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How to read and not forget as a student preparing for Examination.

Continued from previous post on illusion of mastery (read the previous post on my profile if you've not)

The way out of this horrible illusion of learning is PRACTICE TESTING and this is backed with various scientific evidence.

Do you know you could watch someone do something over a hundred times and be tricked into believing you can do the same until you actually try and fail at it?

You must have looked at something very carefully and say "yes, I can do it now" but realize you can't.

Even in academic context, practice testing is also as important.

What is practice testing?

This is the process of testing yourself on the material you've studied. You could use the revision questions provided by the textbook, past questions, or self made questions.

Why does practice testing works?

Testing yourself on what you've studied does two things for you:

1. It helps you check what you really don't know.

2. It helps in consolidation of memory and retention ( this is backed by scientific evidence)

Now, have you ever wondered why students perform better in exams than in mid- term test? One major reason is because they've been tested on some part of the course material before.

But why do students avoid testing even after knowing it's helpful to us?

We are humans and we are always looking for ways to conserve energy and avoid things that cause pain. Testing is really brain tasking and is a pain in the neck. So, we generally try to avoid it.

How can you use testing when studying?

During the reading process, don't just read passively. In between, ask yourself questions like "what I've I just read? What does this even mean?..."

After studying, attempt the revision questions at the end of the chapter, solve as many past questions as possible or answer questions you made by yourself.

All this things are difficult to do. So we generally tend to do the easier ones which feels productive, like passively reading and rereading. However, practice testing is much more effective than rereading.

If you can be disciplined enough to test yourself very well on each material before exam, I promise you a dramatic change in your performance.

Infact, a research paper says: testing yourself on a material before studying it will improve assimilation, memory consolidation and retention when you eventually study the material.

Lastly, as you test yourself, make sure you do corrections of what you miss out or go back to the material to review what you realize you don't really grasp yet.

This article is credited to

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