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Preparing for a test is important and key to success in the exam itself. It is, therefore, important to have a strategy to follow when preparing for the test. First, it is important to make flashcards, as they are very useful revision tools. Re-re...Read More

~Posted on May 2019

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You be the professor

Preparing for a test is important and key to succ...

Preparing for a test is important and key to success in the exam itself. It is, therefore, important to have a strategy to follow when preparing for the test. First, it is important to make flashcards, as they are very useful revision tools. Re-reading the class notes is also important as it gives one confidence in the test. It is also necessary to recite verbally what one knows to another person as this can be used as a retrieval cue in the exam room. However, cramming should be avoided at all means as one can quickly forget everything.

Flashcards and rote learning are some of the studying methods that many students result to in college. This method has both advantages and disadvantages. Rote repetition is an efficient method that is used by students to remember what they have learned in class. Another advantage is that rote learning can be used as a foundation to more complicated concepts at later stages. However, using this method have a number of drawbacks. First, it leaves the students with low ability of critical thinking. They cannot apply the gained knowledge in practical situations. Also, this method can be boring when used for extended periods. While rote repetition is good for enabling students to remember information, it can’t be used on its own. It must be complemented by other methods which will help the students develop critical thinking.    

There are many study skills one can incorporate in their college learning to ensure improvement in studying. One of the best study skills involves using a schedule when learning. A schedule is a plan that allocates time to various subjects being taught to ensure comprehensive learning. A plan must meet one’s needs and must be followed strictly for it to achieve the desired results. The schedule helps save time and keeps one from wandering off the course. It contributes to making every hour count by ensuring that every free time is managed well. However, one must know the best times to study. Studies are best suited when one is alert and well rested. This type of strategy helps in the consolidation process where information that is recently gained is converted into long-term stable memories (Nevid, 2015.p. 215)

Another strategy is the SQ3R method which is have been proven to succeed. S stands for survey, Q for a question, and the three Rs are read, recite and review ("The SQ3R Reading Method", 1970). The first part of this strategy means skimming through what is to be learned from the actual reading. For example, before starting the reading of a particular subject, one can go through the topics to be learned without writing any detailed notes. Surveying the subject will give a rough roadmap of what is to be learned. It helps prepare one for the course with the right mentality. The second step is the question part where one asks the relevant questions in that course. An easy way to formulate questions is by turning topics and subtopics into questions which will be answered at a later stage. The last three steps are reading, reviewing and reciting. This method of learning uses the three major memory processes of encoding, storage, and retrieval of information by the brain (p. 212)

Replies: Although professors provide students the tools to study, there are often other activities and distractions that compete with their desire to study. In addition, change is hard. Using concepts from the Learning Chapter, how might you expand upon your classmates’ study seminar and help students “learn” to study? Read and reply to 2 classmates: recommend an operant approach in one reply and a cognitive approach in the other reply. Explain how the operant and cognitive approaches are consistent and/or inconsistent with biblical principles.

Replies to discussion board (You be the professor)

Reply 1: Grayson Rector – Memory

Studying can be time-consuming, and students in colleges should create ample time for it. However, it is a fact that many students hate studying. This is mainly because it is in college where students are required to study more to achieve good grades. Many people pass through high school and pre-high school without having to study hard. College is different, and one is required to study harder than before.

Rote repetition is a good method of increasing memory power where one repeats a concept until it is understood. Reading and noting down the key concepts two times or more is a good way to ensure that one remembers them when faced by test or an exam. If this is not enough one can also read aloud the concepts written down to further understand it. Reading, noting down key concepts and reading aloud the concepts ensures that multiple senses have been used and hence the memory created will be more memorable. One can improve the memory power by also trying some other techniques other than those stated. Exercising regularly is one method of relaxing the mind. Exercise reduces stress which in turn improves the memory capability of the mind.


A recommendation to ensure that the students improve their retention capability is by avoiding multitasking when studying. Research studies carried out show that one retains less when multitasking as compared to when the mind is focused on one thing only. One can also employ an operant approach of rewarding self after reaching a set target. A person may decide that they will only play their favorite video game if they can accurately remember what they studied the day before. Though this may not change the attitude towards studying, it will improve the desire to attain the set target.

Reply 2: Samantha Aikin

A schedule for studying is crucial to every college student. A schedule helps the student to save time or create time for studying all the subjects being learned proportionally. The environment a person is studying in is also paramount since it may influence how one understands. A quiet environment especially when one is alone is a good environment for studying. It allows the mind to focus one learning the concepts being studied. Consumption of water and healthy snacks is also important to the brain as it functions better. Approximately 80% of the brain is made up of water, and when the body is dehydrated, brain functionality is affected. Using the textbook, notes and cue cards is important when studying as it ensures comprehensive learning.  At the end of every learning session, taking a quiz is equally imperative as it shows how much one has retained and if the style of learning is appropriate.

The student should avoid using a laptop when studying as it is a source of distraction (unless the notes are in softcopy form and on the laptop or online). Listening to classical music on the headphones when learning is multitasking and will result in less material learned being retained. Though some students report that they understand more when listening to music, research has shown that it reduces the amount retained by the brain. A bean bag chair is also not the most appropriate chair to use when undertaking serious studies.


A recommendation to the student is that they can employ a cognitive approach to studying and practice self-explanation. Self-explanation is where a student tries to explain to themselves what they have learned. Though it is good to hear another person’s view, they should analyze their own views of what they have studied.




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