Learning Retrieval practice self-study

There are so many different ways to study. No one study's the same way. I look around sometimes and see all kinds of people studying in ways that I would have never thought of even studying. I am trying a new way of studying including a few different techniques I have never used before.

#1- Flashcards

My first new technique includes flashcards. In my biology class we read the book frequently, and so for every reading I do I make flashcards of all of the important vocabulary words, and review them as I write them.
On one side of my flashcards I put the word I am defining, and on the other side I put the definition.

I just took a multiple choice biology test, and my grade wasn't the best (F). I did not take any tests before this so I do not have any tests to compare it to. I thought the flashcards would really help me memorize and increase my scores, but maybe I was wrong. I am going to keep trying the flashcards because even though the test grade may not have been the best, I felt much better about what I knew for the test. Some things I might need to work on with these notecards might be studying more everyday, and studying them for more days of the week before the test. This time I only studied for a couple hours about 3 days before the tests.

#2- Quizlet

One of the other techniques I use to study is quizlet. I have been aware of quizlet for years, but I have never really been that interested in using it. I love being able to look up something on google, and have a whole set of quizlet flashcards/definitions pop up for me to use. I think it is a very convenient source for whatever subject you are studying. I have never been disappointed when it comes to studying on quizlet.
In my nutrition class it is very hard to keep up with everything that's going on in the class. There are so many different things to learn, and it's easy to get lost in all of the material. We just had a multiple choice test, and I was satisfied with the test grade that I got back (which was a C). I think I was successful on my test because I used quizlet to help me pre-test myself. Before this test I took one other test and I made just a little bit lower on this test, so there was a little bit of a downfall between the two tests. I used different quizlet pages to test what I knew, and once I thought I knew everything really well, thats when I stopped. I studied on quizlet for three days before the test about an hour or two every day. I studied this along with filling out the study guide my teacher provides for every test. I think this technique is a very sufficient way of studying, and I will continue to do it.
This is an example of one quizlet page for nutrition. I looked up nutrition exam 1, and this page full of questions/vocabulary popped up.

#3- Mind Maps

My third technique helped me focus in closer on some parts of the unit. In my economics class I have trouble paying attention because I feel like everything going on is so similar to each other. I split the unit up into chapters, and for each chapter I put down what I thought was the most important things. I didn't just study this though. I used this just to get a big picture, and then I zoomed in on each chapter for 30 min or so a day for three days. When I focused on a certain chapter I did problems from the book, and from worksheets to work out things I thought would be on the test. I ended up making a D on the multiple choice test, which I was very disappointed in. I think this technique works well because as I am writing down the important things of the chapters, I memorize them. This is the first test we took in economy so I do not have another test grade to compare it to. Even though my test grade didn't show "success", I feel like if I chose to do this technique again I should study harder, and for a longer period of time.
Tests are hard for me, and they are probably the most difficult thing about school for me, but I do my best on every one that I take. Sometimes tests don't work out the way I would like them to, but I never give up. I work so hard to find new ways to study, and trying these three new ways helped me so much. I will continue to use all three of these techniques to see if they will help me more in the future.

What's best for me?

After using all three of these techniques, I think they all work in different and powerful ways. The flashcards were easy to use at any time, and they helped me focus on my reading as I was making them. Quizlet was easy access because it is a "pre-made" website which means that you don't have to do any work to make anything. All you do is look up what you want to study for, and start studying once flashcards or any information you want/need shows up. The mind maps are more like the flashcards because I made them myself, and they help me focus on what I need to be studying. I think the best technique out of these three is the flashcards because repetition is one of the best things a student can do to study. None of these techniques are my favorite though because my test grades aren't showing that much of an improvement. My confidence is about the same because my tests aren't getting better, which is discouraging me a little bit. I just have to work really hard, find a new study technique that I love, and get my grades up. I believe in myself, and I think that if I can do that then I can do anything I set my mind to.

Credits:

Created with images by jarmoluk - "apple education school" • Army Medicine - "5-Build-a-Healthy-plate" • lircoglu - "face sad bipolar"

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