Steve’s Study S-Tips

31Jan11

Sorry, sometimes one must stretch for the sake of alliteration.

With midterms coming up, it is incumbent upon a student to find an organized and effective way of cramming all that knowledge you spent months curating into usable intelligence for midterms and papers. But how? It helps to know your learning style.

Flashcards help lots of people. They’re easy to make, and allow you to literally test yourself backwards and forwards, by flipping the cards. But you have to carry them around, and it can be easy to fall into patterns of studying the cards in the same sequence every time. Which is why today I present an alternative that works for me.

It’s kind of like flashcards, but virtual. It’s randomized, so I don’t have to worry about order effects (statistics terminology!), and I can access it from anywhere through my BlackBerry. It’s called HeadMagnet, and you can access it at http://headmagnet.com. Setting up an account is simple, and once you’ve done that you can start creating memories.

There are two main things you need to know about. First, the Lists. They are the “flashcards” you create, and by default have a Question and an Answer, but if you’re feeling creative you can add additional fields, photos, even videos! Once you have a stocked list, it goes into your Head, which is the selection of Lists you are currently trying to remember. At the start of this semester, I removed my old Lists to make room for new ones.

And then things get easier. Whenever you have a spare moment (like on your morning bus ride, or chilling on the computer in the evening) load up HeadMagnet.com on your smartphone or laptop, log in, and study away! There are three main ways of studying: Learn, Review, and freeform. Learn is the initial review of whatever you last put into your Head, and then Review keeps it fresh by presenting a new set of cards every time you log in. Over time, it learns which cards you are forgetting most often, and puts them in more often.

The night before a test I’ll use the third method, the freeform one. I take everything out of my Head except for the class I want to focus on, and then run through every single card in the List. That normally preps my brain extremely well for the test.

And fast! I can usually run through 250 (the maximum you can study at once) in about 15 minutes, which makes it way more efficient than any other study method I’ve tried. Give it a shot today!

Go Huskies!
Steve

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