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flip193's avatar

How do you study?

Asked by flip193 (208points) February 10th, 2009


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18 Answers

delirium's avatar

“acts as an incredible picture of the craftsmanship, it paints an inaccurate picture of what the Native American’s own culture” (20 minutes pass)


“Seen again and again are breaks in circles on the patterns around bowls and” (45 minutes pass)


Baloo72's avatar

Learning things comes very easily to me. I can usually read something once and I will understand it and remember it at least long enough for the test. I have been trying to figure out how and why this happens to me and not to everyone. The best thing I have found is an argument for holistic learning (vs. compartmentalized learning).

So, for my more direct answer – I read over the material to be tested either the night before the test or the class period before.

delirium's avatar

Frankly: I’m a visual learner. I do best when (no kidding) I illustrate a rough comic of the textbook as I go along.

mrswho's avatar

I usually look over the material the night before a test and generally try to pay attention to what is being discussed in class. I usually really understand or learn things when I have to write essays about them or otherwise produce somthing from what I’ve learned. I tried listening to recordings I made while I slept but I was too afraid of strangling myself on my headphone chord. It probably wouldn’t work anyway.

mrswho's avatar

Also avoiding the distractions of fluther is helpful (I say as I have an essay due and a test tomorrow, but am sitting here not studying).

La_chica_gomela's avatar

The only way I can learn hard stuff is to quiz myself on it.

For most subjects, this is the easiest way for me to do it: I read the text I need to learn, analyzing what I think is important and copying it in my own words. Then when I’m done with the chapter or whatever unit I’ve broken the material up into, (some time, weeks or months even, may pass) then before the test, I go through the notes or a study guide if I’ve been given one, and on a separate sheet of paper write out questions to quiz myself on what I determine will be important. I take the quiz, then what I get wrong, I write out a few times on scratch paper, then I quiz myself on the parts that I missed again.

If it’s math, I don’t have to do all that, I just find the hardest homework problems and re-work them.

If it’s a language, I just make flashcards.

Baloo72's avatar

Forgot to mention this earlier:

When it comes to math it’s a bit different for me. I have to know how the math works, not just what to do. I usually take a few sample problems and break them down into variables (even if it’s not an algebra problem). After that, sometimes I’ll write a program in my calculator depending on the amount of time I have.

mrswho's avatar

With math I don’t have that much hope of understanding it deeply, but I’m like that with other subjects. I want to know why chemicals/blackholes/governments/characters/commas do what they do and try (in vain) to come up with some general principle to govern/generalize/stereotype them. (Which is easier done with chemicals and blackholes, impossible with com,mas)

delirium's avatar

Math is pure repetition for me. That’s the best way of getting it in to my brain.

Mtl_zack's avatar

In many social sciences, I have to know the context. Like in history, if I’m learning about the great, I remember that the 1920s were very good times, and then the crash happened in October (all major economic crashes happen in October by coincidence, or not), and then I think of the president who was in that time period. There was too little government intervention, something that republicans prefer, so he was a republican president, so I think of Hoover. Then, to correct this mistake, they elect a democrat president, Roosevelt, and they liked him so much they kept him for 4 terms. I just memorized so many facts from such a little amount of information. Like a chain reaction.

If it’s math, I’ll fail anyways.

If it’s chemistry, know the equations and nomenclature, and how to figure out the chemical equations. And units are important too.

Languages, I have to say it in my head, and I “see” the letters in my head.

Many other things are cause and effect, like a big chain reaction. This works for memorizing things. Like A causes B, and B causes C, and C causes D, so A is indirectly responsible for D.

seekingwolf's avatar

I usually study on the 3rd floor of the library, away from all other humans, and in a wooden study cube. I even keep my books there when I’m not there.

Awesome. No distractions.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

ditto to delirium – i can’t remember the last time i did my homework without fluther breaks – or, probably more accurate – fluthered without homework breaks.

in a contest between my textbook and fluther, you can count on the jellies stinging that textbook’s ass

seekingwolf's avatar


exactly why I make a point to leave my laptop in my dorm when I go to the library.
I also find I have to turn my blackberry upside down so I won’t be beckoned by it’s flashing “new message” light.

Technology rules us so. :(

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@seekingwolf – but sometimes the work you need to do must take place on the computer. (like my work that I’m not doing right now, of course). How do you solve that one? Tell me, – you’ll be my hero.

futurelaker88's avatar

by saying “ill study after I _____” until the test is on my desk :(

seekingwolf's avatar


I write out my outlines for papers in pencil or pen by hand, and scan them into my computer later (I have a scanner/copier/printer machine in my dorm). I do the same thing with my textbooks notes that I take. I also do it with class notes so I always have my notes in OneNote, and I just throw away the paper.

Otherwise, if I MUST be on my computer, (papers), then I turn off the wireless internet. Most laptops have a switch on the side or in the front. Or just disable the wireless network card.
See, part of the procrastination is that you’re in MS Word (or whatever) typing something up and being bored. Your cursor drifts down and you open Mozilla. With the internet turned off, you can’t connect and it reminds to get back to work! Tell yourself “the sooner I get done, the sooner I can surf!”

Now, if you need the net to do work (research) I’d go on a public computer. There are other people around so you have less privacy to do “personal” surfing, and there are fewer distractions (no custom wallpaper, no personal bookmarks, etc)

Now, if you’re doing math problems or something like that where you don’t need your computer, don’t even bring it! If it’s not there, you can’t be distracted. Same with your cell phone. During finals, I buried my cell phone in my sock drawer and then went to the library to study. I got a lot done!

Hope this helps.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@seekingwolf, on my computer you can press FN + F2 to disable the wireless, but I never forget that I did it. I tend to just turn it back on when I want to procrastinate, just as easily as I would click “Firefox”. I make myself pretty useless…

seekingwolf's avatar


Put tape over those keys while you’re studying then.

The purpose of turning off the wireless is not to completely STOP you from going online, but to make it slightly harder, which could serve as a reminder to you to get back to work.

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