Developing a sense of motivated interest is essential to long-term recall of large quantities of complex material, which is, after all, one of the important tasks of a student. You need to have a genuine sense of curiosity and interest in your courses in order to learn and retain material and perform well in exams. Without that sense of motivation and interest, your course work may come to seem like drudgery, a boring and meaningless chore. When that is the case, you may well have difficulty remembering what you read in your texts and hear in your lectures, regardless of what study methods you employ. Strive to find areas of interest and a personal sense of purpose in all your courses. You must take responsibility for developing your own interest in what you are studying.
Even with a strongly motivated interest in your learning, you may, as you prepare for exams, develop a sense of anxiety or dread about the upcoming exam. Perhaps you are not sure what the key concepts are. Perhaps you wonder if you will successfully remember the material and produce it on the exam in such a way as demonstrates your understanding. When it comes to preparing for exams, there is no one right way to study that will guarantee success. One thing is for sure, however; we can develop a sense of confidence from knowing we know that we know what we know.
One way to know that we know what we know is to use the simple four-step strategy listed below. The strategy begins where we left off in the last section, with identifying key concepts and proceeds through understanding, organizing, and remembering key course information.
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