By Rafael Robledo
It’s that time again that we all dread — it’s midterm season! I know, I know, it’s time for our stress levels to be at an all time high. I am here to relay some recommendations on how to study so that you are able to do good on your upcoming exams.
Cramming as we all know it is not good for us, so let’s get rid of that mentality. The reason that cramming is ineffective is because it increases your stress levels even more and that makes it much more difficult to be able to concentrate. Additionally, more than half of the information that you’re trying to learn won’t be retained on the exam day.
Recently I read up on this one technique that is effective for learning. This technique is called the Feynman Technique Model and it has 4 simple steps to it.
The first step is to share what you know to a friend or reflect on what you know by using simple language. For example, a topic for me would be chemistry and how to convert grams into moles. I would explain how to do it to a friend by using simple language.
Then, you would reflect on your weak points or find a way to use more common terms rather than using complex words. So for example, let’s say that you would need to get the element and divide by something.
This takes you to the third step, where you study what you don’t exactly know and focus on that aspect to retain that knowledge. So for my example again, since I don’t know what needs to be divided by I would study and figure out how to do it.
The fourth step is to repeat these steps in order to be able to refine your analysis on what you are studying and to retain that which you are learning.
Personally, I like this method since it makes you reflect on your weak points so that you are able to improve them on that perspective. Additionally, I believe that this method would work better if you are studying with a group since it would be easier to bounce off ideas and to find what everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. As such, everyone would be able to focus on them and be able to explain the concepts in a simpler way to comprehend the difficult topics.
Hopefully the Feynman method helps you out for these exams and for the future. I wish the best of luck to you all on those exams, but I know you won’t need it after you grind out on studying.