Monday, January 9, 2012

Study Up on Studying

Today, I am going to share with you one of the best posts that I have come across on the Art of Manliness Blog. The title of the post is "Ace Your Exams: Study Tactics of the Successful Gentleman Scholar." In this article, Authors Brett and Kate McKay provide a great (albeit a bit long) guide to coming to grips with studying and doing well with school work. As many of our young men head back to school, this is an important time for DeMolay's refocus on the value of education and what they need to do to succeed academically.

The post is quiet long and I know that many of you won't read the whole thing; however, there is one essential part that any DeMolay can benefit from:


Memorization is an important skill that you need to master in order to succeed academically. Because many exams are closed book, you’ll need to know everything backwards and forwards in order to answer the questions. Below, I provide some memorization techniques that I used during school to help me ace my exams.
Memorization is necessary, but not sufficient for academic success. One thing to keep in mind as you read through this section is that most college professors won’t simply test you to see if you can remember and regurgitate information to them. Sure, some do give those kinds of tests, but most actually want to see if you can apply your knowledge. So while memorizing facts, figures, ideas, formulas, and concepts is necessary for success on your exam, knowing how to synthesize and use that information is even more important.
Long-term memory should be the goal. Your goal for every class should be to commit the material to your long-term memory. Your brain’s short-term memory can only hold so much information at one time. Overloading it by cramming it full the night before will ensure that you’ll forget whatever it is you tried to memorize. Creating long-term memories takes time, so you should commit to memorizing information at the beginning of the semester.
Get a change of scenery. Traditional learning advice says you should study in the same quiet place every time you hit the books. But psychological research has found that just the opposite is true. In one study, college students who studied a list of vocab words in two different rooms performed much better on a vocab test than students who studied the words twice in the same room.
Researchers think that our brains make subtle associations between what we’re studying and what’s in the background while we’re studying. Those unconscious associations help you remember what you’re learning. For example, you might associate one fact with the leather chair in the student union and another fact with the smell of coffee in the cafe. By changing locations where you study on a regular basis, you’re giving your brain more material with which to create these associations.
Bottom line: mix up where you study for more effective memorization."
Now the real question is, how can you apply this to memorizing your work in DeMolay?
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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