniques listed as worst are that way for everyone. I find rereading and summarizing to be very helpful in the ways that I do them. In addition to primary material (like books) going over lecture slides a couple of times or key passages solidifies it in my mind. Summarizing in terms of writing an outline of the material works well. I did that when I took chemistry. I read the book the summer before and wrote outlines of the chapters as I read them. Spreading out study sessions I guess is good, but for me it's more about frequency and tying it to something interesting. If something is interesting or notable I'll remember it forever. I still remember most of the concepts I learned in chemistry, but I've forgotten most of the formulas (even though I used them like a million times). Practice testing works well depending on the subject matter. Science, math, and language would be appropriate, but philosophy not so much. In philosophy I just read, take notes in class, and think about what I learned, and then I remember it forever.

  2. #12
    redundant descriptor netzealot's Avatar
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    Highlighting and taking notes I find useless. All through school and post-secondary, I have gotten good grades just by simply paying attention and listening (it is WAY more interesting) so my experience concurs with the learning study.

  3. #13
    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    If I don't genuinely enjoy the topic at hand, there's no point in studying for it: in the long-term, I'll forget a big part of what I studied. I don't really do well with specifics - which I tend to forget within days of memorizing them - but rather with details. In fact, last year, for my geography exam, the teacher gave an outline with what to study. There were a few essay topics on the outline, but I didn't study all of them. On the exam, I had to chose one of three essay topics, but I didn't study for any of those three. I chose the one where I would have to work in the general without having to go back into what we've been taught. I thought I was going to fail the essay section, but it was the only one I got perfect on.
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  4. #14
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Best method is having a really good concentration level, attention for detail, and being smart.
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  5. #15
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    When are we finally going to accept that what someone else thinks is best for you is totally irrelevant. The only thing experts have a track record in is being proven wrong at some future point in time.

  6. #16
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I highlight everything. Still. Also practice tests was the approach I used - or a variation of that.

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  7. #17
    your resident asshole
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    I'm not a huge fan of this article. Obviously, it's well known that not studying all at once is more helpful than cramming the night before, but it doesn't give you good strategies on how you're supposed to study other than the practice tests. You can't do practice tests the whole time. They should only be done when you have a decent grasp of the material. What about when you're first learning it? According to the article, highlighting, summarizing, re-reading, mental imagery, and many others are all out. What's left? It does a great job of criticizing, but doesn't offer anything useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by LevelZeroHero View Post
    Highlighting and taking notes I find useless. All through school and post-secondary, I have gotten good grades just by simply paying attention and listening (it is WAY more interesting) so my experience concurs with the learning study.
    Yes! All throughout high school, people would think I was super smart because I did very well in my classes and didn't put in much effort at all. In reality, it all comes down to whether or not you are actually listening to the teacher. Texting while the teacher is talking? You're going to have to go over the material yourself then.

    I can't say how well this will go over in college for me yet, but it worked great previously.

    Oh, but I still highlight and stuff. :P

  8. #18
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    Huh, surprising and counterintuitive.

    I'd peg underlining and highlighting as enhancements, so to speak, to rereading--if rereading is useless, then perhaps so are they.
    Cramming information at the last minute may allow you to get through that test or meeting, but the material will quickly disappear from memory.
    Although, bolded is usually all that matters.

    One of the linked articles, on implicit learning, is pretty cool, too.

  9. #19
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LevelZeroHero View Post
    Highlighting and taking notes I find useless. All through school and post-secondary, I have gotten good grades just by simply paying attention and listening (it is WAY more interesting) so my experience concurs with the learning study.
    Yeah, I didn't usually have to study shit (unless I skipped a bunch of classes) because I listened.
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  10. #20
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Re. highlighting: I remember doing it in high school, in textbooks, but didn't use it as much in college (as in college I went primarily with my written notes, and didn't often need to refer to the textbooks).

    For me, it was the act of highlighting during my first read-through that helped, as it meant I was focusing that much more on what I was reading and what was in fact important.

    But I don't recall ever leaning on the highlighted sections upon re-reading; so after-the-fact it was useless for me.

    Re-reading worked really well for me, and taking notes/re-reading notes over and over to remember, prior to exams. Practice tests, if available, were helpful in some cases.

    With the exception of a few classes in h.s. and college, I was never exceptionally good at paying attention.. I'd zone out. Sometimes it was due to my finding the teaching relatively useless, and my thinking I'd be just as well off learning on my own, reading the book, etc prior to the exam (and that worked fine). Also though, I tend to have a pretty poor retention of details (and so many classes/exams are based on knowing the details, and aren't as much about the concepts..at least the classes I took; chem/bio details, definitions, dates/peoples' names, law names, math rules, and so on), so notes were a MUST, and re-reading/drilling in my head was a must. There's no way I would have been able to just go to class and absorb everything and remember all on my own.
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