Action Study Skills – A Busy Student’s Ticket to Ease and Best Performance on Tests and Final Exams

Action study skills are especially important to students at final exam time. Why is this true and how can you access these valuable skills for your student? Most students are geared toward action. Many like to move around instead of sitting still. Action study skills using physical movement help break up periods of concentration, and because of that students are able to learn more material in a shorter period of time.

For any student it is always best if they can study in the most effective way possible for their particular learning style and learning profile. That way the student can make best possible use of the limited study time s/he has available and deliver the maximum performance in the classroom and on tests and exams.

The more comfortable a student feels with a learning activity, the more quickly and easily s/he will learn the material. It is important to notice here the words “learning action” and this does not mean “I have the book open and I am highlighting or underlining what looks important in every few lines in the text.” Half asleep or tuned out highlighting or underlining does very little to help the student actually learn the material.

In action study skills we want to both engage the mind and move the body. An example of an action study skill is this.

Easy, medium and hard stacks of 3Γ—5 cards is a very simple skill with very strong benefits. The student writes useful questions on one side of the card and the answer on the back of the same card. In addition you want to build in visual cues such as using different colors of markers on each side of the card. Perhaps you would write all the questions in red books for tweensΒ and all the answers on the back of the card in green. You can also use block printing on the front and cursive on the back. Next you go through the cards, reading the question on the front and then answering the question out loud. Then you turn the card over and look at the back and see how close your answer was to the correct answer you wrote on the back of the card.

Next you put each card in the appropriate stack, easy, medium or hard. This sorting process makes the student aware of how well s/he is grasping the material. It also allows the bulk of the student’s time to be spent on the questions that actually need more work instead of having to go through things that no longer need attention. This gives the student a feeling of working efficiently and effectively. That creates momentum and the whole process gets easier and easier.

What is important is the engagement of the mind in a questioning and critical thinking process. It is important for the student to consider what s/he is reading and to mentally ask questions about it. What does it mean? Why is it important? Why did that happen? Why does that work that way? Does this work the way I think it does? Why is it likely to work that way or why might it work differently?

Another important part of the learning process is to gather some facts and information from lectures or reading, and then form questions and ideas about that information. That is called “creating a hypothesis” and “hypothesis testing.” You are thinking about how something probably works and why it might or might not work in the manner you think it does. These are not only very valuable skills for doing well on tests and exams, but also considered top quality business skills.

The powerful immediate benefit to the student, especially at final exam time, is that it makes all academic material much easier to understand and REMEMBER! ( Often memorizing academic material is not a favorite with busy students.)


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