My study and exam tips

by Nicola
(Plymouth, UK)

I think that your tips for study methods and test revision are great. Really practical things that you can do.

I have a book called the Good Study Guide that covers many of the things that you've mentioned. I've used it a lot over the years when I've been studying for various things to do with my work.

I was home schooled, so I learnt early on that you need to be organised to be able to get through tests. In home school I had various test papers and my mum was very strict about how I completed the various papers. She always made sure that I didn't skimp on the preparation.

I did have outside tutors to help me on some subjects and they gave me study tips too.

One was that you should make good notes. But there's no point in making notes if you then never look at them. This is emphasised in the Good Study Guide too.

Make notes, then review them. Use a yellow highlighter pen to mark out the main points. Then make notes on your notes.

I studied optical dispensing for a while and that's how I coped with some of the more complicated formulas and concepts. I had reams of notes from my studies which I then distilled down into shorter notes.

Once I'd done that I reduced them down again to key ideas and important formulas and put them onto 3 x 5 cards. I carried these cards around with me and reviewed them when I had period of time when I was waiting around.

It's amazing how that helps you remember.

Using little bits of time to review what you've learnt on a regular basis really makes stuff stick in your brain.

When I took the exams I went through the paper making notes on things as I read the questions. I answered the easy things first and let my brain subconsciously work on the more difficult things whilst I got on with what I could answer.

I remember one paper where I had a total blank for a formula that I needed to use. I still passed the exam and I'm 90% sure that I got a decent mark for a question I couldn't fully answer because I'd made notes on the paper and put down as much as I COULD remember.

It's worth a try even if you don't get it completely right.

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