27 Organize Review Sessions Strategically

The first step in planning is to set clear goals. Create a goal that is both specific and achievable for you.

Try It

The next step is to determine what you will need to learn for this exam, and how you will be expected to show your knowledge.   Refer to the Learning Objectives for your course, and for individual units of study with the course.  You may find these:

  • In your course outline
  • At the beginning of textbook chapters
  • In course notes provided by your instructor.

Determine key concepts to study: Analyze key concepts as you think your Instructor might

Imagine you are the instructor and think about the hardest questions you think might come up on your exam. Practice answering these questions using your notes and text and writing out the answers fully. As you answer the questions, try to integrate information from various sources and express ideas in your own words. This will help prepare you for your exams in thorough and deep ways.

Now, identify strategies to learn the material, as well as additional resources that can help you succeed.  Consider the following:

Strategies Resources
Develop and answer self-testing questions Form a study group
 Use flash cards for key concepts Attend group study sessions (if available for your course), or form your own study group
Use an app to create quizzes/ flashcards Meet with a Peer Tutor
Create mind maps or concept maps Visit Instructor Office Hours
Create charts that compare/ contrast key course concepts Consult with a Learning Strategist
 Develop mnemonics to help you memorize important information Use supplemental online resources connected with your textbook (e.g. videos, online quizzes and problems)
 Write outlines for potential essay questions Read Learning Aids to discover new strategies
Complete practice questions from your textbook/ course materials
Develop practice exams with a study partner
Create summaries of course notes
Develop a daily study plan that includes goals and rewards
Develop case studies and connect them with course concepts
Review previous quizzes, noting your strengths and areas for improvement

Now, think of one exam that you will be writing in the near future. Identify what you need to learn.  Then, identify one or more learning strategies that you will use to study this content.  Use this information to create a study plan.  The chart below provides an example of what might be included in a study plan.  What might your study plan include?

Study Session Date What I need to learn Strategies/resources for learning
February 1 Psychology Chapter 3: LOs Venn diagram (compare/contrast types of memory)
Compare/contrast types of memory (semantic, episodic procedural) Review vocabulary in flash card app
Describe the stages in recording new information in long-term memory Self-testing questions on memory
Explain the role of the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebellum in memory processes Draw and label diagram of brain re: memory
February 2 Explain the role of Pavlov, Skinner and Watson in the development of behaviourism  Create a mind map of behaviourism/ behavioural psychologists
Compare and contrast classical and operant conditioning Review vocabulary in flash card app
Create a model to demonstrate how learning occurs through a process of conditioning Develop scenarios that explain the process of classical/operant conditioning
Write questions for study group session
 February 3…

As you execute your study plan, you will want to carefully track which Learning Objectives you have now mastered, and which are still difficult for you.  As the exam date comes closer, you will want to devote additional time to areas that are still challenging.

Try it!

Which tests or exams are you preparing for now?  Create a study plan using the chart below.


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NSCC College 101 Guide by NSCC & Kwantlen Polytechnic University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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