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The Reduction Phase (Survival Summaries)

We all would like to know the exam questions! But of course, they are secret.

Well – stop! Not quite. In my book ” Bestmark “, I explain how you can predict relatively well what kind of questions will come up and which exam topics are relevant for you and Do My Homework.

So once you have adjusted your learning goals and your learning strategy, you can perfectly align your summaries with the likely exam questions at the end of your learning process.

 2. The “TO GO!” exam preparation

What do you mean by that?

If you have never cooked a certain dish before, it takes forever to collect the ingredients, you have to check more often when preparing them and you are unsure whether you will succeed at all. If we have everything laid out properly beforehand, cooking is child’s play.

Learning is no different:

The more similar the preparation of the learning material is based on the exam procedure, the easier it is to retrieve it.

Structure tables for comparisons

Typical exam questions are: “Compare X with Y.”, “Theory A and B are opposite. Discuss!”, “What are the differences between C and D?” If concepts are to be evaluated and compared against certain criteria, tables are a tried and tested means of preparation. Enter the topics in a table and subdivide them according to central aspects:

 This processing has several advantages :

  • You filter information in a targeted and selective manner.
  • Central criteria of the substance are worked out.
  • You see what you understood.
  • You don’t forget an important point.

 In an example from my university days, I saw that the lecturer always wanted to see a comparison of the two research paradigms (quantitative vs. qualitative) in the statistical tasks of the past few years. So my table started like this:

structure tables for comparison exam preparation

 Exam preparation for clever people

How to create the knowledge table:

1. Think about which topics you want to compare. Enter these as column headings in the table above.
2. Determine the criteria that are relevant to the exam and/or best describe and delimit the topic, e.g.:
  • Origin of the theory, the concept, year, originator
  • Basic assumptions, underlying worldview
  • key statements and questions
  • Prerequisites for applying the matter
  • Similarities between the concepts
  • Differences, peculiarities of each topic
  • positive aspects of the respective theory
  • negative aspects in certain situations
  • important researchers, authors, variations
  • Processes: How does it work? Possibly with a sketch.
  • Other, interesting points/details
3. Now prepare the fabric. Conclude or assess two sentences. Where are discoveries made? Color, highlight, highlight key points.

Checklists for processes & analyses

In technical subjects, there are certain sequences and procedural patterns. Or a legal basis for a claim must be checked according to a specific scheme. In this case, checklists are the method of choice. Let’s take another example from the unwelcome subject of statistics

Visual codes for facts

Visual codes are ideally suited for query and fact-oriented tests. This allows you to quickly memorize even difficult technical and foreign words as well as vocabulary. I have described this method in detail and with many pictures in module 6 / from page 163 of the top grade.

Structure maps for oral exams

Typically, oral exams are about applying knowledge quickly and flexibly to new questions and not losing sight of the cross-connections and connections. Here structure maps are probably the best way to work out the most important thing again

reasoning logics

“Argument,” “Discuss,” “Explain” are other popular tasks. Prepare an argumentation logic for this, e.g. B. in the form of a schema that can be flexibly adapted:

Conclusion: Synthesis of the discussion with your point of view

 You can find even more helpful learning tips and tricks in my book  “Top grade: double learning success, halve test anxiety”.

I wish you the best of luck with your exam/exam/presentation!

  1. The best tricks for LAST-MINUTE exam preparation

An exam measures how well you can succinctly put the most appropriate knowledge on paper with a good structure, cross-connections, and appropriate examples within a short period. This can only be achieved through absolute routine and precise preparatory work and write me a essay.

Practice writing exams as often as you can! Set yourself tasks, answer

this is in full length. Prepare sample answers and test schemes. Think about how to structure answers.

An argumentation scheme for a few pages must not be too complicated, but it must contain all the essentials! The following applies to exams: “KISS” – keep it simple and significant.

The exam is on the table – here we go:
  1. stop. Do not start right away, pay close attention to the instructions and explanations of the teacher or lecturer. Is a task unclear? Be sure to ask!
  2. What does the examiner want to know? Think from the examiner’s point of view: What key points, facts, comparisons, applications does he want to see? Make a checklist.
  3. read the questions “Discuss” means something different than “describe”. Questions often have two components, such as explaining a theory and applying it to a specific issue. Because they are often overlooked in the rush, once again: read the questions!
  4. favorite topics. If you have a choice, take topics that you like, that you have already worked on. Play to your strengths!
  5. set order. Start with the prime piece of the exam, with whatever gets the most points. On the other hand, nervous minds keep their self-confidence happy by starting with easy tasks.
  6. brainstorm. Now write down everything that comes to your mind. This can be a structure map or a collection of bullet points. Pay particular attention to the W-questions of the global picture and define decisive analysis criteria (commonalities, differences, strengths, areas of application, etc.). After collecting ideas, choose an appropriate outline (p. 213).
  7. Distribute evenly. Many can’t help but write twice as much on one task as on another. However, one more line of an extensively completed task yields less than one more line of an unfinished task. After all, a single ace is useless in poker.
  8. demarcate. To answer a broad question, you can cover all topics and remain vague. It just doesn’t make a well-thought-out impression and gives worse grades. Better concentrate on the core problem. Or briefly discuss the various facets of the question in an introduction, but then select the most important aspects and work through them.
  9. search pattern. The following applies to natural sciences: Have I ever solved a similar problem? Which solution is to be demonstrated here?
  10. No spell-check. When in doubt, it is the content that counts, not the calligraphy. It’s better to make substantive rather than formal additions in the last few minutes. At least that’s my experience. Unfortunately, this does not apply to subjects such as German studies and lecturers on a detailed fox mission.

 4. Exam preparation for open-book exams

Here you can take books, legal texts, and any notes or collections of formulas with you. This fact makes it clear: understanding and practical application are required! For the preparation, this means: discussing a lot, finding examples, thinking through, practicing, writing sample essays, calculating.

Nevertheless, there is no time for long searches, scrolling, and reading. For an optimal result, you have to increase the access speed. Help with:

  • an index of Post-Its showing important chapters or sections of the law in the margins of the book
  • a self-created table of contents of the script / your folder with sample solutions, notes on types of cases, or important sub-topics
  • Color Schemes: Unlike notes, highlighter marks are often allowed. If you are clever, you assign a certain content to different colors, e.g. e.g.:

Another classic is the “traffic light scheme” for laws:

Braille. Usually, you have to erase any notes from the law books. But wait until the evening before the exam, then these notes will be fresh in your mind. And you’ll just be able to see the remaining light imprints the next day.

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