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Lesson #8 - In-Class Testing

This is is the final lesson on using Systematic Study - PAT- in class. We will begin with a brief review of how to get the most out of class.

First, Prepare well. Set goals for yourself, clear your mind of distractions, think about what you know, and guess what your teacher will say. Be sure you have your pen, paper, and other materials ready so you can take good notes.

Second, Act to learn. Be an active listener and participate in class. Keep your attention focused, summarize regularly, record main points in your notes, and make sure you listen for main points. If you aren't sure of the main point, then ask your teacher. Review your notes so you can explain main points. Read assignments and do homework.

Q: Should you Test for class?

Yes, the third step of Systematic Study is Test and you should do this as part of your learning in every class.

The purpose of a class is for you to learn something new. So, you should be able to do something after the class that you could not do before it. This may be answering a question, working a problem, explaining an issue, identifying people, stating names, dates, or other facts.

To ensure that you have been successful, you should Test yourself. You can do this several ways.

  1. Make up questions: One good self-test action is to make up test questions and then answer these questions. You can put these in your notes or keep a separate notebook for questions. But, you do want to keep them because students often find that their teachers ask the same questions.
  2. Write a summary:  Write a complete summary of the class from memory. You should do this after you have reviewed your notes and written your notetaking summary.

    This summary will be different from the summary in your notes because it will be longer and more detailed. You can write in your own words but be sure to use the terms, names, dates, facts, etc. your teacher used in class. You want to be able to say and recognize these terms.

  3. Write an idea skeleton: A skeleton is a list of all important ideas, facts, names, procedures, etc. and how they connect to each other. You should do this from memory.

    First, make a list of all the important terms you can recall. Second, arrange these in order. You can put similar terms together, put them in the order your teacher presented, or put main points and their supporting details together.

    Finally, show how these terms relate to each other. Draw a line between terms and write on the lines how they are related. They may be related by example, cause, result, ingredient, part of, etc. You can use the main idea indicator words to identify these relationships.

  4. Tell someone else about the class: Another good way to test yourself is to tell someone else what you learned. You can tell your parents or a friend. You can also pretend to teach the same class to someone.
Q: How will you know if you have learned?

There are two ways you can tell if you have learned the material.

The first is accuracy. If you correctly do one or more of the test actions above, it is a good sign you have learned. Pay attention to being right and also complete. You want to include all the important points.

The second is how well or easily you were able to do the test actions. Many students will fool themselves by thinking they know material when they do not. If you have trouble with the test actions, this is a signal to study more. Take the time to do this right away because this is when you will learn the most.

Q: Won't this take a lot of time?

No, Testing will not take a lot of time; but, it will take some time. How much time testing will take depends on how well you learned in class. If you listened carefully, took good notes, and reviewed your notes, testing should not take more than 2 to 5 minutes. If it takes longer, then you need to study more.

The purpose of Test in Systematic Study is for you to determine what you have learned and how well you have learned it. If you find you did not learn as well as you need to to meet your goals, you can take action to improve.

You can reread your notes, ask your teachers questions, review your text books, and study your notes. The great thing about self-testing is that you control your own success. You do not have to guess about how you are doing or depend on someone else to judge your learning.

Q: How can you get started?

Try each one of the test actions with each of your classes. You will find that one test action may work better with one class than another. Or, you may find you prefer to use the same action with every class. Either way is alright as long as you are sure you are testing yourself well. You can use Form 8.1 to keep track of your test actions.

Lesson #9
Lesson #7

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


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