The 8 best learning strategies for the university exams
The number of remaining lectures is gradually becoming more manageable, and the examination phase is approaching. High time to start learning. We at Uniturm.de have listed the 8 best learning strategies for you.
The 8 Best Learning Strategies for University Exams With the end of the semester, unfortunately, a hated affair returns to the life of every student: the exam phase. In order to use the time before the exams optimally and your free time still does not fall by the wayside, it requires an effective learning method.
Surely you have already made your very own experiences – only very few really learn something from the blunt ins-book-look. Pretty much every other method is already more effective. But which of them are really really good? We give you an overview of the 8 best learning strategies for university exams.
The most important thing in advance
“Learning is like rowing against the current. If you stop that, you are driven back. “, The Chinese philosopher Laozi already knew that. That you even sit down to prepare yourself for your exams, is already worth a lot, because without any learning effort hardly anyone copes with the workload of a study.
In order for you to get ahead with your work and not spend countless hours without meaning and purpose in the country, the right learning method is needed. However, you should keep in mind that there are different types of learners. For some, sharing with others makes the most sense, others are distracted by it. Some people have turned on the music while playing their own four walls, while many prefer the quiet working atmosphere of a library.
There is no universal learning formula for learning. For this reason, there is no absolute number one. Which learning type you are and which method is the best for you, you have to find out for yourself!
Best Learning Strategies # 1: Mindmapping
Especially if you are just starting out with your preparations, mind mapping can be one of the best learning strategies to give you a good overview of the topic.
A mind map is a kind of visual representation of a fact. At the center should also be the core theme, the trappings you fill with a branch of subtopics. So you can visualize all important points.
It makes sense to supplement the mind map again and again or check off areas that you have already covered well and where you feel safe. In that way, it also acts as your pictorial “to-do list”.
Best Learning Strategies # 2: The Self Test
What you at the end of an exam knew about the module tested and how much this knowledge was actually worth, knows – at the latest after the correction – especially your examiner. Before that, there is really only one person who can really gauge your level of knowledge – and that’s you!
Therefore, it can be useful to repeatedly question yourself when learning. Keep the topic going through your head and think about which areas are still patchy. It is particularly useful if you expand your self-reflection on others and let you ask as many holes in the stomach. Even people unfamiliar with the subject may ask questions that you would never have asked yourself. Can you explain the most difficult processes to your grandmother, you have definitely understood them!
Best Learning Strategies # 3: Use Mnemonics
The term “mnemonics” may seem scientific at first glance, but it hides a learning method that you should have long been familiar with. The word derived from the Greek describes memorizing aids such as associations, memorabilia, rhymes and above all donkey bridges.
Donkey bridges are more of a creative and playful approach to learning. This way, you can memorize especially complex relationships and definitions faster and easier to remember.
Best Learning Strategies # 4: Make Flashcards
The creation of index cards is particularly popular among students – rightly so. That their use is one of the best learning strategies for the university exam, has even been scientifically proven.
“From the hand to the head” is more than a non-existent phrase. If you write down the subject material again, you will be able to keep much more than just reading through it. Index cards are more handy and stable than paper and therefore well suited for everyday learning.
Of course, the design of your cards is up to you. However, it makes sense to note down core questions to one and their answers to the other. So you can use the cards to interrogate yourself. It is also recommended to use short phrases. Keywords are usually more concise than whole sentences.
Best Learning Strategies # 5: Watch Educational Videos
You know that: The procedure that the lecturer has definitely chosen as the focus of his examination is already months ago and at best exists only dimly in your memory. Now that the exam date is approaching, you have no idea how this or that bill works exactly – then let me help you!
Watching educational videos is the best learning strategy when it comes to revisiting certain processes and methods. In the meantime, there are a number of video tutorials on the core topics of various degree courses. You can watch these as often as you like. If you have not completely internalized a particular chapter, wind back and look at it again!
Best Learning Strategies # 6: Write a summary
Your lecturer has always smoked in 90 minutes through 80 slides and more? Well, then you stand at the end of the semester before well and like 1000 slide script. It should be clear that you can not handle this mountain very hard – especially as the module may not be your only exam and you still want to win more paper wars.
