Simplifying Science and ICT
Revising for more technical subject areas like science topics and information and communication technology can be somewhat overwhelming even if it is your field of study. The most ideal strategy for memorising terms and preparing for exams is actually to keep it simple despite finding yourself making it more complicated than it needs to be.
Whether it involves multiple choice or essay answers, your exam will most likely cover some main topics that you have learned over the course of the term. Therefore, it is important to focus on the most important subject areas and break down all the information into digestible chunks of data. This will help you memorize it and easily recall it when it is needed for the exam. It is best to start with something you seem most interested in as this will help you get into the rhythm of memorizing, storing, and recalling the necessary information.
As with any subject matter, complete concentration is needed so find a quiet and comfortable place to cover all your scientific or technical concepts. You will also want to make sure that you study in shorts bursts with frequent breaks, sitting for no more than 20-30 minutes as your brain will need to refocus on something less technical in order to be ready to take in more complex information.
Before you get started revising for science or technology subjects, think about what type of learner you are and then shape your revising strategy around it:
- If you recall feelings, then put feelings to the information you are learning. This may seem challenging for technical information and for someone who is specialising in more technical knowledge, but it can be done.
- Some of you may prefer to learn kinaesthetically, which means that you associate the information you are learning with a particular muscle movement. This turns revising into a real action-oriented exercise. You will find that you will not be sitting very long at all if this is your learning style.
- If you are an auditory learner, then you can remember things by hearing them so you can choose to record yourself reading your notes.
- Then there are those of you that like to learn through visual images, which would make mind mapping exercises or videos an excellent learning device to help you revise for your science exam.
Here are some other techniques that work surprisingly well for those technical study subject areas that need to be broken down into smaller pieces:
- Use the top up method in which you go back and review what was previously studied quickly before moving on to the next area and repeat this process every day until you have covered all the material. This will help to replace any information that may have not been retained properly. This will also help you become more familiar and comfortable with topics that were still intimidating.
- The look, cover, write and check method is good for definitions and terms as well as formulas that you may have to memorize. Here you look at the subject matter, cover it up, try to write what you remember and then check that you did it correctly.
- There are often many diagrams with pieces that you must label on a science or information systems flowchart, so make copies of these diagrams so that you can practice filling in the missing information.
- One tip for visual learners would be to make a diagram, cut it up into jigsaw-style pieces and see if you could put this back together. This works well for biology, chemistry, and other scientific subject matters.
- Make flash cards for yourself that you can study on our own or with a study partner. And, when you choose to work with a partner, this is a good way to test yourself because you can ask each other questions and listen to the answers, which will reinforce the ideas in both your memories.
- Scour the Internet or inquire with your professor about previous exam questions that you could use as practice tests that you incorporate into your revising strategy. Often, when there is so much technical information, these help you to focus the subject areas that appear to be the most critical on the exam. And, while you are asking your professor for some sample exams, you might also want to confirm what areas that you are expected to know as this will help you to not focus on the wrong concepts.
Now, it's time to move on to a little less technical subject area but one that still commands a lot of revising time and could benefit from certain memory techniques. Let's get down to business.