Plan your time before you start: Follow the advice in Article 2 and develop a written battle plan!
Use your Planning Calendar, your weekly Priority Task Sheet and your Daily Schedule to allocate the time available to prepare for the test. Isolate the most important elements of the exam you must prepare for, and give them highest priority.
Whenever possible, schedule your test preparation activities for your own personal “prime time.” Keep all appropriate written planning materials in your Study Plan Central book. Monitor your progress toward key goals on a daily basis.
Here’s a suggested breakdown of the major study issues you could choose to focus on, assuming you have 12 days at your disposal. Of course, your own class, work and personal schedules will necessitate that you develop a unique schedule that works for you, rather than marching lockstep through this outline.
Days 12 to 9: Review your written materials extensively.
Days 8 to 6: Develop “condensed notes” (later in this article) and review your own notes from class.
Days 7 to 4: Work with others in your class, or with friends or family members, on developing strategies and potential responses to the upcoming exam. If you can, track down previous examples of tests from this instructor.
Day 3: Review the test-taking strategies outlined in Chapter 13 of this book.
Days 2 and 1: Develop a Power List covering key materials (you’ll find the technique outlined later in this chapter).
The morning of the test: Review your notes…and then practice using your mental Power List as a means of transferring your “condensed notes” to paper without consulting your notes. (If you can do this relatively quickly and have the opportunity to take notes during the test, you will probably want to quickly and accurately transfer the notes to paper during your exam period.)
Skim First, Then Read for Detail
The most effective way to get the key points from any reading assignment is to skim the material first, then head back over it once again to catch key details. If you perform both of these steps with a highlighter or marker in your hand, you can isolate critical pieces of information that you will use later to build your Power List. By the way, skimming is different from scanning. When you skim a written text (or collection of handwritten notes), you:
Review all headlines and headings closelyperhaps rephrasing the ideas you find there in the form of a question, to be sure you understand the material. (Saying the headings out loud is a good idea, too.)