HOW TO STUDY THE BIU TEXTBOOKS
The following are the steps designed by BIU for successful learning:
- Exploratory reading & its goals
Begin familiarizing yourself with the text by first assessing the length of the chapter, going through titles, charts, bold text, and so on. Try to determine what the structure of the book is and then calculate how much time it will take you to read it in order to establish weekly study goals. Remember: be realistic in your assessment of time and goals. If you set up objectives that are impossible to reach, you will be frustrated and discouraged.
- Differentiate what you know from what you do not know
Take notes about what you already know about the subject under study and what you can learn by reading it. This exercise will prepare you to better associate the newly acquired concepts with those already established. Maintaining clear study objectives will increase your memory and comprehension capacity. Always explore the chapters that come before and after the one being studied. If you develop a broader perspective of the context of the chapter under study, your brain will assimilate concepts faster and more efficiently. If you still have doubts, keep reading. They will surely clear up in the coming pages.
- Analytic reading
Once you have finished the quickly exploratory reading of the text, read it paragraph by paragraph classifying them according to their degree of difficulty. If a paragraph has been easy to understand write an exclamation mark ( ! ) on its margin; if you have understood it evenly but it seems a little dense, write an "X" on its margin. Finally, if you have not understood what you have read because the paragraph is too complex, write instead a question mark ( ? ) on the margin. Once you have classified all the paragraphs in the chapter, approach the text again in the following way: First, read all the "X" paragraphs, and then read all the "?" paragraphs: you will then realize all the "?" paragraphs do not seem as difficult or complex as they did previously. You may even wonder why you did not understand them in your first reading.
- Review reading
Reread everything and write an asterisk ( * ) on the margin of more relevant paragraphs; write "V" in those paragraphs in which you have encountered new terms and vocabulary. It is always easier to remember a word in its context. When you underline words and parts of the text, you are preparing it for summary and memorization, not for assimilation and understanding.
- Draw a summary chart
Focus on organizing ideas, concepts, and formulas in chart forms. This will give you the basic structure for the table of contents you will have to present on the first pages of your required academic work.
- Apply & review what you have learned
Comment on, practice, and develop what you have learned throughout your home study distance learning training. While studying and reading, it is important to develop one's own criteria. Integrate those ideas and review all your summaries before going to bed. Serotonin is produced and released in higher amounts during sleep, so you will assimilate concepts better before going to bed.
- Various aspects of comprehension
Description: To present the characteristics of a concept, idea, etc.
Definition: To specify its main elements and characteristics.
Classification: To identify the different categories, groups, and subgroups of concept, idea, or object.
Comparison: To discover similarities and differences between two or more things.
Induction: To establish a general rule by studying specifics
Deduction: To arrive at a conclusion based on initial premises after carrying out a series of logical operations.
Analysis: To separate the different elements that make up a structure.
Synthesis: To extract the most elemental aspects of a whole, and, in general, to understand the different relationships that exist among things; i.e. "be a part of," "depend on," "be caused by," etc.