Sit down two or three days before an exam and go through your flashcards. Try to
reproduce all of the definitions – either by saying them out loud or writing them down. Writing takes longer to do,
but you will remember them faster if you have to write them in most cases, thus saving you time in the long
If you get a card right put a tally mark in the corner. When you have three to five
tally marks on a card (depending on how well you think you need to know the material), then you can be pretty
certain you know your stuff. Soon the cards you know readily will be marked up with tally marks, and the ones that
are tricky will be left. Study these extra hard, and when all of your beautiful flashcards are covered with tally
marks, you're finished. Prepare to collect your A.
The night before the test arrives, your companions are sifting through notes,
books, copies of overheads, etc., but you calmly reach for your flashcards and review stuff that you already knew
two days ago. Maybe you've forgotten some, no problem. Review them a couple more times, slap down some more tally
marks when you get them right, and again, you're finished.
And guess what? Eighteen months down the line you're going to have a final.
One of the most difficult things about studying for finals is that you have to gather all of the information for
the entire semester so that you can study it. Some people spend all week copying old notes, reviewing book
material, etc., just to GET READY to study for exams.
But, if you've been making flashcards and keeping them, you should have a
convenient little pile of things you should know. You don't have to spend time sifting through an entire semester
of information because you've been doing that already, one day at a time. You're ready to study.
Plus, you can have your flashcards with you at all times so you can take advantage
of stolen time – waiting in lines, waiting to see the doctor, waiting for your Starbucks. Maximizing down time with
flashcards makes tedious studying much, much easier.
Reading that Microeconomics textbook isn’t the most interesting thing on your to do
list. We know that. There is an effective technique you can use while reading, though, that will help maximize what
you get out of the material. It may seem complicated at first, but once you get into the habit of doing it, you’ll
notice a change in how you study.
This technique is called SQ3R – survey, question, read, recite, review. It is a
proven way to sharpen your study skills. Here’s how it works:
Survey - get the best overall picture of what you're
going to study before you study it in any detail. It's like looking at a road map before going on a trip. If you
don't know the territory, studying a map is the best way to begin.
Question - ask questions for learning. The important things
to learn are usually answers to questions. Questions should lead to emphasis on the what, why, how, when, who and
where of study content.