A quiz is a way to analyze yourself, or how learn to study

Students have different attitudes to tests, quizzes, and other academic performance control. Some of them do not really care about upcoming tests, others pull an all-nighter to prepare for them. But there are only a few of them with a healthy attitude which we call – balance.

Testing is a part of your studying process. You can not say you have mastered any subject unless you passed a test. You should understand that you learn from exams too. You even learn when you ask someone to edit my essay for me because all of these make your learning cycle fulfilled.

Today we will talk about what it means to be able to learn, the mistakes we make, and the barriers that get in our way. We will share different ways to support this skill.

What is “learning how to study”?

Automatically you would like to answer “this is when a student successfully passes an educational program,” but intuitively you feel that something is missing… And if the educational program is poorly designed and the student fulfills its ineffective requirements? And if there is no program at all, the person cannot learn?

Learning how to study is not a criterion for success or a description of what one should ideally do in an educational program.

To be able to learn is to do something for one’s own development. Scientifically speaking, it is a cyclical process of achieving set goals that are made up of student-organized thoughts, emotions, and actions.

In general, the ability to learn can be described as a cycle:

  1. setting and planning
  2. monitoring
  3. control
  4. reflection

How to support the learning process in the planning stage.

Learning to study” begins with adjusting one’s psychological state and planning. We formulate a learning goal that resonates with us; we decide how and when we will achieve it, given our current state, the environment around us, and past experiences.

The following barriers can hinder you: insufficient information about the educational process, and destructive beliefs about the way you learn and about yourself.

Students with advanced learning skills are self-directed, and they may not always follow the logic of the program. To structure this route in the best way possible, the program should provide clear descriptions of classes and assignments and the time needed to complete them.

A student, for example, may not know that testing is not just a control and testing activity, but a way to analyze oneself and learn new things.

There are more serious barriers-beliefs, for example, that abilities, skills, and intelligence are all innate. A person may think that their abilities depend on innate characteristics, which means they cannot be changed. Sandra McGuire, the author of Teach a Student to Learn, suggests four ways to combat this belief:

1) Show examples of other students who did poorly at first and then improved.

2) Ask students to recall other difficulties they have overcome.

3) Tell students about the flexibility of the brain and its ability to recover from even the most difficult injuries.

4) Give students tasks according to their current level and gradually complicate them.

Attitude and planning are the beginning of every learning cycle. If we don’t pay attention to this step, the further process of learning can be chaotic and ineffective. We will end up investing a lot of time and energy into our studies, wasting our last energy while learning nothing, and most importantly, not understanding what went wrong.

How to treat monitoring and controlling

After planning, the student proceeds to the implementation phase of his plan. In the process of implementation, such as reading a chapter of a textbook, they must somehow understand whether they are succeeding in their learning. Am I reading the text and not understanding anything or am I reading the text and learning something new? The process of assessing one’s learning progress, such as comprehension or mastery of a skill, is called monitoring.

Monitoring is closely related to control – it is deciding whether to change your learning process based on the monitoring data. For example, if you are reading a text for the third time and still can’t answer the test questions, you should change your learning strategy.

Students have no direct access to their cognitive state, and no mirror to show them how much they have learned. So they have to rely on different cues, such as: “This is familiar to me already”, “I got interested, so I started to understand something”, “the text is easy to read”, and “I am so tired, so I studied well”, and so on.

Not all signals can tell a student correctly about his or her academic progress. A mass of effort does not always mean that you have mastered everything.

You may have reread a complex text for two hours and still not understand anything, and you should have adapted and used another strategy – ask for help.

The most effective help is to explain to the student what “understanding” means and by what signals you can tell. For example, you can use the six facets of understanding developed in the “understanding through design” model. Or Bloom’s pyramid or the SOLO taxonomy can be used here. And lastly, you can develop a more accurate testing and assessment system that the student can use beyond the end of a module or program.

How to support the student during reflection

At the end of the learning cycle, the student evaluates the path taken – what result has been achieved and in what way – and draws conclusions about how to improve his or her future cycle.

Unfortunately, even effective strategies can leave a negative mark on their memory. For example, you spent a lot of effort and time repeating the material, but in the end, did not achieve the desired result. You may have misinterpreted the reasons. Maybe the strategy was chosen correctly, but you were studying too hard and did not reinforce it with conscious rest? Did you choose to pull another all-nighter instead of getting help from the best writing services and having proper sleep?

If within yourself the student has already formed the belief that a certain scenario is ineffective, he or she will abandon it in the future.

At this stage, it is important to give formative feedback: to help sort out the causes and keep destructive beliefs from living.

Being able to learn” means being able to set yourself up for the process, consider and recover your resources, set goals that are valuable to yourself, be able to recognize false and true signals of your understanding, and conduct constructive reflection. It is good if the program gives space and time for all stages of learning and supports the student in the process.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment