Reinforcement and Revision

Review your notes regularly

One must study to the point of saturation or to the point of overlearning. The study process should not be interrupted till one is thorough with the matter. After studying a lesson close your book or note and see if you can recall clearly the contents of the lesson .If there is any hesitation go over the lesson again. After recapturing the lesson without mistakes do it once more and reinforce your learning. It has been noticed that what is read or studied just before sleeping is more easily recalled. What you have studied at night can be impressed deeper in the memory by a quick revision in the morning even though you know the lesson well. The process of deep absorption of learning in the mind is similar to the process of electroplating a gold vessel. Thin coatings of gold dust must cover the vessel in dozens  of layers. So it is with learning. Do the learning first then revise at the end of  the week , then repeat the process at the end of  the month and at the end of the  semester. If you have the skill and habit of taking short notes these will be of  immense help in a quick and efficient revision. Matter learnt in a series of revisions

will be deeply  impressed in the mind and will remain fresh in memory for a lifetime. Things crammed into the mind on the eve of exams and tests will quickly vanish and the knowledge will evaporate like the dew in the morning sun.



One of the successful and tested models of study is the SQ3R Method. This is particularly useful in reading articles in newspapers, journals , scientific publications, literary or specialized topic essays etc. This formula is expanded as follows:






The first step is to survey the matter. What is the title and what is its significance? If there is a subtitle it will shed more light on the matter. When you read the title ask yourself what kind of questions are going to be answered in the article at hand.  You can also note what questions  you like to be answered in the article.

Now you read the first paragraph of the article.. This will give you a good idea of what the contents of the article  are going to be. Next read the opening sentence of the following paragraphs. Do not read the rest of the paragraph .In most  writings the opening sentence is the key sentence and it gives you the central thought of the paragraph and is its marrow.. As you read the opening sentences of succeeding paragraphs you also begin to have an idea of the outline of the topic and the sequence and development of the thought . Having read the opening sentence of every paragraph read the concluding paragraph in full. By now you have a fairly good idea of the  gist of the article and you can decide for yourself whether you are interested in reading the article in detail or not. It might happen that the article has practically nothing new to offer you if you are already well versed in the topic and you would rather spend your time more profitably in reading other articles.

If you decide to read the article now do the detailed reading .As you read take down the main points in sequence. Now close the book and recall the points. You may do this in writing or mentally. Are you able  to recall them all in proper sequence and without gaps? .If not ,go back to the article and read it  till you reach  the point of total recall. Now let the matter rest and go back to it the next day and recall all the points. You also need to revise what you have learnt at increasing intervals.  This method makes for intelligent and efficient learning.

There is still another additional step you can do to consolidate your learning. And that is by using your learning

Either by working out exercises or by group discussion or by teaching the same may be to younger students.

The formula can thus be further expanded to SQ3R+ U.

In reading books also one needs to do something similar to avoid waste of time like reading    a book from page 1 to the last only to find out at the end it was of no profit to you.  Besides the title if there is any subtitle take note of it for it will give  the particular focus of the book. Read the introduction or preface if there is any and you will get a good idea of what the book is about and what to expect from the book. It is also quite useful to read the review quotes about the book from reputed authors or publications. Some books also give a critical appraisal of the book on the back cover page.

In our busy world of today special skills are needed in reading newspapers efficiently. Reading an entire paper from first page to the last or from the last to the first is an immense waste of time and no one can afford to so unless one wants to kill time. First go through the headlines of the day, then read what you consider important and relevant. Then go through the other pages of interest to you just noting the titles of news items, making a mental note of what you like to read in more detail and then come back to them later. It is important to read the editorials to know the comments on current events and issues and useful to read some samples of letters to the editor to know a cross section of public opinion on various issues.

With regard to novels and light reading one needs to practice speed reading. For such kind of reading  matter a good reader can cover several hundreds of words  in a minute. Here details are not important and it is enough to follow the broad  development of the story. The eyes glide from cluster to cluster of words at a quick pace taking in many words at one glance paying no attention to particular words. This is impossible to do unless one has become very proficient in silent reading without the movement even of the lips .The habit of loud reading is a great obstacle to speed reading.


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