General education classes in the context of this topic refer to classes that are non-problem based. Typically these classes focus on concepts, facts, and theories. Typical subjects covered here would be psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, literature, religious studies, and other related topics.
Your strategy for these classes should include
- A study schedule
- Identification of topics to study
- Preparation of likely test questions
- Continual self testing
Your study schedule for most general education starts one week in advance. The schedule outlined below gives guidelines for what you should be doing each day.
|Days in Advance||What to do|
|5||Collect all course materials (tests, notes, old finals, flash cards)|
|4||Identify the types of questions/problems that will likely be on the exam|
|3||Start reviewing flashcards, power points, class notes, study guides. Make up test questions|
|2||Have friends test you/ Make list of missed questions/ Add test questions|
|1||Review test questions at different times during the day|
The first thing you need to do is to get together all of the materials you need to have for the exam. If you wait to do this, you end up doing a lot of busy work in the limited time you have before an exam.
Next, you need to start identifying the types of questions you will have on your final. Look at prior tests for clues. Especially look for the mix of questions between multiple choice/true-false/fill in the blank, matching, and short answer. Also think about what’s stressed on the prior tests: concepts, facts, dates, etc. Then look for where the questions came from: lecture notes/ reading/ mix of both.
Start making a list of topics that will likely be on the exam. Focus on any material in the later part of the semester that has not been tested yet. Then look at past exams to see what was on these tests.
Once you have a set of topics prepared, then start putting together a list of test questions. Put these on flash cards. It works really well if you have classmates who will make up their own test questions. Compare your questions and add additional questions to yours.
On the last two days start testing yourself on the question. Do this in small chunks of time so that you can better imbed the questions in your memory. It also helps if you have a friend question you.
The approach outlined here focuses a lot on activity-based learning which is generally more effective than other more traditional approaches of learning..