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    Taking Lecture Notes- Taking Examinations- Writing Themes and Reports

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    marjpasquil

    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2011-02-27

    Taking Lecture Notes- Taking Examinations- Writing Themes and Reports

    Post  marjpasquil on Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:50 pm

    Surveying, Questioning, Listening

    Taking accurate and concise lecture notes is essential. Develop the habit of taking notes using appropriate methods described earlier in the SQ3R technique. For example, when you listen to a lecture, formulate questions as you listen. Your main job in taking lecture notes is to be a good listener. To be a good listener, you must learn to focus and concentrate on the main points of the lecture. Get them down, and then later reorganize them in your own words. Once you have done this, you have set the stage for successful reviewing and revising.

    Reviewing and Revising

    As you prepare for examinations, tests, or other assessments, you should spend time reviewing and revising your lecture notes. Begin the process by reviewing your notes right after a lecture. If you wait too long, you may discover that the notes just don't make sense. Don't hesitate to revise your notes based on the review process.

    Research Notes

    Any form of note-taking that requires compilation of information by categories, rather than in narrative form is best done using index cards. You can sort, edit and arrange index cards to suit your particular study needs. The most important point in using cards is to indicate the correct reference or topic at the top of the card. Use the cards for study, review, to help organize information for papers, reports, or projects. An even better idea, if you have a personal computer, is to organize your categorical information in a database. Once you set it up, finding, updating and adding new information is quite easy. If you have a printer, you can print out your notes in a variety of ways.

    Taking Examinations

    Objective Examinations

    Surveying

    Survey any objective examination to find out what types of questions are being asked. Surveying helps you to know what to expect.

    Knowing the Ground Rules

    Always read directions! Indicate your answers exactly the way the directions state. Make sure your answers are clear. Determine what the scoring rules for the test are and follow them to your advantage. For example, if wrong answers are penalized, don't guess unless you can reduce the choices to two.

    Answering Easy Questions First

    Answering easy (to you) questions first is the best strategy. If you stumble over difficult questions for too long a time, you may not be able to complete the exam.

    Picking out Key Words

    Objective examination questions usually contain one or more key words. A key word or group of words are those on which the truth or falsity of a statement hinges. Learn to spot the key words in the statement that define the meaning. If a statement contains two clauses, one of which is false, the whole statement is false. Usually, two-statement true-false questions are either both true or both false.

    Reading Multiple-Choice Questions

    Multiple choice questions are essentially true-false questions arranged in groups. Usually, only one alternative is correct. Your job is to pick the alternative that is more nearly true than the others. Read multiple-choice questions the same way as for true-false. Eliminate obvious false choices.

    Reading Other Types of Questions

    The methods used to answer true-false and multiple choice questions apply to matching questions as well. Always scan the entire list of alternatives before matching any. As in the other types of questions, try to identify key words in each list and test them. Completion questions require you to provide a word or phrase. When you encounter completion questions, choose your words carefully. If you don't know the answer, give it your best guess, as often times such responses get at least partial credit.

    Essay Examinations

    Planning your time in answering essay questions is more important than in objective type tests. The general rule is not to get carried away on one or two questions to the extent that you cannot answer that other questions in the time allowed. Read through the entire examination first. Get a feel for the questions you are expected to answer. If the exam allows you to choose from a number of questions, be sure to number your answers exactly to match the questions.

    When you follow directions for an essay exam, pay attention to the key words the instructor has included. Such words as "list," "describe," "compare and contrast," and "outline" have special meaning. Don't "write around" the question but answer it directly. If a question asks you to list something, don't write a narrative about it. Answering essay questions directly is always the best policy.

    After scanning the list of questions to be answered, choose the ones you know most about. A good idea is to prepare an outline of your answers. The outline will help you remember important ideas and facts to be included in your response. Another technique is to do a "memory-dump." This technique is discussed in the last section of this guide, "Power Study Tips."

    Good handwriting is an absolute essential. If your cursive writing is very hard to read, try printing instead. Most instructors value clear handwriting. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling also count. Well-written grammatically correct answers almost always receive higher grades than poorly written grammatically incorrect answers, even though the answers themselves are the same.

    Writing Themes and Reports

    Reviewing the Topic

    Students usually have some freedom to choose the subject of themes or reports. When you make this choice, be sure that the topic is acceptable to the teacher, and is as interesting to you as possible. Another consideration is that of availability of resource material. Your task is made much easier when there is a good amount of reference and resource material available.

    Using Correct Punctuation and Grammar

    As in writing essays questions, good grammar and punctuation are a must. Most students use word processors to write papers. Be sure to use the spell checker that almost all word processors have built in. Many word processors also have some sort of grammar checker. Learn to use a grammar checker, as it can point out serious flaws in your writing and help you become a better writer. Most grammar checkers explain the grammar rules that apply to the suggested corrections to your writing.

    Gathering Materials Before You Write

    Before you begin writing, assemble the materials you will need. Use index cards, notes, bibliographies, summaries, reports and reviews as part of your preparation process. Using index cards for references is an excellent way to organize your materials. Computer database programs can also help you classify and organize reference materials.

    Preparing an Outline and Writing the Paper

    Once you have your topic, have gathered and organized your materials, it is time to outline your paper. Put your outline on paper! Don't make the mistake of trying to keep everything in your head. Make your outline in the form of main headings or ideas with sub-headings fleshing out the flow of the paper. Using the outline as a guide begin writing begin by asking yourself what the paper is going to say and what conclusions you want to reach. Doing this ahead of time will help keep you focused and prevent you from straying from the purpose of the paper. Making up the outline as you go along almost always results in a less than satisfactory product. Writing is important in high school and is a key to success in college and in many professions. Become a good writer by writing, revising, and reviewing your work. Don't be afraid to ask other students to critique your work. Try to write in your own natural style, be aware that most good writers go through many revisions, and be prepared to do the same. Writing and test-taking are the end results of developing good study skills. There is no magic formula for success. If you follow the suggestions in this guide, apply them and think about them, you'll have taken a giant step toward becoming a successful student.

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