As part of my recalling the ideas in the course I am currently taking right now, which is entitled, Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects, Barbara Oakley shared that testing ourself on the materials we just learned is a powerful learning experience.
Dr. Richard Felder, a legendary educator, has developed a checklist that we can use to see whether our preparation for taking the test is right on the spot. As Dr. Felder mentioned, if we are able to answer yes to all the below questions on this checklist, we are already prepared for testing ourselves if we have learned the material in great detail. Here are the questions on Dr. Felder’s checklist:
- Did you make a serious effort to understand the text?
- Did you work with classmates on homework problems or at least check your solutions with others?
- Did you attempt to outline every homework problem solution before working with classmates?
- Did you participate actively in homework group discussions, contributing ideas and asking questions?
- Did you consult with the instructor or teaching assistants when you were having trouble with something?
- Did you understand all your homework problem solutions when they were handed in?
- Did you ask in class for explanations of homework problem solutions that weren’t clear to you?
- If you had a study guide, did you carefully go through it before the test and convince yourself you could do everything on it?
- Did you attempt to outline lots of problem solutions quickly without spending time on the algebra and calculations?
- Did you go for the study guide and problems with classmates and quiz one another?
- If there was a review session before the test, did you attended and asked questions about anything you weren’t sure about?
- Did you get a reasonable night’s sleep before the test?
Going through the above checklist before taking a test would really help you gauge whether or not you learned the materials or you are prepared for the test.