Do you think of yourself as good at lesson reviews? If so, you probably take a lot of notes, read through every chapter twice, and ask a lot of questions in class. If not, you probably wish you were good at reviewing. Either way, what if you could get the most out of review material to make studying simple and effective?
1. Optimize Your Review Materials
What you review is just as important as how you review it. Rereading chapters can take a lot of time, and handouts passed out in class may not be thorough enough. So you may not get as much out of these things as you need to feel well-prepared for upcoming tests, quizzes, or class discussions.
But how do you fix this issue?
- Take good notes in class.
Good notes from class lessons should include brief definitions, main ideas, and keep your notes organized by lesson, date, and main topic.
- Create an outline of any reading you have had to do.
Just as with class lessons, taking notes in the form of outlines for reading material can help you review more efficiently than rereading entire chapters.
2. Time Your Reviews
Take time to set up a schedule to review class notes and chapter outlines every night. Leaving reviews to the last minute just means you’ll be frantically preparing for a quiz or test the night before, and that just means you won’t remember anything. If you take the time and plan to review on a regular schedule, you’ll give yourself the time you need to remember details.
To optimize your review time, make sure you:
- review your notes on the same day or night of the lesson, and
- go to the next class prepared with questions to clarify parts of the prior lesson.
Taking a few minute to review notes you took in class the same day as the lesson can help you remember a lot of more than if you wait for a few days or weeks. Plus, reviewing can help you figure what you really learned from the lesson, and what questions you need to get resolved.
3. Use Effective Review Strategies
As I mentioned, reviewing materials just before a class won’t help you as much as if you take your time and take good notes, but you can maximize your retention and understanding of what you’ve learned in class or what you’ve read from a book by following a few quick and simple rules.
- Know your best study environment.
Some students need to study in complete and uninterrupted silence, while others need to study with background noise or with peers. If you know that you get more out of reviewing materials by yourself, make sure to schedule some time when you won’t be interrupted by other activities, TV, or family obligations. Discuss this with your family to make sure they are on board with helping you review.
- Use memory devices.
Most people remember what PEMDAS is because of the mnemonic devices they used to learn it in school. These memory devices can help you remember long details, math formulas, or writing forms more quickly.
- Explain what you’ve learned to someone else.
Even if you like to study all by yourself, when you take the time to sum up main ideas or explain lesson details to another person, you ensure that you not only remember lessons, but also that you understand the lesson.
You can use these three ways to get the most out of your review material and improve your study habits.
What effective strategies do you use to get the most out of your review material?
Author: Nicole Acevedo, Teacher Manager at A Grade Ahead