Chapter 8 First Impression

Study habits. My study habits are not as strong as they could be. My high school was not very academically rigorous, so it did not require much studying to get an A.  Honestly, I would study the period before the test and get at least a 92. College has been a big wake up call that I need to adjust my study habits and better prepare myself. The exam for this class was my first exam I have taken here, and so far the only one. To prepare for this exam, I kept up with the readings and took additional notes from there. I read over my notes a few times thinking I had a general idea of the information and would be okay, that’s what I was used to. The night before the exam I timed myself and took the practice exam. I did well on the multiple choices and matching, but applying the information in the free response is where I got the most stuck. I wish I had taken the practice exam sooner in the week so that I could have had more time to prepare and review the stuff I didn’t fully understand. I also think that doing the practice quiz questions would have helped too, but I didn’t really look at those either.

For the future, I plan to start studying way sooner so that after taking the practice exam I will be able to go back and continue reviewing and reread the parts of the textbook on topics I had trouble with.

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One thought on “Chapter 8 First Impression

  1. Carly,

    I had the same experience in high school as you did. I was always a good student, but I would tend to put the minimal amount of work into studying because the testing process was never very rigorous. Teachers at my high school were always concerned with us knowing certain definitions and were not as focused on application. However, in college, the professors are always after the “why” and they really want us to be able to think critically. I think this is a huge adjustment for the majority of us!

    After watching the mini-lecture on studying and memory, I have some tips that I think would be beneficial as we prepare for our next exam. As we sit down to prepare, it is important to consider effortful encoding. Effortful encoding is when we are working to memorize certain information. The best methods for effortful encoding are organizing, distributed practice, meaning, and elaborating. First, we remember better when we organize the information as we learn it. So in psychology class, I would encourage you to consider the Cornell method of note-taking because it is highly effective when trying to organize notes. Second, distributed practice is when you study for a little bit over a longer time frame. This is a huge part of the studying process that I struggle with because I tend to cram the day before a test, which is highly ineffective. A way that I encourage you to use this method is to study psychology for a certain amount of time, and then switch, and study for a different subject. This will help you retain information better. Third, it is necessary to put meaning behind memorizing. If you link certain parts of the chapter together and understand the “why” behind each topic, you will be able to recall information more consistently. Lastly, I would encourage you to elaborate. The more you can expand on the presented information and make it more relevant, the easier you are going to be able to remember it.

    Something I have learned so far in college is that just rereading notes is not sufficient for testing situations because it gives a false sense of mastery. I think the most effective way to do well on tests is to create situations that are as similar to the real exam as possible. An efficient use of your time as you are preparing for our next psychology exam, and other exams you are taking, is to make use of practice exams. These are great ways to show yourself how you will perform when the time comes to take the actual exam.

    I wish you happy studying, Carly, and a great score on our next exam!

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