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Showing posts with label exam preparation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exam preparation. Show all posts

3 November 2016

Additional study spaces opened on weekends at Caulfield

The following additional study spaces will be available to students at Caulfield during the next two weekends.
These rooms in Building K will be available on the 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th November 2016 from 10am - 8.30pm.
Room 208    (22 Spaces)
Room 210    (26 Spaces)
Room 211    (44 Spaces)
Room 212    (38 Spaces)
Room 213    (49 Spaces)
You may also want to refer to the list of other study spaces published earlier. 


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10 October 2016

Great tips for exam preparation

Exam time is creeping up, so (if you haven’t already) it’s time to focus on getting ready to ace them! This post will share some great tips for making the most of your revision time so you can feel confident and get those good grades. By Michelle De Aizpurua and Emma Price.



No-one wants to be cramming for exams the night before, and it’s definitely not a good strategy for doing well on your exams. Planning your schedule for study well ahead of time ensures you don’t have to cram, and this will also reduce your stress levels.

Sometimes just thinking about how much studying you need to do can seem overwhelming. You might not know where to start and so you procrastinate and put it off. Many students make a start and then get distracted looking at memes and social media. There’s even a whole movement around ‘procrastibaking’ (at least you can keep your energy levels up by eating yummy baked goods!).

How can you avoid the evil powers of procrastination? It can be a challenge. Try breaking down what you need to do into manageable chunks, as focussing on these smaller tasks will make the work seem less daunting. There are also some helpful apps and extensions you can download which will block your access to some ‘time-wasting’ websites. Try out StayFocused for Chrome, or ColdTurkey for all browsers. Read about some other hacks for blocking distractions, such as using a work only browser, on Hack My Study.


Revision strategies

Rote learning vs meaningful learning

Memorising everything by repetition (rote learning) is not the most effective learning technique. You need to do more than just read over your notes or textbook. A better approach is to develop a deeper understanding of each topic and the connections between them. This is called ‘meaningful learning’ and research shows it is a better method for your exam study. By developing an understanding of the meaning of what you are learning, rather than just memorising the information, you can then more easily apply the knowledge to new situations and use it to solve problems.

There are a range of different study styles you can use to help you develop a meaningful understanding of the information. Some ideas include:
  • Making posters of main topic information - either note form or diagram. Post them up where you will see them often. Go over them regularly and then test yourself.
  • Record yourself talking about a topic on your smartphone and then listen back to it on the train or walking.
  • Form a study group. Talking through unit topics with your peers can be a great way to expand your knowledge, work through trickier ideas together, and revise what you already know. The very process of discussing with others is another way to help your brain retain information, as well as giving you some friendly support during the exam period.
Mnemonics
These are scientifically proven memory devices for remembering information more easily. There are nine common examples of mnemonics, some of which you may already be using without realising it. Music mnemonics use a tune to help you remember information, just like the ‘ABC’ song for remembering the alphabet. In expression or word mnemonics, the first letter of each word you need to remember is used to make a phrase. A well known example of this mnemonic is for remembering the music notes on the lines of the treble clef - Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit. Other mnemonics involve making diagrams or models, using rhyme, note cards, images, outlines and connections between ideas.

Context and practice
Test yourself often. As well as any sample exam questions provided by your unit, you can also create your own tests by turning your unit topics into questions. You might want to try simulating exam conditions by getting rid of all distractions, putting away your notes and assigning a set amount of time to answer some questions on your topics.

One benefit of simulating exam conditions is that it utilises context-dependant memory. In psychology, this is the theory that your recall of information is improved if the context of how you learnt it is the same as the context in which you try to recall it. Godden and Baddeley (1975) demonstrated this concept by showing that people who learnt words underwater were more easily able to recall those words when they were underwater again, rather than on land. So, use this to your advantage and create a context that you can replicate in the exam to aid your memory! You could even try wearing a lucky sweater in study sessions and then wear it to the exam.

Visit the Library

If you are still feeling unsure about your exam preparation, attend a Library session. There are a few on offer and you can attend any session at any campus for free. Search for ‘exam’ on the class booking webpage.

And don’t forget a friendly Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser is available to speak with you at a drop in at the Library.