For the best preparation, it is important to bring light into the darkness. That’s why you should definitely write a summary. With a three- or even four-digit total number of slides, not everything can be relevant. On some, perhaps, there is only one picture that your professor found just fitting the subject matter and that’s why he chose it. Others may have only two or three bullet points, a question or a common example that comes to your mind first.
As soon as you begin to reduce a script to the essential content, the chaos becomes very clear. By gathering together and taking notes, you will quickly come back to contexts from the lecture that you thought had long since disappeared into the nirvana of your memory. So you have already taken a big step before you even started the actual learning.
It is important that you start creating your summary in time – because that takes a lot of time. Three days before the exam, even the best summary will probably be of no use to you.
Best Learning Strategies # 7: Make study groups with your fellow students
“TEAM. = Great, Another’s Power “does not exactly correspond to the ideal of effective learning. Granted, this method is not the best learning strategy for everyone. Sometimes distracting one another in the group too much and has after four hours “cramming” plastered a lot of cake and destroyed two pots of coffee, but really something countable came out is not. Not everyone is a group-capable learner, sometimes the meaningfulness of a learning group also depends on the module. Where a lot of theoretical knowledge and memorizing is needed, one probably learns best alone.
But especially in subjects with a high proportion of practical tasks or very mathematical disciplines, the attempt of a learning group can be worthwhile. Most likely, in a group of three to four people each has their own hobby. Bring in your strengths and explain each other’s tasks. The exchange can only be good for the knowledge of the individual. In addition, teamwork is increasingly in demand later in the job, for example when it comes to working on long-term projects. The study group is therefore also a good exercise for the upcoming professional life!
So that your team works as effectively as possible, you may want to heed a few things in advance.
Meet on neutral ground
It may sound like a military operation rather than an exam preparation, but if you meet at a particular location, everyone has already made some effort to bring the group together. Now you also want something that comes around and is more motivated from the outset. At the same time, there is less distraction in a public place than when you’re at someone’s home. If it’s too loud for you in the café or in the refectory, look for alternatives. For example, many libraries offer group workspaces that you can reserve – especially in the exam time you should be quick.
Starting from scratch in a learning group can be a hindrance. Especially if you’re the only one who is still at the beginning and the rest is actually already well in the stuff … Better to progress, if all already have a certain background, before it goes to the group activities. Therefore, you should already agree on the topics that you would like to edit and you each have the necessary background knowledge to heart. Maybe the first questions that you want to deal with in the group will come up.
Not for nothing did you come together as a team. It is not necessarily effective if everyone is always working on the same thing, especially if it is a particularly large topic. First of all, you can work independently at different places and later present each other’s results later. This gives you a quick overview of an entire topic.
The Best Learning Strategies # 8: Prepare yourself with past class exams.
In university life, it is not only the students who are not approaching the exam phase with the utmost commitment – on the part of the lecturers there are occasional slight attacks of laziness. This part of the article should not be understood as a tirade against the chair. Not at all. Professors sometimes have hundreds of candidates to supervise a series of final and term papers and, incidentally, give lectures. Since the preparation of the exam can ever fall by the wayside.
The clever student knows how to use this fact for himself. Editing old exams can be one of the best learning strategies if you want to find out how your examiner is ticking. If certain questions pile up and some topics repeatedly return, your lecturer might have a weakness for the respective topic. That these areas will also be part of your exam, then is not entirely unlikely! You also get a sense of how certain tasks – especially bills – work and how you should proceed in your own testing.
At an old exam you can optimally simulate an exam situation. Reduce your work material to the allowed resources and stop the time. You may be too slow to complete all the tasks in the regular time, but after you do, you will get faster and be well prepared for the day of your exam. Uniturm.de offers a smorgasbord of scripts, presentations and even old exams of various subjects, which you can use for your preparation.
Conclusion: It is best to try out all the learning strategies presented here. So you can quickly find out which learning method is right for you. Always remember to take breaks for learning. Your head needs time out, in order to work again afterwards with full energy. So go in between in the fresh air and take a break from learning!