Being a student—you got that down… right. Or do you?
Test your knowledge with the trivia below:
1. Which one of the following statements best describes you?
I study to get good grades.
I study to learn and understand.
A combination of the above.
if you only study to get good grades you
are putting information into your short- term memory. There is little if any
depth of understanding, and you don’t remember much because the information is quickly lost after a test.
2. Speaking of memory, what percentage of information is lost within two days of hearing a lecture?
Psychologists who study learning maintain that unless a person takes notes and reviews those notes frequently, most students forget between 70-80% of the material presented in a lecture within a few days.
3. True or False? I will be able to invest the same amount of time and effort in college as I did in high school and still be successful.
This may be true for a few students but most freshmen must invest more time and effort to keep up with the increased amount of information and faster pace of college courses. Learning isn’t fast. It requires careful reading and frequent review.
4. True or False? Learning in college is the same as learning in high school.
False. You may have received good grades in high school by memorizing facts, definitions, and pieces of information but college professors will expect more. Generally college students are expected to go to a different level, understand and apply concepts, solve problems, and perform an analysis of selected course readings or other materials.
5. Which of the following are true statements?
Being a good student is something a person is born with
Good students usually have to work hard at their studies
Even if a subject is difficult, one can still learn and master it
When a student has to spend a lot of time reading and studying it means they are not smart.
False, True, True, False. There are few people with in-born talent or who are gifted. In fact talent is overrated. To be good at something requires the commitment of time, working hard, and sticking with it when things are difficult or confusing. Your professors make things look easy because they have spent many years thinking, studying, and practicing. How many hours does Lady Gaga rehearse? How many practice balls did Tiger Woods hit? When Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games, how many drafts did she write? What we see is the results of all their hard work but rarely do we see their deliberate practice, the process they follow to achieve excellence. Learning is a process that takes time and lots of work.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10, 000 kicks once, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. - Bruce Lee
6. True or False? Successful students are able to multi-task when they study?
False. This is a gigantic myth. A person may think they can multi-task effectively yet it is really an illusion or wishful thinking. Our brains don’t function well when jumping from task to task. Usually the result is a lower quality performance. This is the main reason texting while driving is being discouraged. Generally multi-tasking is unproductive and interferes with focus and concentration. There is truth and wisdom in the adage “One thing at a time.”
7. True or False? Poor students are not good at accurately rating their level of understanding of course material.
True. Strong students have a more accurate view of their level of understanding. They know if they need to study more to understand the information. Conversely weak students are typically poor at identifying their level of understanding. As a result they study and review less, which often leads to low achievement on tests. This is surprising for these students because they honestly believed they understood the material. This lack of the ability to diagnose their problem makes it difficult to fix it. They don’t know what they don’t know and are perplexed when they get a bad grade. As David Brooks writes in The Social Animal, “The human mind is frequently an overconfidence machine.” To help improve in this area quiz yourself often on the main concepts of readings and lectures; study in groups and frequently quiz each other.