How to study for my psychology exams?? Part 1 - Introduction and Recognition

As psychology students, we should make what we study work for us too, and not just for our clients. If we can make these strategies work for us, they should work pretty well for them too. This is the same for studying. Let's not put what we have studied to waste.

So how should we study? This should work for all types of exams and not only psychology exams.

I presume everyone who did at least an Introduction to Psychology or Foundation Psychology would have come across the chapter of "Memory". In this chapter, one of the most practical methods of memory (in my opinion) is  Recognition and Recall.

What is recognition and recall??
Recognition is to come up with the answer when provided with a cue or other information related to the answer. Recall is to come up with the answer from the memory yourself.
In your brain, recognition involves a process of comparison of information with memory (familiarity). Recall involves a search of memory and then the comparison process once something is found (retrieval). There is a long story about the types of memory, interferences and effects (blah blah blah)..so keeping the long story short, let's move on the practical side of it.

Before doing your FINAL revision for exam, you must first have some basic understanding of your topic material; if you do NOT understand any of it or do NOT have any memory of learning it, please go through the topic material first.

Based on these two, I firstly assume that it will be easier for me to "pull out" this memory, if I "insert" it in a similar fashion - which is that if I require Recall to "pull out" chunks of memory, I will "insert" them in by remembering these chunks of information. Hence firstly, here is the way I classify the types of exam formats, based on recognition and recall:
Multiple choice questions (MCQ) - recognition, because cues or clues are usually given - just have to read properly and watch out for them
Short answers - recognition, for similar reasons as MCQ
Long answer / Essay - recall, because need to remember chunks of information

So if the exam format is MCQ or short answers, I will not go and memorise chunks of information, but instead try to do a chart where I can link up words or information that often appear together.
Example: Classical conditioning - Pavlov - dogs - UCS/CS/NS/UCR/CR - forward/simultaneous/backward conditioning. So when the word "classical conditioning" comes up, you will remember the other words as well.
Possible good methods to do it are to do mind maps or charts where associated words are linked up. The methods are up to you to make it interesting enough for yourself to remember; if it is interesting for you, it will be easier for you to remember.
Another way that I would recommend to improve recognition is to go through the material the way you will be tested. For the MCQ, the more times you go through similar methods of testing and similar questions, the easier to recall for your exams later. Hence for your revision, you can probably try out these methods.

Make sure you read Part 2 and 3 as well!!!

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