Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Getting the Most Out of Studying

Sign in to follow this  




A.) There are several misconceptions about studying that can hurt you in the long run which include:

  • Learning is fast

  • Knowledge is composed of isolated facts

  • Being good is a born talent

  • I can multitask

B.) The misconception which resonates with me the most is that “knowledge is composed of isolated facts”. It seems that many teachers, when focusing on studying, believe that vocabulary is the best way to digest information. Personally, I have always had trouble studying in this way. Now, knowing that mapping out information is the way to go, I feel like my study habits are already better prepared than I once thought for this year.

C.) Many students need to develop a new sense of metacognition once they arrive at college. This is the perceived sense of awareness on a certain topic. Many students when taking their first exam, go in overconfident not realizing that they have not prepared well enough to pass the exam. Only through good study skills, along with trial and error can a person develop an accurate sense of metacognition.



A.) Many students have misconceptions on what factor plays the biggest role in successful learning. The truth is that what you think about when studying is most important. The less distractions a person has, the more focused a studying experience they can have by using methods of deep processing.

B.) Deep processing is going beyond simply trying to store the information given to you, as it is unlikely your brain will retain it. It is expected that deeper connections are made with the material which include: creating an emotional connection, organizing and visualizing how information goes together, or asking yourself questions how a teacher would. Deep processing is much more about comprehending the whole subject matter rather than being able to pull out tiny bits of information. This will be much more valuable on a test, and even in the long run, when future topics build off the same information.


1.Minimizing Distractions - With more distractions more time is spent not studying and not absorbing the information.

2.)Developing accurate metacognition- It is important, as a student, to know one's limits and when they can push themselves further in order show they have mastered the work.

3.)Deep, appropriate processing of critical concepts - Using deep thought and connecting all information can be quite difficult but it is one of the only ways to learn a topic thoroughly.

4. Practicing retrieval and application - This acts as a simulated testing situation forpeople as they need to be able to recite and connect information in a coherent and quick manner.



A.) Optimising learning is the number one way to prepare yourself for any exam or future instances where you need to need to look back upon learned information. The first strategy is elaboration, such as, how do concepts relate to other concepts. An example would be relating derivatives to finding instantaneous forms of motion on a graph, as it spans the gap between physics and calculus and provides real world applications. The next aspect is distinctiveness. For this unit alone, recognizing that average velocity is different than instantaneous velocity can mean the difference of understanding a problem or getting the incorrect answer. Another aspect is making information personal. I believe many of the problems in class already achieve this by focusing on topics which center around comedic scenarios or people’s interests. The blog posts will be our personal time to relate physics to what we are passionate about. The fourth aspect is practicing appropriate retrieval and application. I feel the best way to do this is by helping others as you need to know the information to teach it and it truly makes a person verbalize the varying concepts in their head. The second to last aspect is Automaticity, which usually lends itself to practicing an excessive amount of problems on the subject. If you can look at a problem, and have done so many practice problems where you know how to start it and then work through it without truly struggling, you have achieved this level of mastery. The final aspect is overlearning. To do this one must study the information to the point it can be recalled quickly and easily. I believe the best way to do this, for me, is to sit down with someone else and try having a conversation/interview about the topic to the point where it seems natural. At this point, a person should be able to tackle the comprehensive questions which are given to them.



A.)  What is metacognition? Metacognition is the ability to tell how well you have mastered a material.

In the video, how did the teacher test for metacognition? Prof. Chew asks his students what they predict they shall score on their first test. He then compares it to their actual scores. The estimated percent is a x coordinate with the actual being the y coordinate. A line with a slope of 1 was created and anyone who scored lower than the line shows a sense of overconfidence and lack of metacognition.

How does poor metacognition hurt academic success? Poor metacognition can fool a person into feeling they are ready for a test when they are not causing them to fail.

Why would metacognition that was good in high school be bad in college? In high school the curriculum focuses more on shallow learning and memorizing small facts while college focuses on deep learning over prolonged periods of time.  

What are the critical differences between deep and shallow processing? Deep processing centers much more around why and how things work and connect. Shallow processing is more simply reciting information.

Name a task you already do where you automatically use deep processing.  When I play volleyball I use deep processing especially when analyzing a hitter that I am supposed to be blocking. How is he an asset to the team? What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? How does he plan to perform this play and how can I react to his move in the best possible way? All of these questions bounce around in nearly an instant between play.


B.) Just as in a real world lecture, writing down everything the video tells you is a bad idea and will leave the important notes lost in a sea of less usefull information. Notes should paraphrase and summarize in order to be a useful tool. Video lectures are nice as they are already recorded so any information missed can be gone back to if not fully understood or needed to be explored further. While it is much harder to miss a video lecture than an in class lecture, taking the notes and copying them from someone else is a horrible idea, as you are using second hand information as your first hand. The best source to get it from is the lecture itself and, most importantly, a person can have faith that they are not writing down any misinformation.The tip for organizing notes is necessary for both, as notes are not a one time source of information. When a person inevitably looks back on them, they want to be able to quickly access the topic and information they are looking for amidst all the others.

C.) A study group is very valuable in this class. I already have a small one forming and, so far, it has worked out tremendously with each member contributing to different problems which the others were stuck on. The best method of learning is through teaching others and, when that can happen equally amongst people in a group setting, then it is a beneficial relationship for all parties involved.



A.)There are appropriate ways to handle an exam which can aid you in future exams, but there are other habits which shall certainly hurt you. Some behaviors to avoid while preparing are: studying the same as you did for prior exams, waiting to ask for help, skipping class to catch up on others, cramming, falling behind, and skipping assignments. The main things to avoid directly after you do poorly on an exam are panicking and going into denial. A person should look at this moment and take it as the learning experience that it is and take the steps necessary to do better in the future.

B.) If you do end up failing, there are some strategies which help greatly. The strategies recommended are: to honestly examine how you prepared, review the exam, compare it with your notes, talk with your professor, examine your study habits and develop a plan for your future.

C.) A few helpful strategies can guarantee a good grade for the future. These steps include: committing an appropriate amount of time and effort to your work, minimizing any distractions you experience, attending class, setting realistic study goals, not letting work slide, as it will only build up, and not giving away easy points (not following simple instructions). With these tips grades can improve along with your outlook on failure not being an obstacle but a learning point.  

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.