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HERE'S THE ULTIMATE STRATEGY! (1-minute read)
First and foremost, you need to understand the structure of each of your academic subjects.
Generally, most academic subjects can be classified roughly as follows:
- concept-based, memory dependent: you have to remember an inordinate amount of facts, e.g. subjects like Geography, Biology, Economics, Medicine and Computer Science;
- problem-solving based: you have to do a lot of problem solving, and also putting theories, formulas, equations to work, e.g. subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc.
- interpretation/prediction-based: you have to make interpretations and predictions, e.g. subjects like Literature, History, and may include Economics, etc.
Nevertheless, there are also certain academic subjects that often cross or traverse over two or more categories, and may even require understanding of lab experiments and field work, like Biology, Economics, Medicine, and Computer Science (a lot of programming routines);
Once you have categorised them, you have to take note: do not study/revise concept-based subjects in one continuous stretch.
The most optimal time schedule per subject is two hours.
Let's say you have completed the study/revision of Biology for the first two hours. The next ideal subject to study/revise should be chosen from the problem-solving category, like Mathematics.
That's to say, you deliberately do a mix-up.
In total, it's advisable not to go for more than four hours in a day.
Also, for every two hours allocated to one subject, you need to break them up into four quadrants of time, with 25 minutes of studying/revision and 5 minutes of break in between.
A break means you pause, and use the time to do stretching, or get up and go to your kitchen to make a drink, or stand at the window to do some natural vision improvement exercises.
The rationale for such an initiative is for you to develop more primacy and recency effects in your study session.
What this means is that you have more opportunities to remember/recall what you are studying at the beginning and at the end of the session.
According to the study experts, this routine helps you to circumvent the infamous Ebbinghaus Effect or forgetting curve.
More importantly, for each subject, especially in the concept-based/memory-dependent category, you also need to segregate "core material" from "elaborative material".
"Core material" comprises key concepts, principles, theories, terminology, definitions, nomenclature, etc.
For History, names and events are also critical.
"Elaborative material" comprises examples, illustrations, anecdotes, etc.
The exam syllabus for each subject will help you to identify them.
Using the Pareto Principle: 80% of the exam questions often come from "core material", where you should put your primary focus during studying/revision.
This is not to say "elaborative material" is unimportant.
Once you have a good grasp of "core material", it's easy to have the "elaborative material" naturally fall in place in your memory banks.
If feasible, supplement your study/revision sessions with idea-maps or cluster diagrams or any web-based graphic organisers, as such organising and processing tools involve key words, images, pictures, and colours.
Henceforth, they are more likely to allow you to capture the big picture (or bird's eye view) as well as the details at one visual glance.
For enhanced study improvement, the use of index cards is useful in mastering, i.e. remembering, the multitude of definitions, nomenclatures and even key concepts, especially in subjects like Biology, Economics, Medicine and Computer Science.
I trust to have made my points very clear. Godspeed to you!
GOOD LUCK WITH ALL YOUR EXAMS
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