How do top students study?

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young!

There has been a lot of research about how people learn and how they learn best in higher education contexts. There are thousands of theories and principles that have emerged over the years to attempt to inform and guide tutors, lecturers and learners as to how best to orientate themselves towards their education and their learning tasks.

Bellow is Part I on How top students study.

They Fight Back Against Forgetting

The moment you acquire new information is the moment that forgetting starts trying to take it away. Unfortunately, you can’t stop forgetting anymore than you can stop wind from blowing. But you can fight it back, this is what top students do, reinforcing what they have learned and strengthening their memories in the face of forgetting’s relentless attack.


Top Students Retain Information

There’s a battle going on in the brain. You may not always be aware of it, but your memory  is  under  constant  assault  from  forgetfulness,  the  biggest  single  enemy  of your academic success. Forgetting works both massively and rapidly to undo learning. In fact, research has shown again and again that when you learn something new you are likely to forget most of it in a matter of days.

In  one  experiment,  people  who  read  a  textbook  chapter,  forgot  46  percent  of  their reading after one day, 79 percent after fourteen days, and 81 percent after twenty-eight days.

Although reading is forgotten quickly, the rate of forgetting for things you hear occurs even faster. This has to do with the way the short-term or working memory is designed. All new information passes through working memory before some of it is sent on to more permanent storage in your long-term memory. Your working memory essentially has two front doors. There’s an entrance for the things you see and another for the things you say or hear. Solid evidence suggests that when you read words in a book, you are both seeing and hearing them at once. Images of the words combined with the sounds of those words that you hear in your “inner ear” makes the memories stronger.

The best way to make memories stick, the best way to move what you have learned from your working memory to your long-term memory is through rehearsal. The word rehearse  comes  from  an  old  French  word  that  means  “to  plow  again.”   Each  time  you repeat or rewrite what you’ve read or heard, you’re rehearsing it; you are deepening and  strengthening  its  memory  trace, this is How Top Students Study.  If you plow deeply, it should last. But if you only plow a shallow path, it can vanish in the first heavy wind or driving rain. It’s the same with unrehearsed information.

Top Students Make an Effort to Remember

Memory is not automatic. To remember something, you have to make a conscious effort to  learn  it. Even  if  you  do  learn  new information, it won’t stay with you very long unless you’re convinced that it’s worth hanging  on  to.  Your  initial  effort  determines  whether  you’ll  remember  what  you’ve heard or read for a lifetime or forget it in a matter of seconds.

Top Students Avoid Pseudo-Forgetting

How Do Top Students Study?
How Do Top Students Study?

Whenever you cannot remember a name, a telephone number, a fact, an idea, or even a joke, it’s quite natural to say, “I forgot.” Yet forgetting may have nothing to do with your problem. You may never have learned the information in the first place. This phenomenon  is  known  as  pseudo-forgetting.  The  word  pseudo  means  “false”  or  “phony.” The best thing you can do to improve your memory is to pay close attention to the things you want to remember, this is what Top Students do to make what they have learned stick.

If an idea or a fact is to be retained in your memory for any length of time, it must be  impressed  on  your  mind  clearly  and  crisply  at  least  once.  A  record  of  that  idea  or fact must be laid down in your brain before you can truly recall or forget what you’ve learned. You can create this record by jotting the new information down or by repeating it aloud. If you are accustomed to meeting a lot of new people, perhaps you already know  the  technique  of  repeating  the  name  of  the  person  to  whom  you’ve  just  been introduced.  Instead  of  saying  “Pleased  to  meet  you,”  you  say  “Pleased  to  meet  you, Mr. Ben.” This approach is not only personable, but it also provides an easy way to counteract pseudo-forgetting.



•  Look over the entire  test - know  how  much  each  question  is worth  and  budget your  time  accordingly.  Check  the  clock every  10  minutes  to  insure  you  will  not be  caught  off guard  and  run  out  of time.  If necessary,  put your  watch  on  the desk  in front  of you.

•  Answer  the  easiest  questions first - Put  a check  by  those  that  are  harder  and return  to  those  questions  last.  Otherwise,  you  will  waste  valuable  time  and  miss answering  the  easier  questions.  Place  another  line  through  the  check  when  you complete  the  harder  questions.

•  Underline  key  words  in the  question -  Make  special  note  of negative  words  like "not."  Feel  free,  however,  to  ask  for  clarification  from  your  instructor  if the question  is vague  or unclear. 

HOW TO PLAN YOUR REVISION - Getting Ready For Exams





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