Take The Quiz And Upload The Skill Of Previewing On Your Brain
Take a pencil and a paper with you (Generally, always)
Hello, fellow students of life! Two days ago I started making a series here on Medium about how we can teach ourselves and organize the hours of studying and working. It is a method I have been using for myself, after 12 years of distraction and glamorous failure.
The past two years of my life (the first two years of my 30’s) have been the most productive of my life, so far. I have read the most books in my life, done the most work, created a website that I love working on and have written the most articles. I was the queen of procrastination (honestly I had a crown and a throne), a title I passed to other people, people I don’t know but I wish them the best.
If you want to start over the 12 Days Challenge about how to upload the ability to learn on our brains click here to read what we said on Day 1.
Yesterday, we discussed the preparation thing.
Let’s keep on Day 2.
How to preview.
When I was a student at school and university, I used to try studying as if I tried to push a whole loaf of bread in my mouth with bare hands. Of course, I failed all the times and made myself believe that studying was not for me, and of course, that I was failure generally in my life, because of that. Can you relate a little bit?
Plot twist, I found out that studying is for all the people that want to study. All we need to know is to find the technique to cultivate our minds and learn how to cut the loaf of bread into slices.
The loaf of bread is the book you want or need to study.
Relax and get the book in your hands.
- Read the title And the back Who is this author? Researcher? Practical experience? Position in the field? Personal vision?
- Examine the preface Why is this book important? How to use the book? How old is this book? What is new in this edition? Information on specific chapters? Look at the table of contents. How is this book structured?
- Leaf quickly through the entire book! How long are the chapters? How are they structured?
- Try to explain what the book is about in your own words. Now, you’ve previewed your book, your brain will picture the book like this.
- Sections per chapter
How to preview a chapter?
First, don’t start reading
Second, leaf through the chapters. Ask yourself: “What themes will be discussed?”
Look at the subheadings and first sentences of the paragraph. What are the Bold and italics about? What do the Graphics show?
Now you are ready to study!
Previewing is a technique. It is a skill. It is the technique we learned when we were kids of how to cut the bread in slices.
Now let’s take this short quiz about Previewing.
What, among other things, is the purpose of previewing?
a. To understand the structure of the study material.
b. To judge the structure of the study material.
c. To gain a rough understanding of the study material.
d. To roughly memorize the study material.
While previewing, the goal is to examine the structure, not to understand the content of the study material yet. There is no phase in which ‘gaining a rough understanding’ of the study material is an adequate step. Actually, the expression ‘gaining a rough understanding’ is banned from “the Improving your Study Techniques vocabulary!” So the correct answer is “a”
What can be part of previewing? There may be several correct answers.
a. Reading the conclusion of a chapter.
b. Reading the definitions of all of the terms used.
c. Reading the table of content.
d. Browsing the text and reading the subheadings.
a. Reading the conclusion of a chapter is correct: You may have hesitated about choosing this answer, as reading the text is not supposed to be part of previewing. Reading the conclusion, however, can quickly give you the headlines of the topics that will be discussed in the text. Only read the entire conclusion (in the preview-phase), if it is short and concise.
c. Reading the table of content is correct: Some chapters or articles provide a table of content, in which case previewing of this table of contents is definitely recommended. Also, during a preview of an entire book, it’s recommended to have a look at this book’s table of content.
d. Browsing the text and reading subheadings is correct: This is exactly what previewing is for! While browsing and reading subheadings, you can get an overview of the topics covered and the structure of the text.
“b” is part of the study part.
You are about to read a new chapter. How long should you initially spend on previewing this chapter:
a. About 2 to 5 minutes.
b. About 8 minutes.
c. About 12 minutes.
d. About 18 minutes.
Student experience has shown that this is the most appropriate and pleasant time frame. Whether you need to spend 2 minutes or 5 minutes depends on the complexity of the study material and the structure of the text. Badly structured texts that provide few leads as to the topics under discussion require careful previewing. You should nevertheless be able to finish previewing in 5 minutes. The following guideline may be helpful: if you lose track while previewing, your level of detail may be too high or you may be previewing a section that is too long. So the correct answer is “a”.
Is previewing a skill that can be acquired?
a. Yes. Practicing will make it easier for you to identify keywords from your study material without having to read everything.
b. Yes. Practicing will let you understand an entire chapter just by previewing it.
c. No, but it keeps you alert, which is a beneficial side-effect.
d. No, because each course unit uses different study material; this will cause you to experience any previewing as ‘new’.
When you preview, you will gradually develop an eye for identifying keywords in your study material without being tempted to read everything. You will also improve your skill of grasping a text’s structure, again through continued practice. So the correct answer is “a”.
“c” and “d” are false, basically because all the skills can be acquired.
Life is much more enjoyable when you know what you are doing and why. Learning how to learn things and the joy that comes from that should be taught at schools. But then people would be happy and the system would not be necessary anymore, I guess.
See you tomorrow!
Always remember to be friendly to your brain.
Keep on doing the great job!