The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91297   Message #1735244
Posted By: Helen
08-May-06 - 08:14 AM
Thread Name: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
Subject: RE: BS: Good ways of 'cramming' for an exam?
If it's a matter of memorising facts I have used this technique quite a few times and it works for me.

I get long pieces of blank newsprint roll paper, i.e. go to a newspaper printer and buy the ends of rolls for a few dollars. They are about a metre wide and you usually get at least 10 metres of length on the roll.

Then I cut the paper up into lengths long enough to reach from the ceiling to about a metre above the floor. I fold the paper in half lengthways and draw a line down the centre and then write everything in big letters that I have to memorise in lines across the paper going down the length and then starting again at the top on the second half. I put it all in logical order and I use mnemonics as far as possible, [e.g. Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit = the lines of the music staff] and when I have everything written I pin/blue tack the sheets up near the ceiling so that they hang down and I can sit back and look at everything at once.

I make sure I have it all pinned up at least a week before the exam so that everytime I walk into the room I see it, so I am constantly studying, and also when I want to do some serious, focused studying I lie on the lounge and just go over it until it sticks in my head. I look at one section, then turn my head away, try to remember the mnemonic, and what it stands for, and then move on to the next section.

Then when I get into the exam the first thing I do when I pick up my pen is to write down all the mnemonics that I need next to each question and what the letters stand for. Then I start going back and answering each question properly. I don't start answering in detail until I have recalled as many of the mnemonics as I can, because it is still fresh in my mind when I first sit down in the exam but after I start answering questions it's easier to forget them.

It takes a bit of organising before the exam but I have used it a lot, especially in the MBA for the fact-based subjects like statistics and IT and accounting and human resource management - which, in fact, was the hardest exam I have ever done. It was multiple choice with tricky questions and there were about 200 questions in all. So much memorising! I got a job running tutorial classes for the lecturer after I finished the subject, though.

The best thing about this method, I think, is that you see the whole subject at once. You can jump from one part to the other really easily without having to flick through pages and pages of notes.

Well, call me weird, but it works for me.   :-)