Organizing Your Learning

1- Focus on your work objectives. What do you intend to accomplish during this session? Setting a concrete study goal may help you. Creating study plans is also a good idea. If 3 out of 5 lessons are easy and can be finished fast, finish them first, so you can spend quality time on the difficult lessons without fretting. Also, keeping a folder for your exam reviews is a good way to keep organized.

2- Write yourself a study guide. Go through your notes and rewrite the most important information. Not only will this give you a more focused way to study, but it creating it is another form of studying! Just don’t spend too much time on the guide itself: you need to have time to go over it too!

3- Reinvent your notes in other formats. Rewriting your notes is great if you’re a kinesthetic learner. Mind mapping is the most effective way of doing this. Also, when you re-write something, you will probably think about what you are writing, what it’s about, and why you wrote it down. Most importantly, it refreshes your memory. If you took notes a month ago and just found out that those notes will be relevant in your exam, rewriting them will remind you of them when you need it for your exam.
· Don’t simply copy your notes over and over again. This tends to lean towards memorizing the exact wording of your notes instead of the actual concepts. Instead, read and think about the contents of your notes (such as think of examples), and then re-word them.

4- Ask yourself questions about your material. This can help you tell if you have remembered what you just studied. Don’t try to remember the exact wording from your notes in your answer to yourself; synthesizing that information into an answer is a much more useful tactic.
· It can also help to say the answers to your questions out loud, as if you were trying to explain it to someone else.

5- Review previous tests and assignments. If you missed questions on previous work, look up the answers and understand why you missed these questions. This is particularly helpful if the exam you’re studying for is cumulative or comprehensive, meaning it covers things you also covered earlier in the course.