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Oct 09

Methods of Studying

 

We are steadily nearing the midpoint of our first semester in the One-Year MBA program. As this time-lapse becomes a reality, we come to expect a series of examinations. It could be the midterm exams of Organizational Behavior and Information Systems, or periodic exams of Economics and Statistics. From Accounting concepts to IS Hardware, the One-Year program certainly delves into a broad range of material. Such a program demands that you are able to complete your assignments with extreme excellence. To accomplish this expectation, you must become knowledgeable in every course to a proficient degree. Doing so is more of a challenge than it is simplicity. To truly tackle this feat you must realize what method is best to study for your tests. The answer can vary widely from person to person.

These are the best ways that I have studied over the past few years:

(1) Rewriting key notes a day after the lecture has concluded. By repeating what you have done the day prior, you will be able to recall what you have written more easily as you study the information at a later date. If rewriting does not work for you, simply reading over key points would suffice as well.

(2) Relating your notes to common symbols or activities in your life helps to mentally pair that information to that activity. For example, imagine if you have to study for accounting and you love football. You could assign different concepts and their meanings to your favorite football teams. If you forget a concept while taking the test, you may be able to jog your memory by thinking that your favorite team represents something you need to know.

(3) If a test involves egregious memorization, you could create mental shortcuts to help you remember and retain more information easily. For example, you have a test coming up demanding that you can recite definitions of concepts that are very long and in depth. To cope with remembering these topics, memorize key words in the definition and forget the smaller interconnecting words. These less important words can be mentally filled in as you take the test. Study definitions in chunks and connect them as you complete your exam. Less words to memorize means an easier time studying. For example:

Assume you must know this exact definition of a liability for an Accounting Test:

Liability – a probable future sacrifice of an economic benefit of a particular entity by transferring assets or providing services to another entity resulting from a past transaction or event.

Trying to remember this definition verbatim would be difficult. If you erase nonessential words from the definition, it will be easier to comprehend. For example:

Liability – future sacrifice of economic benefit of particular entity by transferring assets or providing services to entities from past transaction or event.

By focusing on key words of the definition, you can practically eliminate the need to memorize an entire sentence from this concept. It may not seem like much, but if you have multiple things you must memorize, it could make the difference between a C and an A.

As our first semester continues onward, use some of these suggestions to aid you if you cannot study for your exams. As I said in the beginning, there are different methods of studying that work for everybody. I am always curious as to how others can retain information and would love if you commented with ways that you find most effective to do so. With our first semester halfway gone, the One-Year MBA program continues to provide new things to learn.