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Old Sunday, December 13, 2009
nageen's Avatar
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Default How to study

How to study___ A 20 step guide

by Gail Wood

Download Link

HOW TO STUDY
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Old Monday, December 14, 2009
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Default How to study

I found the above posted book very useful and interesting.Though the whole book is worth reading but the following chunks are handy for quick review.


GETTING STARTED

GETTING IN THE MOOD

You probably know what it’s like to have to do something you don’t feel
like doing.Whether it’s studying, washing the dinner dishes, or training
a new person on the job, it’s easy to put off doing an unpleasant task.

PROCRASTINATION

You can come up with plenty of excuses for not doing something:
• “I can’t do the dishes now because I have to pay the bills.”
• “I can’t train Tony this morning because I’m expecting an
important call.”
• “I can’t study now because I have to get a haircut.”
At some time or another everyone procrastinates. The first step in conquering
this problem is to recognize the actual reasons for procrastinating:
• You’re not sure you can do it.
• You’re afraid it will involve too much time and effort.
• You’re uneasy in new situations.
• You don’t want to be disturbed.
• It’s hard for you to get started.
Knowing why you’re procrastinating will help you overcome the
tendency to put things off, and you’ll find it easier to get moving.

Trick and Treat to Beat Procrastination

We all like be to rewarded for a job well done. And if we know there’s
going to be a reward at the end, we’ll be more motivated at the start. You
can apply this to studying: Trick yourself into working now by promising
yourself a treat later.
Before you read any further, think of a reward you can give yourself
after you complete this lesson or before you begin the next one. Here are
some suggestions for rewards to give yourself:

• Telephone a friend.
• Have a nutritious snack.
• Spend time with your pet: cat, dog, goldfish, hamster, hedgehog.
• Take a walk or exercise.
Next, take out a notebook and make a list of other rewards you’d
like to give yourself–rewards that don’t take a lot of time, aren’t expensive,
and are easy to do right where you are.

Use Procrastination to Get Something Done

Let the studying you have to do take turns with something else. Distract
yourself from one job by doing the other. This works especially well if
both tasks are the kind that make you want to procrastinate, like studying
your psychology textbook and cleaning out your closet. Watch the
clock; don’t spend more than 20 minutes on one job. You can set a time
less than 20 minutes if that works better for you—15 minutes, or even 10.

Practice Tips

Here are some ways you can practice the suggestions of this chapter in
everyday situations. Doing so will make you feel experienced and more
comfortable when you use these same methods to get started studying.
• The next time you find yourself feeling anxious at work or at
home, try imagining a special place and practice deep breathing
to calm yourself.
• The next time you find yourself not wanting to do something that
needs to be done, reward yourself before and/or after doing the
task.
• Before doing something you’ve never done, do something familiar
that you can easily accomplish in a short period of time.
• Before doing something new, review what you have done that’s
similar.

PICTURE YOURSELF CALM

Think of a place that makes you feel calm. It can be a real place you’ve
been to, some place you’ve seen in a movie or photograph, or a fantasy
place you made up. Close your eyes and get a clear picture of this place
in your head. Try to imagine yourself really there. Sense what you see,
hear, feel, and smell.

For example, if you’re imagining yourself on a beach . . .
• See yourself sitting on the shore.
• Hear the gentle waves lapping the shore and an occasional
seagull calling.
• Feel the warm sand on your toes and the gentle breeze on your
shoulders.
• Smell the salt water.
By using your four senses in this imagination exercise, rather than
just one or two, you heighten the sensation of peace and relaxation,
making a mental image seem like reality.

BOOST YOUR EYE OR EAR POWER

OK, now that you know whether you learn better with your ears or your
eyes, what do you do to study more effectively? Whether you’re summarizing
what you read, or reflecting on what happened in the last class, try
one of these techniques:
• Give yourself something to hear: speak! Take notes by speaking
into a tape recorder. You can play this back not only at your best
study time (see Chapter 1), but in a headset when you’re commuting
to or from work, when you’re on your lunch hour, doing dishes
at home, or going for a walk.
• Give yourself something to see: write or draw! Carry a little notebook
or sketch pad around with you to write or draw afterthoughts
of what you studied. You can study not only at your best
time of day, but since you’re carrying your notes with you, whenever
you have a few minutes–even in the bathtub.

