Exam Tip: What is the best way to study?
When I was in the fifth grade band, the trumpet section had a piece that we needed to play all together from memory, without our music. I decided that instead of memorizing it by playing it many times, I would memorize it by writing the notes down and memorizing the list of notes. After I could repeat all of the notes in my mind, I thought that I was ready. However, as I started playing a couple of days before the concert, I quickly learned that there was a big difference between knowing the notes and being able to play them on the trumpet. Unfortunately, I ended up being the weak link in the trumpet section for that piece because my method of preparing was not effective.
Like with the trumpet, there is a difference between theoretically preparing for the exam and actually preparing for the exam. You can read how to study, and you can read where to study, and you can read motivational quotes for hours and hours, but unfortunately none of these will actually help you get even one question correct, let alone pass the exam.
Students often ask me, “What is the best way to study?” The very short answer is simply, “Study!” Read the book. Watch a video. Do five minutes of flash cards. Just like the only way to learn how to play the trumpet is to actually play the trumpet, the only way to prepare for the exam is to actually prepare for the exam. Don’t spend too much time studying how to study – just study!
Brian Hock, CMA, CIA