Most teenagers dread taking tests and some may wonder why exams are even necessary, especially when they cause such anxiety! But because tests are part of high school and college, instead of fearing them, you can put your energy into learning how to perform better.
conducted at Purdue University and published in the Journal of Science found that a specific studying technique helped students retain about 50 percent more information than students who used other techniques.
College students were assigned to read a few paragraphs about a scientific topic. Group one read the paragraphs for five minutes; group two studied the material in four five-minute sessions; group three used “concept mapping
” in which students arranged the information in a diagram, linking their ideas in an organized fashion, and group four used “retrieval practice”
tests. For these tests, students wrote down what they remembered from the material in a free-form essay format. They then reread the information and did another retrieval practice test.
Students were tested on their ability to recall the information they read and to draw conclusions based on what they remembered one week later. Results showed that students who studied with the retrieval practice tests did much better than the other groups, even the popular concept mapping technique that many teachers use in their classrooms.
Although the reasons behind the success of retrieval tests are still unclear, it may be worth incorporating this approach into your study habits
. This technique is challenging and forces you to write down what you know, as well as pointing out areas in which you need to pay more attention. Remember, doing well on tests earns you good grades, which opens more doors for you in the future, and makes you feel competent
, which boosts your self-esteem!
This article was originally a blog post
. It has been edited and reformatted by Remy Marin.
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