Down to Business: Revising for business exams
Business students may seem to have an easier go at it when it comes to the type of information that they have to memorize and learn for an exam, but a business student like yourself may soon put others right as they know it takes just as much time and effort as any other subject matter. That's why this chapter focuses on the techniques that are especially beneficial for business students who must combine their understanding of theoretical concepts, terms, and definitions with a real-world application and understanding of the current local and global business environments. This often includes having to learn sub-topics related to finance, economics, politics and social order.
The types of information you have to learn as a business student often is simple in its theoretical delivery but more complex in its application, but it still involves the following types of information that must be learned:
- Terms and definitions
As such, your revising plan for this area must involve a strategy that helps you not only learn these various areas of business, but you also must then take it the next step further and attach these to applications in the business world to illustrate that you understand how they are used and what they are intended to achieve. Making these connections not only scores well on an exam, but the association aspect of this provide a way to more easily recall a theory, definition, or rule.
Here are some specific suggestions for revising for a business exam that you can do on your own, with a study partner, or a with a study group:
- Use a study chart that you can put on a large piece of paper or white board, adding various theories on one side, what they mean, and then a real world application. This emulates an often used process in business.
- Create a mind map on a large paper as is often used in a business brainstorming meeting. Put the main idea in the middle bubble and then do spokes out from the bubble with related topics and applications.
- Apply some of the mnemonic devices discussed earlier in this book as this helps to memorize large chunks of information. Create catchy phrases, visual images, puns, rhymes and acronyms to embed the information for easy recall during the exam.
- Become an instructor and teach the business concepts to someone else, preferably someone who may not be that familiar with the information so they can ask you a lot of questions. By explaining the concept and providing examples of its application to someone else, you are actually reaffirming your own understanding and helping your brain reconcile the meaning of what it has to embed in your memory banks.
- If you have time, go interview or talk to people in the business fields that you are revising for as these discussions will give your brain a different way to process what you are learning and help you to make connections between what you are reading and revising and what really happens in relation to those ideas.
- Refer to stories in the media, case studies, and magazine articles for further ways to test what you are revising for your exam, including looking for how the concepts you need to understand are being used every day in the local, national, and global business environment.
- Partner with an academic resource company to work on model answers for your exam that help you focus on the most important topics.
Lastly, there are some key tactics that need to be presented again that work for every type of revising subject are, including business:
- Break the study material into smaller components that you can study as part of lists or mind maps.
- Study in short time spans rather than try to go for hours on end. Your brain will give out.
- Review the information often. Instead of long periods of study, revisit the material often.
- Give yourself plenty of time. Starting the night before the exam is not a good idea.
- Use many types of study materials, combining many of the aforementioned tactics.
By incorporating this type of approach to learning business concepts and information for your upcoming exam, you are sure to remain calm because you are prepared and have a good handle on the information not to mention that you have practiced some pretty cool memory techniques for fast, accurate recall.