The first step in planning is to set clear goals. Create a goal that is both specific and achievable for you.
What grade do you hope to achieve in this exam? ________
|How motivated are you to achieve this grade?
|How important is it to you to achieve this grade?
|How confident are you about achieving this grade?
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 presentation
- 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:
|· Develop and answer self-testing questions
· Use flash cards for key concepts
· Use an app to create quizzes/ flashcards
· Create mind maps or concept maps
· Create charts that compare/ contrast key course concepts
· Develop mnemonics to help you memorize important information
· Write outlines for potential essay questions
· 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
|· Form a study group
· Attend group study sessions (if available for your course), or form your own study group
· Meet with a Peer Tutor
· Visit Instructor Office Hours
· Consult with a Learning Strategist
· Use supplemental online resources connected with your textbook (e.g. videos, online quizzes and problems)
· Read Learning Aids to discover new strategies
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
|Psychology Chapter 3: LOs
-Compare/contrast types of memory (semantic, episodic procedural)
-Describe the stages in recording new information in long-term memory
-Explain the role of the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebellum in memory processes
|-Venn diagram (compare/contrast types of memory)
-Review vocabulary in flash card app
-Self-testing questions on memory
-Draw and label diagram of brain re: memory
| -Explain the role of Pavlov, Skinner and Watson in the development of behaviourism
-Compare and contrast classical and operant conditioning
-Create a model to demonstrate how learning occurs through a process of conditioning
| -Create a mind map of behaviourism/ behavioural psychologists
-Review vocabulary in flash card app
-Develop scenarios that explain the process of classical/operant conditioning
-Write questions for study group session
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.
Which tests or exams are you preparing for now? Create a study plan using the chart below, or download the printable study plan worksheet.
|Plan: Study session date
|Plan: What do I need to learn?
|Plan: How will I learn this material?
|Monitor: What do I know well? What needs additional practice?