BE ALL EARS

Here are ways to make the most of using your ears in studying, whether
they’re your learning strength or not.

WHEN LISTENING

Use only your ears. Try closing your eyes when you’re listening to something
you want to remember, whether it’s a tape of a speech or notes
you taped into a recorder. Now your ears have to do all the work! Try
the same thing when you’re on the phone or listening to news on the
radio or TV. Closing your eyes can help your ears focus. You’re helping
your ears get the most out of what you hear by not letting what you see
get in the way.

Learning a New Language?

If you’re studying a language, the sooner your ear becomes familiar with
the sound and rhythms of that language, the easier it will be for you to
use that language, both in speaking and writing. Tune into the language
you’re learning by listening to radio talk shows and TV programs in that
language. Remember to close your eyes! You’re just using your ears. It’s
too easy for your eyes to figure out what’s happening on TV.

WHEN READING

When you’re reading something you want to remember, try reading out
loud. Listen to your voice and change the sound of it when the mood of
what you’re reading changes. Have fun making deep and high sounds,
loud and soft sounds. Have you ever noticed in a play or movie, that just
before actors say something important, like, “The butler did it,” they
pause? There’s usually a pause after they say it as well. Decide what’s
important to you in what you’re reading, and try pausing before and after
you say that. Try it right now with this paragraph.

IT’S IN THE EYES

Here are ways to make the most of using your eyes in studying, whether
they’re your learning strength or not.

WHEN LISTENING

When you’re listening to something you want to remember, try drawing
a picture or taking notes. If you’re drawing, draw what comes to mind
right away. These are your notes, so they have to make sense to you! Stick
figures are fine. If you’re writing, pretend you’re a newspaper reporter
with a lot of readers. It’ll help you focus on what’s important, and your
notes will be clearer to you if you pretend you’re writing them for
someone else.

WHEN READING

When you’re reading something you want to remember, draw or write. If
you’re writing, try choosing the most important word in a sentence, then
the most important sentence in the paragraph. Underline it if it’s your
own book; if it’s not, write it in your notebook. Explain why it’s important;
summarize what you read in words. If you’re drawing, make a series
of pictures, just like in a comic strip, summarizing what sticks out in your
mind about what you read.

Practice Tips

If you learn better by hearing, say out loud what was useful to you in
this chapter. If you learn better by seeing, write or draw a cartoon
about it.
Here are some other ways to build up your seeing and hearing:
• See more: Check with your local or school library on viewing
closed-caption films. These films show you what is being said by
having the words appear on the bottom of the screen.
• Hear more: Check with your local or school library for books on
tape. Just about every kind of book is available.
If you learn better when you combine seeing with hearing, write or
draw what was useful, then read it aloud, or describe the drawing out
loud.


ARE YOU AN IMAGE THINKER OR A
SEQUENTIAL THINKER?


TIPS FOR IMAGE THINKERS

Here are some tips to help you if you learn best by thinking in
images:
• To make the most of reading: Take notes by drawing pictures
that come to mind or describing the pictures in your head into a
tape recorder.
• To make the most of writing: Describe the pictures in your head
on paper or into a recorder, and then write what you play back.

TIPS FOR SEQUENTIAL THINKERS

• To make the most of reading: Write and re-write your notes in
list or outline form, putting details under major topic headings. If
you’re using a tape recorder, read your list into it. As you play it
back, listen to any changes you want to make so that the order is
clearer or stronger for you.
• To make the most of writing: List or outline what you want to
say. Your outline might be a series of questions. If so, put similar
questions together to form categories. If you’re using a tape
recorder to get started, read your questions into it, play it back
and re-record any changes that make the order clearer to you.

Move Around to Refresh and Re-focus

Larry was so nervous about a civil service test coming up that his
brain would freeze whenever he tried to study. He would open his
book, and although he knew what the words meant, he just
couldn’t put them together. He sat there trying to study, but nothing
seemed to make sense. All the while, he was thinking of how
important the test was and how he had to get a good grade. In
frustration, he got up and went for a walk for half an hour. Then
a strange thing happened. The more he walked, the clearer his
head felt. After awhile, he found himself thinking about what he
had been trying to study. When he returned to his book, the
words made sense for the first time.


