Following are several tips to avoid cramming and start understanding the subject in an effective way:
- Summarise passages of text in your own words, it made you notice which bits you hadn’t really understood, identify which bits were really important and also meant you had a nice concise summary to go back to for last-minute revision.
Use mind-maps all the time when you revising a subject to get all the different bits of it down on paper and see how they link up with each other, you can add key models and examples underneath each heading. Sometimes you have to draw a map a few times before you get it right, but each time you understand it a bit better.
Whenever you have to remember something really dry, like a list, try to invent a really outrageous mental picture that includes all the elements. Or you may think up a rude acronym (funny shortcut) to remind you of the first letter of each bit.
Try to study together with your friend and try to cover the same stuff at the same time, afterwards talk it over and get the other person’s point of view, just discussing it somehow makes it stick in your brain better and often he’d come up with something you hadn’t thought of, which was really useful. Group study gives better understanding. You may also join several forums of students over internet for this purpose.
You can record certain or all topics of your subject in a mobile phone or in a recording device (recordable mp3 players, for example) and later
listen these recordings frequently.
Practice in writing at speed for a long period of time is very important: if you usually use a computer to write assignments, emails and so on, you may find you need to build up the muscles required to write legibly for several hours. This will help you understand subject better.
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