It’s Kay again!
It’s been a few months since I’ve written to you guys for Smart Student Secrets but I’ve been involved in the background. I’ve been finishing up some stuff for my classes (and rereading KAIC to make things a little easier.)
Quick note: that last email Aaron sent got some serious response from you! We weren’t prepared for it so we’re getting a little bit delayed in sending our replies back to you all but we’re super happy to read each and every one of them. Sorry if it takes a couple more days. 😮
Aaron wanted me to tell this story –
I always thought I was a “bad test taker.”
I would get nervous about a test. I’d study super hard for it. But then… come test day…
Ughhh…. I wouldn’t remember a thing (or it would feel that way.)
I later learned – that’s the difference between familiarity and knowledge.
Most strategies student’s use to prepare for a test improve a student’s familiarity with a subject.
But those familiarity strategies don’t actually help the student remember the information.
Familiarization works for open book tests. But for most classes, familiarization will just get you feeling that “I know it but I don’t remember it” feeling.
And that feeling – is worse than just not knowing because that feeling will increase your stress levels and make it harder for you to remember the stuff you actually could have remembered.
That’s why, when I discovered SSS years ago now, my whole school philosophy changed for the better. I learned the power of active recall and I became skeptical of “familiarity-based” strategies like highlighting.
At first – this may “feel” more difficult. It’s kind of like exercise for your brain. The first days are always the hardest. But once you get into a rhythm, your whole body reinforces your good behavior. You feel better. You look better (less stressed out at least.)
Even if you’re laid back about it, people around you might start thinking you’re super disciplined. It’s not discipline though. It’s more like automatic.
I was just looking at my grades for my finals.
I spent years at this now, and despite the huge positive changes I’ve made, I still get nervous come test time. I have that little voice whispering that I might screw it up.
But looking at my grades…
those voices obviously don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.
As much as it feels strange to admit, I’m no longer a bad test taker.
It’s not HOW MUCH you study.
It’s HOW you study.
The human brain has billions of neurons perfectly structured to store and transmit data about the world around you.
Any idiot can bang around with a textbook for dozens of hours to score high…
Let me show you the better way.