dynamics · studying

Dynamics midterm study tips

While you’re studying next week, I have a few suggestions for you, based on my own studying experiences, the comments I’ve received from previous students, and what psychologists who actually study learning tell us.  Here’s a great article:

http://bjorklab.psych.ucla.edu/pubs/RBjork_2001b.pdf

My interpretation:

  • Reading solutions from the solutions manual and thinking “OK, I get it” is not studying effectively.  Trying to solve problems without looking at the solutions is better.  Even better, before you tackle each problem, think about how you would figure out how to solve the problem, if you didn’t know what chapter of the textbook the problem was from.
  • How do you know how much practice you need?  When you can solve problems in a reasonable amount of time.  For example, you should be able to completely solve a problem that requires one FBD in about 20 minutes.  Two FBDs or multiple steps?  Probably about 30 minutes.

Or in other words, test yourself when you’re studying.

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