Actively make the connections they are often

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term you just read about with ones that appeared on previous pages. Actively make the connections (they are often straightforward to make because of the logical organization of textbooks, and the Goldstein text is an especially good textbook in this regard) and practice rehearsing those connections as you review before a test. Challenge yourself by asking questions like, "Okay, I seem to understand the basic steps involved in bottom-up object perception models based on what I just read/heard, but can I go further and recount those steps without sneaking a peek at the textbook or the PowerPoint slides?" It is exactly this type of litmus test for knowledge, rather than a more fact-based approach that you may have used in your other courses or learning environments (e.g., "Can I give a simple definition for each of these terms") that will lead to deep processing of the material and subsequently better exam performance. 4. Make Your Study Environment Match Your Test Environment : The more different your studying environment and mood are compared to the environment in which you take an exam, the less likely you will be able to recall information due to that lack of congruence. For instance, if you are someone who tends to study lying back in bed or on a sofa, with music on and with frequent interruptions from cell-phone calls, texts, roommates, and/or family members, then you are encoding information in a very different environment compared to the one in which you might take the online exam. Try to approximate more closely the environment in which you take the online exams in Psych 490 by, for example, sitting upright at a table in a quiet, well-lit room, focused solely and intently on studying and making sure that there are no interruptions to disturb you for about 90 minutes (i.e., the maximum length of the online exams). Repeat studying in this type of environment each time you spend time preparing for the exam. The increased environmental and mood congruence should help improve your memory recall at test time. Numerous studies of mood congruence show that recall is significantly improved when participants' moods at learning and testing match each other compared to when they do not. 5. Don't Cram! : Perhaps the worst approach to studying, from the standpoint of memory encoding , retention , and recall is to wait until the last minute (or close to it) and then spend hours studying furiously to remember as much as you can for an exam. Cramming approaches to studying have repeatedly been shown experimentally to lead to considerably poorer performance on learning outcome measures, especially long-term ones , compared to study activities that are paced systematically throughout the learning period. Cramming puts you in a situation where you will experience the greatest amount of interference in working and long-term memory (i.e., a very large number of facts absorbed quickly in succession, with little or no time for elaborative rehearsal, depth-of- 3
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processing approaches, and overlearning), so while cramming can occasionally get you through an exam with what you might consider respectable performance (some students I have talked to over the years admit frankly to me that cramming is their primary way of studying, and I admire their honesty in telling me so!), you are severely undermining your ability to retain course information over the long term . Most
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