Organization of Study Time

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Study and revision skills
INFO
This section covers the following ideas and material: An introduction to revision methods, including

• concept mapping, flow charts and mind maps • planned revision timing • practising examination technique.

General study methods
Organisation of study time
The examinations are looming large. Suddenly you realise that you do need your notes and experimental work from the last year or two. Are they in good shape? Well...! It is worth remembering that revision is just that. It shouldn’t be the first time that you have tried to get to grips with a subject. Organisation of study habits over a whole course is a vital part of being successful. This certainly means practical things, such as making sure that your notes are intact and readable. But it also includes making sure that you have understood the ideas and connections as you have covered a topic. Nothing can be worse than trying to learn masses of material that you don’t understand. The best preparation for an examination begins a long time before it! This spreads the load and lessens the tension as the examination approaches. Figure 1 summarises various aspects of preparing for examinations. The coursework ‘arm’ emphasises not only the collection of good notes directly from class, but also the need to look at and use material from outside. Reading reference material and taking useful notes from it is a skill in itself. Table 1 outlines different methods of reading and their purpose. The first three methods are more appropriate to using books for reference. However, there is an increasing number of popular science books and magazines for which the last two methods are appropriate. In addition, there is an increasing amount of reference material now available on CD-ROM and, most significantly, the internet. You should find ways of using this material, as it provides a more interactive presentation of the material. The ability to make notes and topic summaries as you work through a course is important, as they can then be used as a starting point for revision. You should not think of practical work in chemistry as separate from other classwork. The ideas and detailed information from the practicals are important in reinforcing your understanding of a topic. Indeed, a particular experiment may help you to remember and understand a crucial idea – giving you a visual clue on which to ‘hang’ the idea in your memory.

© Cambridge University Press IGCSE Chemistry

Study and revision skills

1

reading CD-ROM

practical work classnotes

COURSEWORK

review cards

summary sheets Information

how much?

when?

spider diagrams
Or gan isin

topic lists mind maps

gn

ote

s O

n rga

g isin

tim

e

take breaks

REVISION SKILLS

use a timetable

u St

sk ill

key words and ideas

s

dy bi ha

stick to timetable

or

y

ts

M

em

suitable place

regular reviews use summaries, spider diagrams and mind maps Figure 1 Revision involves organisation and the development of particular skills. alone or with a friend

time of day

Type of reading skimming scanning reflective reading detecting bias reading for pleasure

Method looking for the main topics looking for specific information reading carefully and thoughtfully, with attention to detail separating fact from opinion reading at own pace

Purpose to gain an overall impression to find particular facts or conclusions to obtain a thorough understanding of a topic to form a decided impression of a controversial area to gain a feel for a subject, and for enjoyment

Table 1 Different methods of reading and their purpose.

This book, and the accompanying materials, are aimed specifically at students taking the Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry course. This is a course and qualification with a very high international reputation.

2

© Cambridge University Press IGCSE Chemistry

Study and revision skills

INFO
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