Many of our daily activities are measurements of progress toward mastery of skills or knowledge. We welcome these opportunities as both work and fun. But when these opportunities are part of our academic life, we often dread them and rarely feel any sense of fun. In reality, however, academic tests are similar to real-life tests in the following ways:
- They help us measure our progress toward mastery of a particular skill.
- They are not a representation of how smart, talented, or skilled we are but rather are a measurement only of what we know about a specific subject at a specific point in time.
- They are extraordinary learning opportunities.
Take a look at the learning cycle in Figure 6.2 “The Learning Cycle: Review and Apply”. In this chapter, we cover reviewing and applying the material you learn; preparing for and taking exams is the practical application of this phase.
The end and the beginning of the learning cycle are both involved in test taking, as we’ll see in this chapter. This chapter explains the best study habits for effective review and strategies for successful application of your knowledge in specific types of tests and exams. It also covers how the review and application processes set you up for additional learning.