Above all, remember that effective study is about how much you learn, not how much time you spend hunched over your desk. So keep these tips in mind, and good luck!






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3 October 2016

Turning study stress into study success!


As you approach the end of semester you may find that most of your work is due at the same time. Yikes!  Learning Skills Adviser Tami Castillo says not to worry, as there are many things that you can do to make study more fun and get through it.



You may have exams approaching fast. This can be stressful, especially if this is your first time, or if you haven’t done so well in past semesters. It is always worth remembering that you’re not alone.

Misery loves company

No one wants to be miserable alone. We say this in jest, but working with others who are in the same circumstance can make your studies less stressful, and more enjoyable. One thing you can do to be with like-minded people is to form a study group (see below for tips). Another good idea is to attend a library session on exam preparation, where we can share a few tips and strategies with you face-to-face. There are a few on offer and you can attend any session at any campus for free. Use the Library Class Booking System to see what’s available by searching using the keyword ‘exam’.

Form a study group

  • Study at uni can be a lonely business. Why not reach out to some people in your tutorial and form a study group? Ideally, a study group consists of 4 or 5 members… any more than that, and you’re looking at a party! There are many benefits to study in a group. For instance:
  • Improve your notes - compare lecture notes with group members and fill in any information or important concepts you didn’t quite understand.
  • Share your talents - each of us approach learning in a different way, and many of us have different strengths and weaknesses. By studying as a group, members can share talents and insights, and learn from each other
  • Provide a support system - forming a group is a great way to keep each other motivated and support one another. We are also more inclined to do our revision notes if group members are relying on you.
  • Cover more material - group work allows you to focus on more concepts, as multiple people can review more material compared to a single person working alone. Spread the work around so each person reviews a topic, and then teaches it to the rest. And if you want to improve your understanding of a topic, the best method is to nominate yourself to be the one to teach it!
  • It can make learning fun! - Studying with a group is a great way to liven up your study sessions. It can be very monotonous and draining to spend long hours alone. Studying in a group environment makes learning much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
To learn more about these tips and others for effective group study, go to: http://www.educationcorner.com/studing-groups.html

Your study group will contain a wide range of personalities, skills and knowledge in your group - cool! This means any areas that individual members think are weaknesses for them can be overcome by the members who are strong in those areas. Your strengths are not just an advantage for you - your teammates can also reap the benefits. Put your skills to use reviewing course materials. Put your group to the test by working on past exam questions together.

Revision - turn a boring chore into clever fun

In the table below, have a look at the column on the left - If a statement describes you and the way you like to work, take advantage of it by giving the method in the column on the right a try!

I like setting and meeting goals
Use a to-do list
I work best against the clock
I like to draw or doodle
Use mind maps to outline how to solve a problem or draw a picture of a concept
I like music
Write songs about important information that you need to remember….read more here!
I’m a night owl. I enjoy staying up late
Study when you are most alert and do mundane tasks when you are least alert
Solve questions from the textbook
A no-brainer
If there are few questions, turn chapter titles into questions then practise answering them - for example…

Chapter titles:
  • Managing in a global environment
  • Social responsibility and managerial ethics
  • Managing change and innovation
  • Motivating employees




(Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter, 2012)


Questions:
  • What issues arise for managers in a global environment?
  • What is social responsibility and how do managerial ethics apply to it?
  • How are change & innovation best managed?
  • Why & how do managers motivate employees?



If you remain uncertain about how to be efficient and take joy in your academic work, don’t forget a friendly Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser is available to speak with you at a drop in.

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26 May 2016

Exam study tips from an expert

We'll have learning skills advisers available online via the Library's Facebook page to provide expert advice, tips and answers to your exam study-related questions. It's available, so why not take advantage of the opportunity?



It may be your first time to sit final exams in university. You have your lecture and unit revision notes but feel that you could use some help to clarify or just confirm what you think you know about exam preparation.

Visit the Library's Facebook page during Swot Vac when a learning skills adviser is available online to work with you on:

  • studying for exams
  • strategies for exams
  • types of questions and more.


From Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June, 2pm until 5pm, we invite Monash students to post their exam study-related questions on the Library's Facebook timeline rather than via the inbox. This way, the answers to questions, advice and tips can benefit more students.