BECOMING AN ACTIVE LEARNER

When you’re an active learner, you feel more in control of your studying.
You’re actively using your questions, your answers, your images, your
order. You’re noting what’s important to you. You’ll find you want to
study when you’re making these decisions for yourself. Assume
responsibility for your own learning, and learning will become enjoyable.
One way to be an active learner is to think ahead before you read
something.
Right now, write the answers to these questions in your notebook,
or speak them into your tape recorder.
• What are you expecting to happen in this chapter?
• What questions do you have about this chapter?


Practice Tips

• Study actively. Before you study, think of a real-life use for the subject
at hand. Imagine yourself as a professional involved with the
study material. If you’re studying management, pretend you own
your own company; if you’re studying chemistry, think of yourself
as a chemist; and so on. Keep your character in mind as you create
and answer questions from the text or audiotape, make notes, and
review your study session.
• Study by moving.After a study session, take a notepad and pen with
you as you go for a walk of at least 20 minutes. Choose a time when
you don’t feel rushed.As you’re walking, think about what you studied.
Stop and write down these thoughts as they come to mind. You
might also discover new connections with old material.

Learning New Material

New material will be absorbed more readily if you study when you’re
comfortable and your mind is fresh. Try getting up a little earlier than
usual in the morning to study while you have fewer distractions.
New material stays in a certain part of your brain—a kind of holding
area—for only three days or so. To ensure that you cement it more
permanently in your memory, review the material as soon as possible.

KEEP FOCUSED

Before you start your science project or begin to study for that test, decide
how long you want each study session to be. Can each be 20 minutes
long? That’s about how long most people can stay really focused on the
task at hand. But perhaps it’s less for you—maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Or
maybe it’s more like 25 or 30 minutes.Whatever you find is best for you,
try to stick to it.

Practice Tips

In the text you’re studying, or in a newspaper, find a word you don’t
know. Cover that word. Look at the rest of the sentence and decide
what the sentence could mean without the word you covered. If the
sentence isn’t clear on its own,write what you know for sure about the
meaning of the sentence. Try to draw a picture of the sentence, or to
make sense of it in any way that suits your learning style. Now, ask
yourself what you need to know to make the sentence clearer. Write
down your questions or record them into an audiotape.
Then go back to the original sentence and choose a word or phrase
that could replace the unfamiliar word. Check to see that your word
or phrase makes your picture clearer. You made a definition based on
what you knew—the words around the unknown word—to find out
what you didn’t know.
Now look in the dictionary and see how close you came!

ACTING OUT

What if you’re studying something and, despite your best efforts, you
don’t find anything of particular interest in it? Sometimes you just can’t
find anything that you can connect with.
In that case, pretend you’re someone else who can relate to the material
and has an interest in it! You can become interested in a subject when
you involve yourself in it, even when you’re just role-playing. (See Chapter
5, “Learning by Doing,” for more on role-playing and other ways to be
an active learner.)
• Pretend you’re the instructor; decide what will be the focus of the
next class. Let that direct your studying.
• Act! Take on somebody else’s interests. If you’re studying management,
for example, assume the role of a business executive. If
you’re studying for a science course, pretend you’re a research
biologist. And so on.


GET READY TO READ

Start thinking about what you will be reading before you even begin to read.
First, choose a section to read. If the reading is divided into chapters, a chapter
is a good place to start. If it’s a long chapter with sub-headings, begin
with the first sub-heading. Look at the title of the chapter, the sub-heading,
or the article only.Write down your answers to these questions:
• What does the title make you think of?
• What do you expect the reading to be about?
• What questions do you expect the reading to answer?
If Sally, who we met in the beginning of this chapter, followed this
advice, her mind wouldn’t start to drift to other things, like what she’s
doing tonight, or how she’s going to get home. She would be actively
engaged in deciphering titles in her marine biology book.Making a study
plan and sticking to it would help Sally stop daydreaming.


GETTING MORE OUT OF READING

To make sense of what you read, first study the title and any illustrations
to come up with the main idea of the reading. Come up with questions
that the text should answer. You want to have clear images in your head,
and a clear sense of the order of events of what you’re reading or listening
to. Stop when you come to something new or confusing. Connect it with
what you already know, to help your brain file it as something learned.
After you read, you think back on what you read, and how you read it.

