Study Techniques for Government Exams Begin the WEEK before the exam, NOT THE DAY BEFORE! Repetition is Key: The more times you go over material, the better chance you have of storing it permanently. 1. Use the textbook and your notes to answer and define the key terms and questions in the exam review. Thoroughly read the textbook discussions of the key terms while you are taking notes, defining key terms, and answering questions in the review. Be sure to pay attention to examples and discussions in the textbook – just not just the definitions. You can also use the index in the back of the textbook to locate pages where the textbook discussions take place, but you will need to read the chapters yourself to be sure that you are not missing important information. Create Acronyms Create acronyms for long lists of factors and concepts. For example, if you need to remember to identify current media trends: Media Consolidation, Narrowcasting, Increasing Use of Experts, and Citizen Journalists, create the acronym MNIC. Make your acronym bold and easy to read in your notes. Create Drawings Draw diagrams, tables, charts, maps. These are your initial notes – they will be long, detailed, and many pages long. Now, it’s time to clean-up and organize your answers. 2. Rewrite and organize the notes you took several times. Organize your notes with color and highlighting. Quiz yourself on each item. 3. Go back and re-read your answers to the exam review. 4. Rewrite your answers to the exam review again. Quiz yourself or ask a partner to quiz you. 5. Make flashcards and/or use the flashcards on Mypoliscilab. Type the notes. 6. Rewrite and quiz yourself using your notes many times – until it becomes easier and easier to remember and identify the information. 7. For auditory learners: You can also record yourself reciting the notes. Listen to your recording many times. 8. For active people easily distracted: Make studying more physical - work at a standing desk, pace around the room while studying, read while on an exercise bike, chew gum, keep moving.