for those getting back to school, and parents, i wish to share a concept that guaranteed to make you a better test taker. this concept took me to graduating in the top ten percent of my law school class. on the road there, in a number of classes, i tested with the highest grade and received american jurisprudence awards.
what is a test? a test is a format for you to show that you either know material or to be able to work with the material. most importantly, in a test, you are “performing” the material you know. in other words, a test is not that you know the material, it is about whether you can perform the material that you know. performing the material can be in the form of multiple choice questions, fill in the blank questions, an essay, or performing an equation.
thus, working on one’s ability to “perform” the material can translate into improved test taking.
how does one improve the ability to “perform” what they know?
“performing” the material has two aspects. there is the recall and then there is the application. as such, we need to work on both aspects.
your brain is a biological computer. knowledge is stored in your brain’s memory. it can be stored in a particular location. to improve recall, we want to create multiple pathways to access the information. with multiple pathways, we increase are ability to access the information.
multiple pathways to the knowledge can be done by using one’s senses. each sense can increase your ability to access information. thus, activities such as seeing [reading] writing [touching] talking [hearing] can be used to create multiple pathways to the data. thus, don’t just stare at material and memorize it! rather, use a variety of techniques to plant the information into your brain and practice recalling it. flash cards can be good to achieve this. you should write your own flash cards. the creating of the cards is a valuable way of solidifying the information in your brain. further, don’t just look at the flash cards, read them out loud. interact with other people with the flash cards. finally, another technique to memorizing items is to have a reference example. i will show this technique later.
with “performing” the material, simulating the test is a good technique. if possible, one should take practice tests to work on your “performance.” one should consider the length of the test and simulate the test conditions. if there are sample tests, practice them. practice writing essays on the material. practice performing mathematical equations.
in sum, improving on one’s ability to perform material will translate into success.
the following is an example using the ten commandments.
first, the great part of the ten commandments is the number. thus, we are good with using our fingers to represent each one. with the ten commandments, i like to use references. thus, for each commandment, i would like to know a story that will give me an assist. some stories can cover multiple commandments. thus, abraham knowing that there was one god and destroying the idols in his father’s workshop is a good way of remembering two commandments. god creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh is good for the sabbath commandment. you helping your parents out at home can be an example for honoring ones mother and father. thinking about someone cursing can be for using god’s name in vain. the golden calf story also can be an example of the prohibition against idols. the story of cain and abel is a reminder of murder. the story of joseph and his brothers can cover lying, coveting and theft. the story of david and bathsheba can cover adultery. thus remembering this stories and fact patterns can allow oneself an additional pathway to the commandments other than sheer memorization.
with performance, one can practice saying them out loud, writing them down, and typing them up. each way can increase the pathway and improve the performance.
so, it is time to hit the books and to practice “performing” your material. hopefully, you will have great success. if you do, please come back to this post and let me know.
if you enjoyed this post, please “like”
if you would like to read more posts, click here
if you find this post meaningful, please share
if you would like to receive posts, please “follow”