When people think about studying sciences, all they can imagine is labs and test tubes. Today recent CGA grad Fatima Sourkatti will share her experience of studying science remotely and some studying tips for great results.
Your actual exam will be written so you need to perfect your writing skills. Science requires critical thinking, analytical skills and problem-solving skills which are transferable to any future career path. Your engagement in classroom discussions will help you think creatively about various solutions, and your regular homework and assignments will train you to answer questions in a smart matter. It is not about writing long essays but choosing the best terminology to describe your answers.
Before you start a war, you need to learn about your enemy:
The first thing you need to do is learn about your awarding board. Understand what they are looking for, how they expect you to answer questions and their grading system. Your teacher will mentor you to understand what exactly is needed.
Work smarter, not harder! My favourite method is the Pomodoro style in which you study for 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break (and repeat). When you use the Pomodoro technique, you have a clear measurement of your finite time and your efforts, allowing you to reflect and plan your days more accurately and efficiently. With practice, you’ll be able to accurately assess how many Pomodoros a task will take and build more consistent work habits.
Now here is what to do in these Pomodoro cycles:
Make an objective list
What are you learning? What new terminology is used? What are the new concepts in this chapter? The syllabus or your teacher’s goals can be really helpful in noting down the list.
Make sure to keep it clear and concise – it’s not a novel!
In most cases, you know a thing or two about the lesson. Previous knowledge; what you remember from class, and so on. Get a clean sheet of paper and start writing everything you know about the lesson. (I promise it doesn’t need to be perfect) You can write a paragraph, bullet points or draw mind maps. Whatever floats your boat! After that, compare what you wrote with your class notes or teacher’s notes and WRITE DOWN the things you missed. This exercise will help you actively memorise and it will save you time so you don’t have to read things you already know.
For all my fellow visual learners, this is so simple yet so IMPORTANT. Most probably your textbook will contain a picture with labels, a diagram, a graph, or even a list. (Trust me it’s important) Look at it, read it, then draw it without looking at your notes. USE COLOURS! But DO NOT highlight the entire book (it contradicts the use of highlighting). It is scientifically proven that colours can produce a higher level of attention and is effective to increase memory performance.
If you could take one piece of advice from this blog, let it be this: Past Papers are your best friend. Complete as many as you can. You can find a lot for free online and your teacher will assign you homework from previous past papers. Do your past papers under exam conditions (set a timer and no sneak peeks). Check your work from the marking scheme, and write the correct answer below in RED. Red draws attention to something that is important and is good for memory retrieval, so you will remember the correct answer forever. Save these past papers for revision before exams.
Take a break
Ahh, everyone’s favourite part. Although you might be relaxing, your brain is actually memorizing and putting all the information you fed it in folders. The more you revise your material, the easier it is for your brain to access these folders!
Studying science online should be a piece of cake if you set the right mood for studying and find out what technique works best for you. Finally, it would be helpful if you could afford an iPad and pencil to take notes, solve past papers, etc. Not only does it save paper, but it’s also a lot lighter to carry around!
It always seems impossible until it is done.Nelson Mandela
Fatima Sourkatti recently graduated from CGA with a focus on science subjects. She loves to help people and challenge herself and is currently interning with Crimson Education while pursuing higher studies at UEA. She enjoys baking and reading in her free time.