Community College of Rhode Island

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Top Ten Tips for Self-Testing

  1. Develop a positive attitude when you are studying. If you believe a subject is boring or unimportant, you will have more difficulty recalling the information. Develop a curiosity about the material.
  2. The order of study should be: read, recite aloud, write notes in your own words, ask yourself questions about the material, review. Memorization comes last after you have a solid understanding of the material.
  3. Organize the material into meaningful clusters as this will help with recall.
  4. Review notes soon after lectures to make sure they make sense. Frequent review will decrease the amount of material you will need to relearn for exams.
  5. Expose as many senses as possible to the study material: write it, speak it, hear it, visualize it. This will help commit the material to memory.
  6. Use imagery to remember material: Close your eyes and get a picture of the explanation and summary answer on the page. See the underlined key words.
  7. Create associations with the material. It is easier to recall new information if it is attached to old, easily retrieved information.
  8. Predict exam questions and actually write answers and work out problems. Overlearning the materials helps to make sure you know it.
  9. Recency-latency effect: Memorize materials in short intervals of time as you are more likely to remember the material at the start and at the end of your study intervals. Recite what you have memorized at random times.
  10. Use study aides: note cards of key points, key words, definitions, and equations; go into greater depth, do extra problems, immerse yourself; explain the main ideas to friends, join a study group.

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Last Updated: 10/31/13