How To Study And Take Exams (1960)
Title: “How To Study And Take Exams”
Author: LINCOLN PETTIT, Ph.D.
Publisher: John F. Rider Publisher, Inc., New York
Year of Publication: 1960
LOC Catalog Entry: http://lccn.loc.gov/60016519
Copyright Status: Public Domain in the United States and countries following the rule of the shorter term
“A SHORT-CUT TO LEARNING?
As a teacher and advisor for many years, the writer is convinced that most young people earnestly and sincerely want to learn, but they simply do not know how to go about it, or they are expected to learn the things they have to.
The idea of “pushbutton control” has spilled over into some areas where it does not apply. What is wanted is an easy way to pass examinations. What is hoped for is some simple “short-cut” to learning.
Science is bringing us short-cuts to learning, and, in fact, some of the methods of improvement given in this book have come directly from efforts to speed up the process of self-education. Up to now, however, the process still involves the expenditure of large amounts of time. This book is written to reduce that time to the minimum. In that sense, it is a short-cut. It eliminates the painful trial-and-error method, so costly in time and self-confidence. But it would be incorrect to say that this book presents merely an easy way to pass examinations. What it presents is an efficient approach to studying and taking exams, and the logic or rationale behind self-education.
WHO WILL PROFIT FROM THIS BOOK?
All who must attend classes, read books and face up to a final test in a given subject are vitally concerned with the best methods of progress in the time allowed. Since there is a definite common denominator for the art of studying and taking exams, all those involved in studying for exams will find much that is helpful in this book.
Every high school and college student must absorb large amounts of information and face various sorts of examinations to show how much he has absorbed. Technical school students, Civil Service applicants, and workers in industry, even including potential executives, and many others are subject to examinations of one sort or another. Teachers who thought they had taken their last examination when they left college are often obliged to take additional courses to be advanced in rank and salary.
Since high school and college students form the largest number of people interested, there is much more here for their attention. Because education does not begin or end with exams, a lot of the contents of this book builds up a comprehension of what it’s all about, so the student will be able to see many of the whys and wherefores behind the recommended methods of studying. By some, this may be regarded as a philosophy of education.
IS THERE ONE SURE WAY TO STUDY?
There are certain principles of studying and taking exams which apply in all cases. It is the techniques which vary. Everyone is acquainted with the success of those few who have their own peculiar “system” which gets results for them but will not work for most other people. Some students read assignments once and remember everything they read. As the singer, Pat Boone, a Phi Beta Kappa with a collection of A’s, says, as quoted in Kitte Turmell’s column, “Teen Etiquet”:
The ideal solution to the exam-problem can be achieved in a simple way, I think. The quickest, shortest and smoothest road to an ‘A’ exam is to keep up with assignments from day to day — take good notes in class and know what’s important . . . That’s the smooth road. My schedule permits me only to take the more bumpy road! Often my daily assignments are squeezed into a rehearsal break, a plane trip or a car ride. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a retentive memory and a knack for taking good notes. This, with a couple of full hours before exam time, is how I do it. Take my advice, if possible — take the smoother road. It leads to more success with less effort. (From the Detroit Free Press, January 12, 1958.)
In studying, the process is too complex to find one sure system that will work for everybody. The two sayings, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” and “One man’s meat is another man’s poison,” both apply when it comes to studying. The principles of studying are like the sauce, but variations in detailed techniques are like the meat and poison. This book stresses the principles. When it comes to the techniques, the various types which have been found to be successful by different people are presented for you to choose. The information about the nervous system, neurons, conditioned reflexes, and thinking is very much condensed, but it is believed to be adequate for the purposes of this book.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
A SHORT-CUT TO LEARNING? WHO WILL PROFIT FROM THIS BOOK? IS THERE ONE SURE WAY TO STUDY?
1. the big picture 3
MOTIVATION AND INCENTIVES ‘THIS SUBJECT IS OF NO VALUE TO ME’ MATURITY GIRLS AND COLLEGE COMPETITION WHY DO WE COMPETE? THE PACE AT COLLEGE ATTENDANCE PERSONAL ATTENTION COUNSELING PROFESSORS ARE DIFFERENT TEACHING FOR THE UN-KNOWN FUTURE CARRY-OVER SUPERVISION DRIFTING ALONG -THE ABLE STUDENT ARE CLASS DISCUSSIONS IMPORTANT?
2. mechanics and techniques of studying 16
A METHODICAL APPROACH THE WEEKLY SCHEDULE CARD WHY STUDY? – MATERIAL REWARDS WHY STUDY? – NON-MATERIAL REWARDS THE WALL CALENDAR THE POCKET DATE BOOK SLEEP TOOLS OF THE TRADE, GENERAL TOOLS OF THE TRADE, SPECIFIC GO OUT FOR SPORTS? HOW DETAILED SHOULD CLASS NOTES BE? FOUR METHODS OF TAKING NOTES NOTEBOOK INSPECTION SOME NOTE-TAKING HINTS WHAT IS IMPORTANT? WHAT IS NOT IMPORTANT? STUDY OLD EXAMS? WORKING CONDITIONS A TYPICAL STUDY SESSION TAKE TENI RETROACTIVE AMNESIA THE CURVE OF LEARNING THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS THE CURVE OF FORGETTING HYP¬NOSIS TEACHING MACHINES READING-ACCELERATION MACHINES TELEVISION SCRAMBLED BOOKS DISTRACTIONS, ENEMIES OF RETEN¬TION
3. examinations 44
A STATION STOP, NOT A DESTINATION JUST BEFORE TAKING EXAMS YOUR MENTAL RADAR MAKING USE OF YOUR RADAR THE CONDI-TIONED REFLEX MEMORY TRAINING SERENDIPITY ESSAY EXAMS OBJECTIVE EXAMS FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATIONS GETTING INFORMATION ABOUT OTHER EXAMS INTERVIEWS AND ORAL EXAMI¬NATIONS AFTER THE EXAMINATION
4. the thinking process 64
WHAT IS THINKING? THE MENTAL APPARATUS THE APPARATUS IN ACTION ASSUMPTIONS THE CHANGING NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE CRITICAL THINKING STEPS IN CRITICAL THINKING APPLIED CRITICAL THINKING FACTS AND OPINIONS ONE FINAL THOUGHT
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