If you've been to a Library research and learning drop-in session in person before, then you'll know how useful it is to get an expert's advice. We're just making the opportunity available to more students by taking it to the virtual space.

Like us on Facebook and ask us your questions.

Face-to-face drop-in sessions are offered at advertised times in some libraries during Swot Vac.







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17 May 2016

Getting ready for exams

With the end of the semester just around the corner, now is the time to focus on your preparation for exams (if you haven’t already!). Here are some tips to help you make the most of your study time and feel more confident heading into exams, says Learning Skills Adviser, Emma Price.



Managing your time 

‘Night before’ cramming rarely delivers good results on the day. Start by planning your schedule with specific days and times to revise your units. Use a weekly planner on paper or an app to mark out your classes and other commitments, then assign times around these when you will study. Try to get a good spread across the week and make this a regular part of your planning. Each study session should have a clear goal of what unit and topic will be revised. You may also find it useful to spend a small amount of time initially getting all of your unit materials organised so it is easier to use them for revision (more tips on different styles below). 

One of your biggest enemies in exam preparation is procrastination. By setting goals within your week you can more easily accomplish your revision rather than having a vague sense of revising all of your units. Be wary of time-eating technology too. TV, social media, smartphones and other devices may all seem much more attractive than study. Even cleaning your bathroom might have more appeal! But make sure to stay on target. Switch off any devices during your study times to avoid distraction and then use them as short rewards for when you have completed your study sessions. Prioritise your other commitments around your study too - if your bathroom really is in dire need of a clean, it can still wait till you’ve spent some time on revision!

Mix it up

Aim to be active in your revision approach. This means doing more than just reading over your notes or textbook. A good approach is creating your own topic summaries from your lectures, notes and readings. This way you synthesise and compile each topic into its main points and examples for a more effective study resource, and the very process of creating a summary is helping you understand and remember the topic.

There are a range of different study styles you can use to be more effective in your study time and to help you remember information. Everyone has their own learning style preference so work to your strengths. Do you prefer hearing information, talking about it, or a more hands-on practical approach? Perhaps you are a more visual learner and prefer diagrams and mindmaps? Use any or all of these styles to help create useful revision materials, such as:

  • Posters of main topic information - either note form or diagram. Post them up where you will see them often (next to the bathroom mirror, over your desk, etc.) Go over them regularly and then test yourself.
  • Record yourself talking about a topic on your smartphone and then listen back to it on the train or walking.
  • Use mnemonics as a memory aid to associate important information with particular cues. You can use songs, images or names. For example, for order of taxonomy: Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)
  • Form a study group. Talking through unit topics with your peers can be a great way to expand your knowledge, work through trickier ideas together, and revise what you already know. The very process of discussing with others is another way to help your brain retain information, as well as giving you some friendly support during the exam period. 

Test yourself often. As well as any sample exam questions provided by your unit, you can also create your own tests by turning your unit topics into questions. For example, in a business management topic on effective practice, change the topic heading into a question: what are three effective management practices and how are they implemented? You might want to try simulating exam conditions by getting rid of all distractions, putting away your notes and assigning a set amount of time to answer some questions on your topics.

Look after yourself 

As exams get nearer it’s natural to feel a bit stressed and obsessed with revision. But you need to stay balanced in order to get to the finish line. Some stress is ok as it can keep you motivated and focused but too much or poorly managed stress can have negative effects. If you feel over-stressed or anxious in your exam preparation then you might want to reflect on your study approach and perhaps seek out some help from counselling.

Make sure to eat well and get enough sleep. Too much junk food and caffeine or all night cramming could impact your ability to study effectively through too much fatigue or adrenaline.

Your brain can’t handle study all the time so be sure to give it some breaks for rest. This could be five minutes or so at end of each hour of study to make a snack, get some fresh air or do some stretches. Regular walking or jogging, or something like a weekly gym session or yoga class can provide an important break from your revision and can help regulate any exam stress. And remember to schedule a bit of time with family and friends where you (and your brain) can relax.

Above all, remember that effective study is about how much you learn, not how much time you spend hunched over your desk. So keep these tips in mind, and good luck!

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