Creative Studying Techniques Increase Grades and Interest: 2 - Making
Jul 5, 2011 Learning Methodology 1934 Views
Okay, so you're not doing as well in a class as you'd like. You have classmates, possibly friends, who get better grades and seem to put in less time studying. What's the deal? Are they smarter than you? Or is it possible that they study differently. Maybe they even utilize different behaviors and techniques in class. Not everyone is born a good student, but like anything else, practice and experimenting with creative studying techniques can improve your performance.
While taking a human anatomy & physiology class in nursing school I offered to help a few struggling students study for a test. I arrived at the appointed time to about 12 people waiting for me to help them do better on the next test. Unprepared for that many people, I began talking to them about the way I study. In the process I learned some very interesting things. There are indeed techniques used by good students that my struggling colleagues were neither aware of nor using.
This article explores the technique of making connections. More explicitly, when you think about something in your mind and relate it to something else in your mind you are more likely to remember both things. You are making a connection between the things or ideas or visions or processes. Making connections is basically comparing things. When you learn something new do you liken it to something you already know? Do you allow that information or idea to spur the memory of something else or to remind you of something (whether related by topic or not) else? When you do, you make a new connection.
For good students, this is a fairly subconscious process. In order to begin to do it, you will have to practice. So think about these ways of making connections and then practice.
1) Comparison of Dissimilar things, ideas or processes: Find the common ground. Find something - ANYTHING - that links two seemingly different items or processes. It is easy to make a game out of this. For example, if someone says peanut butter sandwich and motor oil, you might come up with:
- Both stick to the roof of your mouth.
- You can get them (or the elements of them) at the grocery store.
- Most people are familiar with both of these items.
- Both originate with plant matter.
- Both are more than one word.
- Both help something operate.
Get the idea? Anything goes.
You will find that the items and ideas you compare will be in your mind a lot and you will find more comparisons. So I'm going to be thinking about peanut butter and motor oil all day! What do you choose to think about all day?
2) Compare new pieces of information and new ideas to something you already know from that class. How are they alike? How are they unlike?
3) Compare new pieces of information and new ideas to something you've learned in another class. How are they alike? How are they unlike?
4) Anthropomorphize things, ideas and processes, i.e. pretend they are human. For example: If you were a liver that has too much alcohol flowing through it, what would you say? How would you feel? What would you look like?
5) Use the Rorschach method. Rorschach spots are the ink blotches that therapists show people to see what comes to that person's mind. So look at pictures or graphs in your textbook and ask yourself what they remind you of. You'll be automatically making a new connection.
6) Think of real life examples of what you are learning whenever possible.
7) If you use flash cards, pull 2 flash cards out and do idea #1 with those 2 flash cards.
8) Use graphic organizers to organize and connect the information you are learning. Graphic organizers are a great way to make connections between information in a visual way. They help you understand the relationships between information and ideas and help you place things in a hierarchy. If you've never used a graphic organizer, google 'graphic organizer'. There are many out there along with ideas for using them.
9) Use humor in making connections. If you can think of funny connections or relationships or circumstances around your comparisons you will remember them longer and probably enjoy studying more as well.
Making connections actually can make you much more interested in the material. For more creative studying techniques, look for my other articles. My name is Lisa Jones Bromfield and I am an RN, a musician and a former special education teacher. If you or anyone you know is taking human anatomy & physiology, check out my original songs that teach anatomy & physiology. Click herehttp://anatomyphysiologystudyguide.com/wp-content/fbones01/ for a free download of the song, Give Me Some Bones, a song that teaches bone physiology and nomenclature. Now get out there and make connections!!