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I am a university student. Of late, I have gotten into the habit of 'studying' at the last moment. Before I proceed, let me clarify. In my university, exams have questions that require me to write lengthy answers; we do not have multiple-choice questions.

Now, my strategy is that I like to delve into the topic that is being taught, learn about it, make notes but not memorize them until the last moment. I know that I do not remember the exact words for more than a couple of days after the exam but I am sure that the topic sticks in the back of my head.

Like Einstein suggested, I can explain these topics to a four-year-old.

The question that remains is : is this the "right" approach ? Are there any techniques for managing situations like these ?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

First of all, start earlier if you can. You should be reading ahead of your lectures.

I think your strategy is reversed. I would make sure that I memorize the terms as early as possible. Then I would take the time to imagine and explore. Memorizing terms and facts gives you more confidence in your imagination and you may notice additional venues for your mind's exploration.

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Write Anki cards for everything that you consider to be basic that's covered in the university lectures that you attend.

Thinking about what's basic has a similar effect than explaining stuff to a 5 year old. Using Anki afterwards allows you to make certain that the knowledge stays available.

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I think this approach is pretty well but start working on the subject on regular basis.

  • If you start doing so, you would not get the headache of memorizing the things just some days before the exam.

  • And even if You will give very little time for the subject but on regular basis you would not forget it.

  • Having Einstein theory is pretty well but for explaining a thing you must have got the real concept. If you got it, you can explain it to anybody as well as exam and you will definitely get the marks.
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If you are concerned about memorising things then look into memory techniques - there is a guy called 'ron white' who offers some good courses in this area. I used to find doing mind-maps also improve recall. Doing things last minute is fine as long as what you are doing doesn't require deep thought that requires time to digest things.

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ronwhitetraining.com/about-ron-white-memory-expert is the guys website –  Andrew Welch Feb 17 at 16:42

This technique will get u thru ur exams but u wont remember anything after the exams are done. It is better to understsnd well the material and memorize it for the first time early on - u dont want to leave that to the last minute, things could happen,emergencies,... - then when u r revising you can memorize it again before ur exam and that way u wont start from scratch. The idea here is to be prepared, leaving things till the lsst min. is not correct snd u wont retain anything for later since all ur studying will be based on the desire to pass the exam.

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