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Comprehensive reading of science material

  1. Aug 27, 2008 #1
    This isn't a specific problem. I have some handouts to read for a class I am taking, but I have trouble recalling a lot of details from them. I read a handout twice, and reviewed it before I went to class, but I had a lot of trouble on a pop quiz. How should I read so it sticks in my mind?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2008 #2
    This is how I usually read when it comes to scientific material. I will take notes during the reading session, and write down anything that seems interesting or could be explained a bit more deeply. Now when I mean more deeply I mean, trying to find a connection with the other notes that I took and anything else that I know about the subject or course. This way I tend to develop a web of information that just connects all together.
  4. Aug 27, 2008 #3


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    I find it helps a lot to read for understanding. Scanning and regurgitating (which unfortuantely comprises far too much of post-seondary education) accomplishes very little.

    When studying, make sure that you can explain the subject matter in your own words and apply it to scenarios outside of the specific examples covered in class. You may also want to read additional references that can offer different perspectives on the subject.

    Of course there are some things you just have to memorize (at least at first). With these, you need to be able to write them out before you can be certain they'll stick in your head. And you need to write them out on a consistent basis if you want them to stick in your long-term memory.
  5. Aug 28, 2008 #4
    That is a good comment. I forgot to say that I will be testing out a new study habit this year, where every Friday or end of the week I will just go over everything I have learned so far. I might also write down very short and quick notes, which would allow me to refine my notes and help me further strengthen the connections I make between facts/theories.

    To OP:
    By the way, to be able to memorize something fully and almost perfectly, you need to understand the material first. This is especially true in University/College where test/quiz questions will be more oriented in seeing if you understood the material well enough to at least begin to or even answer the questions completely. Without understanding the material, you will not be able to do this.

    The reason I say this, is that I have seen many students in some of my classes who generally just memorize their notes and when it comes to tests they are 50% of the time lost.
  6. Aug 28, 2008 #5
    thanks for the tips. i read the hand out, made notes of things i didn't understand and had the teacher explain the parts i didn't understand. that helped a lot.

    i might try reviewing everything on Friday, too. that sounds like a good way to use that day.
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