Apr 25 2012
Everyone has his or her own way of studying and doing revision, so am I. Here is some tips I always share to friends and juniors on how I prepared for final examinations in my last MBA course.
- Read smart – Don’t try to read everything in a textbook. I read the table of content to get an idea of the flow and “framework” used by the author to teach the book content.
- Read less – We can’t remember everything. Most of the time, I read only the introduction, summary, headings and sub-headings of each chapter to get a general idea.
- Read more only if necessary – I dig into the text only for parts I don’t understand well.
- Ask questions – Don’t believe everything we read but think critically. I tend to ask and jot down questions especially why this and why that, while reading the book.
- Think more – I try to spend time thinking over the questions raised, problems, mini cases, and real life scenarios. After all, most questions in exam are problem solving ones.
- Use mind maps – I used to produce mind maps which I could use as handy and quick revision just before exam.
- Sleep on it – If possible, there should be a short period (a few hours, one or two days) between finishing revision and the real test. Go do something else or simply rest. What we learned takes a little time to get into our subconscious mind.
- Trust our common sense – I tend to remember only the skeleton and trust the common sense to fill in the details. Then I can remember less things, yet I can remember more of the less.
I can’t help but think of some students who try to read everything but end up remembering nothing. Just as Sun Tzu shares in The Art of War,
For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak. (故備前則後寡，備後則前寡，備左則右寡，備右則左寡，無所不備，則無所不寡。)