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10 Tips on How to Study

Posted by Marsha Weisleder on 6/29/15 4:00 AM
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Learning how to drive all over again with the help of Langevin’s How Adults Learn workshop…


Well, here’s a funny story. I recently relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. No, not because I want to be a Southern belle, but because I married an American, living in Georgia. The things we do for love, but that’s for another time. So here I am, a permanent resident of the United States and I realize I don’t have a Georgia Driver’s License. Well, that’s easy to change, I thought.


So, I went to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, with my Canadian License in hand, thinking it would be simple to re-issue a new license. I’d probably just have to complete some forms, pay an admin fee and be on my way. That was not to be the case.


I learned that drivers from other countries must pass Georgia’s written, road, and vision tests to be issued a Georgia driver’s license. Really? I know I’m from another country, but it’s just Canada. Aren’t we the same in so many ways?


So, I picked up the driver’s manual to learn more about the testing involved. The Knowledge Exam (as it’s called) is broken down into two sections. In section one, there are 20 multiple choice questions on the meaning of standard highway signs, signals, and markers. To pass, 15 out of the 20 questions must be answered correctly. Section two has 20 multiple choice questions on driver responsibility, laws, and safe driving practices. Again, 15 out of the 20 questions must be answered correctly to pass.


They even had a sample test on their website so I’m thinking this will be a cinch, until I see the questions: Here’s one:


The maximum speed limit on a rural Interstate Highway is:

1. 60 miles per hour

2. 70 miles per hour

3. 55 miles per hour


Would you know the answer? I guessed 60 miles per hour but the answer was 70 miles per hour.


Uh oh, now I’m getting nervous. I’m preparing for a test, more than 30 years after taking the initial one. And even though I’m in a classroom, training others, I can’t remember the last time I studied for a test that required a passing grade. What if I didn’t pass? Oh, the shame and embarrassment!


Luckily, I remembered that I had some resources to help. I pulled out my How Adults Learn workshop manual, and on page 55 I found the following ten tips for studying:

1. Block out distractions and focus your attention.

2. Use a highlighter to emphasize important points.

3. Read difficult concepts aloud.

4. Draw diagrams or flowcharts to link concepts.

5. Write or type out notes containing key points.

6. Use key words to trigger your memory.

7. Develop analogies to explain concepts.

8. Prepare flash cards.

9. Organize the data into chunks of seven items or less.

10. Make up acronyms to remember key points.


So, that’s exactly what I did. For a solid day, I focused, highlighted, made notes, and really prepped. I decided to take the test the next day. I went back to the Department of Driver Services, got my number and waited to be called. After paying the $10.00 fee, taking a vision test, and getting my photo taken, I was told to go to Computer 1 for the test. No pens, pencils, paper, cell phones, or other wireless devices were permitted in the testing area.


I sat down, got comfortable and started the test. After each response, I was prompted to verify that it was the response I selected. I was also told, after each response, if it was correct or incorrect. Talk about immediate feedback! Now for the good news! I scored 100% on the Road Signs and 95% (one mistake) on the Road Rules. All those studying tips from our How Adults Learn workshop really paid off! Now I have to practice my parallel parking, quick stop, backing up, and three-point turn. Stay tuned for those results!

Marsha has been a course leader with Langevin since 2000. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She went on to attend Osgoode Hall Law School and practiced civil litigation for a few years. While working for a company as their in-house legal counsel, Marsha fell into a training position and never looked back! Each day, Marsha brings passion and excitement to her workshops, always encouraging her participants to find their own passion as well. Outside of the classroom, Marsha loves to spend time with her family, travel, and stay active. Of course her main obsession is Elvis! Some people might think she’s a little over-the-top about him, but doesn’t everyone have an Elvis shrine in their home? Maybe not…

Tags: adult learning principles

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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