Post by Coach Alice
Does the primacy-recency effect work for you? Is now the only time you have to review for the licensure examination for teachers (LET) or an exam you’ll be taking soon?
As a LET coach and teacher, I do not recommend cramming. It is very stressful. It deprives you of the chance to get a higher score. It makes retention and recall challenging.
Cramming will not land you in a top rank in LET but it may help you get your teacher’s license or a pass a course or subject, if you do it effectively.
Below, I list some practical tips on how to make cramming work, especially for those taking the LET this September 30.
Students may likewise benefit from applying tthe following tips as appropriate.
Start with a positive “can-do” attitude and get your family and friends to understand your present predicament and support your will to reach your LET or study goal.
Having very little time before exam date gives you more reasons to plan about how you will divide your remaining time to be able to cover all required proficiencies in General Education, Professional Education, and your majorship. Strategize. Have a game plan. Write out your review time and days in a personal planner that you can carry with you in your bag or use your cellphone’s calendar or to-do notes feature to mark review dates. Stick to these personal review time schedule. In case you need to beg off occasionally, make up or double time.
Get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Do a self-assessment using commercial LET reviewers or if you are a student, answer the exercises at the end of your book chapters. Knowing what you are good and where your deficiencies lie will make cramming efficient and effective.
Sizing up yourself would give you an idea as to what you really need to review or learn given limited time at hand. Match your present LET capabilities with the LET Table of Specifications and you get a clear picture of what to concentrate on, given the relative weights of the different subjects that you will be tested for.
Review concepts which are most unfamiliar first and save the material that your now best for last.
If you are from Metro Manila, visit us at MindGym and take our FREE 300-item LET readiness or diagnostic assessment and get a rough gauge of your subject-by-subject level of preparedness.
3. Look for a LET coach or study partner.
Use group dynamics to make reviewing more interesting. Just make sure that your review sessions don’t become gossip sessions and waste your precious time. Set an agenda each time you meet your study partner.
For intensive coaching, one-on-one tutorials on your challenging subjects would be very efficient since a LET coach can zero in on your learning gaps. Or, if you have budget constraints for individualized review, go for MindGym’s 3-day Final Coaching which would give you a feel of LET day, confidence boosters, finishing LET tips and strategies.
4. Bring together review materials and study tools.
Nothing more wastes your limited time than having to look up and around for pencils, pens, highlighters, erasers, index cards, and review materials.
Have these within arm’s reach. Write down important notes in index cards which you can carry around with you.
5. Fix-up a study nook.
Having your own table and chair for review makes cramming more efficient since you can declare a “Do not disturb” time whenever you are at your study table. Get a well-ventilated place free from television noise, interruptions and distractions.
Don’t study atop your bed or you may fall asleep. Keep your techno gadgets (cellphone, ipad, DVD viewer) out of sight when you are at your study nook to minimize temptations to tinker with these techno toys and lose precious time for review.
Commit to do nothing else but review when you are at your study corner.
6. Study effectively.
Break down topics that your need to review into manageable chunks to avoid overwhelming yourself.
When cramming is your only option, study the most important parts of the test (or those which would give you higher points in the LET based on the TOS) at the beginning of your cram session, the next most important things towards the end, and the least important things in the middle. This sequence of cramming follows Murray Glanzer and Anita R. Cunitz’s observation about the primacy effect (explaining why the beginning of a list is remembered more easily) and the recency effect (which proves the end of the list is remembered more easily).
Use mindmapping to organize your thoughts more efficiently. Mindmaps would help highlight key topics which you need to focus on and minor topics which you can come back to when you have already covered critical subjects.
Make your own mnemonics and memory aids to help your retain and recall information (at least) until your LET or exam date. Remember to use speed reading techniques of skimming, scanning, and selective reading so that your concentrate only on the essentials.
Rehearse for the LET by doing as much drills as you can. Use repetitive recitations to better remember most important concepts to be covered.
7. Rest and relax.
Remember to take breaks and time outs so that your brain can take a rest and be more alert after. Having enough sleep is a must even when you are cramming. Do some stretches and a bit of running or mild exercise to keep the flow of blood and oxygen circulating properly; the brain won’t function well otherwise. Move around to avoid getting drained and fatigued.
After cramming with a commitment to make the most of your situation at hand, accept that you can’t do it all. Lighten up. Let go. Forget the words “can’t” or “should have” which would only derail your resolve to do your best. Ask for Divine intervention and if your timing is right, your efforts may pay off.
You still have 37 days to go before the LET. That’s gives you just enough time to refresh your memory of topics learned in college or your professional education courses and to cram in proficiencies for the LET which you have not covered amply in the courses that you took.
Isn’t it time to rush to MindGym for a LET readiness check-up now? Contact 437-5880 or through Facebook to get started immediately with your online LET review, enroll for final coaching or to raise concerns. You’ll surely be in the company of caring coaches and a family of teachers when you do and your cramming days a learning experience you will always remember.