Makomed's Weblog

Studying from Your Notes

Posted on: November 4, 2009

In most math and chemistry courses that I’ve taken, I’ve noticed that the textbooks have become much too cranial. The books are the size of cinder blocks and woe is the man who tries to teach himself under the time constraints of a six-week quarter. This is why I advocate class presence: a good professor will give you notes that can cut through all the intellectual fat from the textbook and lead you straight to your goal.

And that goal is: meeting the course objectives as set by your state/university.

So the best tip I’ve had so far was from my Calculus professor: to get ready for a test, you must rewrite his examples verbatim until you can procure it straight from memory. He’s quite an adept teacher and his tests are given under the gun, so to speak, so he expects his students to not only get the answer right, but to do it under timely circumstances.

I was attracted to this idea since my Organic Chemistry professor mentioned the same thing to help you memorize reactions.

Funnily enough, both professor never mentioned anything about cultivating critical thinking. In fact, the math professor poo-pooed the idea of working more math problems. He just wanted us to practice the ones he assigned until we mastered it.


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