How I study

We had our first EMT exam last night. I did fairly well. I scored a 96%. I say this to lend credibility to this post. I promise it’s not a humble-brag. (#suuuure)

In this post I’d like to offer some study tips…

wpid-20140906_115531.jpgI tend to take an all or nothing approach to studying. I study as if my life depends on it. In a way, it does. There is no plan B. I will succeed. This attitude/approach has served me well in many situations. I make it known to friends and family that I intend to take this seriously so that I get their buy-in when I’m spending lots of time studying. This is only for a while. Not forever…

With that being said, here’s how I study.

Firstly, I do lots of writing. Writing stuff down is a great way to absorb information. While you’re in the process of writing it down, you’re repeatedly reading it and mulling it over in your mind while your hand is getting it down on paper. Whether you realize it or not, you are. So, write EVERYTHING down.

When I sit down with a new chapter of material, I first read every word of the material, and make notes as I go along. At the end of the chapter, I do the quiz that goes with it. In my class, they have an online quiz system that then reviews answers with you. I write all of that down also.

My next in-class session covers the material I have already read and made notes on. That’s great, because now I’m effectively getting the material a second time. At the same time, I take very detailed notes while the instructor is teaching. This is my third time getting the new information, and already sort-of understand it, so it sinks in a little better.

The day after class, I get up very early (usually by 4, as I also have lots of chores to do) and review my chapter notes, quiz, and lecture notes. I go about my daily chores, then take kids to school and head to work. I drive an old VW bus, so at lunch time, I go out to my bus and review my notes again. Once I get home, I spend time with my family if I’m not in class. After I get the kids in bed, I review my notes again.

Once I feel like I’m starting to get my arms around the material, I make note-cards that pertain to any concepts or vocabulary from the chapter.

When the exam approaches, also take notes on any review that your instructor gives you, or ANY tidbits they mention about the test.

As you begin to review for the test you will get a feel for which terms and concepts are just not sticking with you. Go back through your notes and highlight those things. For the next review sessions, only go over the highlited material.

On the day of the exam, get up early, and review your notes, quizzes, notecards etc. At my lunch time study session, I review the highlited items again, and then just STOP. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and remind yourself that you’ve studied as hard as you know how.

Right before your test, dont study any more.

Take deep breaths and remind yourself that you have prepared well. Read EVERY WORD of EVERY QUESTION and EVERY OPTION. Before you answer the question, take a deep breath. Take your time. You have prepared well and the exam will flow. No need to rush….

You’ve got this.

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