Practice Tips

Practice pre-reading the next time you’re reading a newspaper or
magazine article, or even watching a film. Pre-read the title of the film or
reading matter, and then pay very close attention to what’s happening in
the beginning. Try to predict the ending, based on what’s happening or
being discussed at the start. Have fun!

Practice Tip

Twenty minutes or so before you go to sleep tonight, read over (or listen
to) something you want to remember. Tomorrow morning, read or
listen to the same thing again.

BEING YOUR
OWN PARTNER


Many students say what they like best
about working with a partner is that it takes the heat off.
There’s less stress when you’re sharing the pressure with
someone else. And two heads are often better than one. But if, for
whatever reason, you don’t have a study buddy, you can reap the
benefits of working in a pair by pretending there’s someone else in the
room. You can imagine yourself as your own partner, your own coach.
It’s not very difficult, and it can actually be fun!

BE YOUR OWN HELP-MATE

What did you like about working with a study buddy? (If you haven’t
worked with a partner yet, what do you think you’d like about working
with a study buddy?)
Write your responses in your notebook or record them on your tape
recorder. Then try to recreate a study buddy session using your notes.

TALK TO YOURSELF!

Since you are your own partner now, talk to yourself like your partner
would; it will trigger your thinking.
• Talk as you’re planning.
Jill, after losing Jack as a partner, now talks to herself before tackling
a new subject. She then writes in her notebook what she’s
expecting to read and what she knows about the subject already.
• Talk as you’re doing.
Jill says out loud, then writes, what makes sense to her, and what
questions come to mind as she studies.


Practice Tips

Talking to yourself while studying, and pretending you’ve got an
invisible buddy, may seem a bit odd to you at first!
To get used to the idea and become good at it, practice before you
start your study sessions.
When you’re by yourself—in the shower, in the car, walking to work
or school—begin a conversation with yourself. To make it seem more
real, pretend you’re with a classmate. Try out questions like:
• So, how was class yesterday?
• What did you find most interesting? Puzzling?
• When is your next study session?
• What do you think you’ll need to spend the most time on during
that session?
No one’s around, so you can speak freely and pretend you’re
talking to anyone you want. Relax, and realize that you’re doing it for
a specific reason: to learn!

PREPARING FOR
ESSAY TESTS


GETTING READY

A good way to prepare yourself for an essay question is to write a mock
test ahead of time. By acting (creating questions) and not just reacting
(answering questions), you become involved in the test preparation
process. To begin, pretend you’re the instructor:
• Make a list of what you want your students to get out of the
course and the class materials, such as hand-outs, pamphlets, and
books.
• Circle the three items you feel are most important to the course.
• Make up a question for each of these items. If you’re working
with a study buddy, each make up your own list and separate
questions. Include both direct questions, which are answered by
facts from your notes or text, and at least one indirect question,
which is based on how you put facts together to come up with
a conclusion.
• Write an answer to each question. If you’re working with a study
buddy, swap the tests you made and take each other’s test. Make
sure you each have an answer sheet that includes page numbers
that indicate where the answers can be found in your class material.



On an essay test, you’re answering specific questions. First, you need to
understand what’s being asked of you. Then, you need to come up with
specific answers. You focus on the meaning, on the idea, of what you
want to say so the reader knows what you think and feel. After you’re
satisfied with what your writing is saying, you then check that what
you’ve written looks and sounds the way you want it to. Since it’s a test,
you’ll first answer the questions you know for sure, and save the more
challenging ones for later. This will save you time and energy!

Practice Tips

Practice writing “on call,” without having much time to prepare.Write
several questions you could imagine being asked on an essay exam. Cut
each one into a strip, putting all the strips in a jar. Make a note of the
time. Pull a strip out of the jar and answer the question written on it,
using some of the suggestions in this chapter. Remember to:
• Use your learning style to help you come up with an answer.
• Answer it fully.
• Check that the images and order make sense.
• Check your grammar and spelling.
Note the time again. How long did it take you to finish your answer?
Are you likely to have more or less time on the real test? On another day,
repeat this exercise, choosing a new question and also timing your
answer.
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