Students are so busy, especially these days with all the distractions(think smartphones, social media, text messaging, you tube, etc.)that less and less time is available for studying. I want to give you some ideas for creating/finding/making time where it seems there is none.
1. Get up a half hour early and study a bit before school, or quiz a friend on the bus on the way to school or have them quiz you.
2. Keep notecards with you wherever you go. Notice all the opportunities to spend a few minutes studying...like when you are waiting in line or when you are waiting for class to start.
3. Never close your books! Always keep them open. Here's one I picked up from a fellow classmate in college. I'd always see this classmate anywhere and everywhere on campus at almost any time. I was surprised he could even pass his classes because I never saw him study nor did I ever see him with any books until one day I discovered his secret. He was actually studying all the time. When I happened to see him he was just taking a short break but he always kept his books open at the law library all day long. He'd study for awhile then take a break, study a little more then take another break, and keep on doing this all day long.
In conclusion, be creative, be clever and figure out a way to include more time to study in your day.
What do math and video games have in common? Actually, there are quite a few similarities. Let's start off considering video games. First of all, you have to learn how to work all the controls and know when do use which buttons when. Second, as you gain mastery over a given game you continue to move up to more challenging and complex levels of the game. Lastly, you have fun playing the game when you are successful at it. I tell students math is the same way. You need to learn the rules or properties in math, how to use them and when. You need to master the fundamentals to move up to higher levels. Lastly, you can enjoy the feelings of accomplishment when you get better and better at it. Now why are some students much more proficient at video games then at math? One reason is that one's level of mastery is directly proportional(a math concept) to the amount of time spent. More time on video games less time on math and which are you inevitably better at? Also, math just doesn't seem to be as fun, right? Here is where a good math teacher can help out by giving the student interesting real-life applications to work on. Also, you can think of problems yourself that you would like to solve and see where your math knowledge can assist you to do so. As much as students are intimidated by story problems this is where math actually becomes more than mental gymnastics and serves its real purpose which is to help us in the real world. So consider story problems the answer
So, does cramming for math tests work? Yes and no. In the short term you may be able to pull off a better grade but in the long term when you need to recall all that information you will fall short. It's just like the story of the turtle and the hare...slow and steady wins the race. When midterms and finals roll around students flood the libraries, study halls, and coffee shops. If you are keeping up with the material throughout the semester you won't have to participate in this ritual, you can just do a light review and you will be ready to go. Again, let's do the math. Crammimg 20 hours of studying into a couple days before the exam is no match for an hour a day spent studying for 15 weeks. Furthermore, intaking the material in small chunks over a long period of time will better allow your mind to digest, assimilate, and remember what you have learned. So if you are a 'crammer' consider trying the slow and steady approach.
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