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Lesson #14 - Testing Yourself At Home

The third part of Systematic Study is Test. It is importnt to Test yourself every time you study for two reasons:

  1. You want to be sure you met your goals.
  2. You want to decide if you should study more and how.

In this lesson you will learn how to finish home study with Test actions.

Q: How will Test help you?

Many students waste a lot of study time because they "just read" their textbooks or "went over" their notes. For these students, the main goal seems to be to get through the pages rather than to learn.

Of course, you know how important it is to set goals. And, you know that goals should identify observable outcomes. If you also Test yourself to see if you met these goals, you will be much more successful.

Q: How can you Test?

When you Test you want to find out what you have learned, how well you have learned, and how you can improve. This is very similar to what your teachers do when they give you a test. The main difference is that when you Test yourself, you can correct your mistakes without penalty. It's much better to find out what you don't know before a test than during a test.

Here are three ways to complete your study by Testing yourself.

  1. Make up questions:  Write questions like the ones you think your teacher could ask. Also, write questions about your goals. Then, answer these questions.
  2. Answer questions on old tests or study guides:  You can judge your learning using questions from previous tests teachers have given and by using questions in study guides. You can see if study guides are available by asking your teachers and by writing the book publisher.
  3. Write summaries or outlines from memory:  Summaries and outlines can be excellent ways to test your knowledge. You should write from memory. If you have trouble recalling main points or details or get them confused, this is a sign you need to study more.

You can also Test yourself with a textbook by using it like your notes. Page through the material you read looking only at the topic markers. For each, say to yourself the main ideas and relate them to the author's main points.

Q: Is it really important to do this?

Yes, it is important. Remember you are using Systematic Study so you can control your grades and learning. The Test part of PAT is necessary to be sure you have accomplished your goals. To ignore Test would be like getting a horse trained to run a race, entering the horse in a race, watching the beginning of the race, but not waiting to see who won. Testing is important for you to be successful.

Q: How can you get started?

Use the complete Systematic Study process, (Prepare, Act, Test), as you read a textbook. Prepare, read Actively, and Test yourself. Use as many skills as you can while you Prepare, Act using effective active reading skills, and Test. You can use Form 14.1 to check on skills you use. You should keep track of the skills you use in each study session for the next week.

Lesson #15
Lesson #13

ECC [] ©Copyright 1991, Thomas M. Sherman. Further distribution without the written consent of, Inc. is prohibited.


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