Retreating Deadline and Test Preparation..Hard but Necessary

Hello Spartans!

Now, we’re going to discuss two topics that are more geared toward exams and papers rather than general studying. However, these are pretty essential.

Cal’s  Retreating Deadline  Method is basically “forgetting” the real due date and making one that works with your schedule.

For example, I had a paper to write for one of my required courses. It was a simple assignment, so I wrote it the weekend before it was due. Then, the day before the real due date, I looked it over and scanned it for anything that was missing. This took a total of perhaps a half hour. Then, the next day I just turned it in. Sound heavenly to you? Well, it is!

The best part of this strategy is that you never feel rushed. No more coffee runs or all nighters with this tip! I certainly also felt so much relief when I could concentrate more on my exam than on the paper due the same day.

Test Preparation

Now, test preparation has been covered a lot. I have seen this strategy of studying a little bit in lots of different places. However, Cal’s take on it is a little different. I found some general test truths that I had done beforehand which accrued more stress than necessary. He breaks down these truths in the article on the site.

Most importantly, he mentions the limit  of preparing to be at MOST 3 hours per day before the exam. I would say that it depends on the exam. For a really easy  class, I made it  one to two. But if it is a pretty heinous  or moderate exam, then 3 hours might be preferable.

Here is how his strategy  played out in my exam preparation:

Like he said, do something conducive to studying, but do not study on the first day. I made Russian vocabulary cards. Then, again like the strategy details, study the hardest first.  From past experience, I know that studying the easiest first is not as effective. You are already good at it, so why study it first? This worked well since I knew ahead what was hardest for me to remember on the exam.

The further along I got in the days, however, the harder it was to keep on track.  This strategy needs repeated successful atttempts to become normal and routine. However, even if I didn’t always follow through, it helped a lot to be more ahead than the night before. This strategy needs definite persistence to be successful, so I recommend testing it out with an easy exam and then with a hard exam to see how it works. 

But, the information did stick in my brain for the exams that I did this. I also found myself exploring new areas of the material as well. I think this strategy allows connections to be easier to make between different concepts, which is a major benefit. Overall, a good but tough strategy that I think will become easier over time.

Basically, these test strategies are gold, but they need strict dilligence to become second nature. Hopefully, next year I will have these down better than this past semester.

Good luck on exams,

Natasha 🙂

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