Understanding vs. Memorizing: Unlocking the Secrets to Acing that Exam
When it comes to preparing for an exam, there is a vast difference between understanding and memorizing. In fact, learning doesn’t occur with solely memorizing material. To truly learn you need to understand a topic, be able to explain it, and then apply it to other concepts you have learned and will learn in the future.
If you don’t use proper study techniques and you find yourself cramming for an exam at the last minute, you are using memorization to get you by. Once you recall that information for your test, it quickly dissipates from your brain.
Think about this: When was the last time you took a test that you crammed for? How much of that information do you fully know and understand today?
Knowing the difference can make a difference! To ace an exam, you must take your studies a bit deeper. Trying these techniques is a good place to start:
- Create a study schedule. And follow it. Give yourself ample amount of time to prepare.
- Do not procrastinate. As you’ve discovered, waiting until the last minute to study means that you are no longer studying – you are memorizing.
- Actively study. As you read your notes and your text, create exercises for yourself to ensure you are learning the material. Apply it. Discuss it. Try to teach a friend. In short, you want to know the material.
Like building blocks, the concepts you learn build on each other as you advance in your studies. Don’t sell yourself short on your education by turning to memorization.