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Help with Studying Tips and Guides.

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by cheerspal, May 8, 2009.

  1. cheerspal

    cheerspal New Member

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me with what the tips and tricks they use when studying?

    I have been working for the past 8 years and am totally out of practice study wise. I need to get MCSA then my MCSE to further my career and potentially\hopefully more income.

    Over the past 2 weeks nothing really has been going in. I read a chapter, then read it again and take notes and then do the questions at the back of each chapter.

    I am just wondering what everyones habits are when it comes to studying?

    Do you use a timetable?

    Do you listening to music, classical or otherwise?

    What do you use to keep you motivated?

    How long did you spend studying on each MCSE exam roughly?

    Sorry for all the questions but this forum seems like the place to ask all the above.

    Any help appreciated,


  2. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

    Hi mate

    Everyone is different when it comes to retention of information, but certain tricks seem to work universally.

    Essentially speaking, when you learn something, it goes into your short term memory. That then has to be committed to your long term memory in order to recall it later.

    I personally find it useful to make notes on whatever it is I'm reading (so taking the information in visually), then I recite them back as if I am a lecturer teaching this to a class, therefore reinforcing the information through audio too. It helps to learn as you are essentially taking the informtion in via two stimuli.

    Whilst you are reciting back, you also just instinctively create cues that enable you to remember key facts, such as examples of application, scenrios, like for like comparisons etc. Makes it a lot easier to recall later, as in a sense you are making more visual references to refer to

    Also do no more than 45 minutes - 1 hour learning at a time, then a break, then back into it. The brain gets fed up after a while and less material will get retained.

    Hope that helps
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  3. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  4. VantageIsle

    VantageIsle Kilobyte Poster

    Hello and welcome to CF :biggrin

    As stated above everyone has different methods for learning.

    A trick I use (and I think is working for me) is to write the facts in a different order than how they are written in the book.

    Make sure you have a notepad and pen close to hand, scribble down key points.

    For example.

    You can hide the Network System Icon by using the notification area settings. To access these settings, right-click the Windows taskbar, click Properties, and then click the Notification Area tab

    My scrappy notes will read something like:

    Right click taskbar > Properties > Notification Area to chose which icons to display next to the clock.

    Even if its a short nugget of info try not to copy word for word what you have just read.

    Reforming it into a condensed sentence helps it stick.

    (well it works for me)

    Good Topic BTW. Good luck.
    Certifications: A+, ITIL V3, MCSA, MCITP:EST, CCENT, 70-432-SQL, 70-401 SCCM
    WIP: MCSA upgrade MCITP:SA then EA
  5. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    I do exactly the same when making notes!
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  6. Ence

    Ence Kilobyte Poster

    repartition works with me
    repartition works with me
    repartition works with me :wink:

    my best study tool is I copy text and convert to sound then play on mp3 player.
    I use this when out on my bike or travelling on bus.

    2nd best thing:Testout software. watch the video then complete a simulation.
    Search CF for Testout its not cheap

    I don't use the Leitner System, But write out key point to on cards and go over & over & over :wink:
    I have found writing in a notpad that I get lots of duplication and becomes a mess.

    Maybe as it not going in you should read only 1/2 a chapter

    other tip stop beating self up can't know everything I will master a topic when it happens.

    Grolsch advert: You can't rush these things
  7. Johnny Napalm

    Johnny Napalm Bit Poster

    I find mixing up the media that I'm using helps, ie, some reading, some computer based training. Also do it in short chunks. Helps me to stay fresh. I like to do an hour or so then break, go for a walk, bike ride, etc, to clear my head then back to it. Additionally if I'm taking notes, I try to use bullet points instead of lines of text. Helps me to remember better.

    I find that listening to music whilst I'm trying to study actually distracts me (as I'm concentrating on the lyrics of the song rather than what I'm trying to study) so I prefer quiet.

    As stated by Ence, I have found the Testout software to be useful (as well as nuggets) but it can be expensive.

    But then again, it's each to their own I guess :biggrin
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+
  8. cheerspal

    cheerspal New Member

    Thanks for all the ideas folks. I will def take some of them on board.

    Please keep them coming.
  9. jayford

    jayford Bit Poster

    Hi Cheerspal.

    I'm in exactly the same situation, however just by chance I discovered that if I read the material as if I am reading the paper and "lightly" focus on what I'm reading I actually understand what I am reading and find that I also retain it better as well. I am also a fan of repetition and trying out what I have learnt just to ensure that I understand it. I am also a firm believer in practicing, in fact I would almost go as far as saying I'm fanatical about it as I feel that I need to prove to myself that I have actually" learnt" what I have been studying and not just crammed it in parrot fashion (:biggrin apologies to those that CAN learn this way).

    A bit of a ramble but I hope this helps
    Certifications: HND Computing, procrastination+
    WIP: MCITP Developer, Bsc Info & Comp
  10. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    The one that works for me:
    - Read (out loud if possible)
    - Make notes
    - Study off your notes
    - Practice tests

    The idea is to use more of your senses:
    Sight - Reading
    Hearing - Reading out loud meand Talking & Listening
    Touch - Hands-on learning

    Sorry no taste or smell :noway
  11. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

    Hello & Welcome to CF.

    My method is normally to take a course in the subject at a local college.
    An example: Cisco IT Essentials 1 + Exam Cram 2 Book on A+ plus using a forum like this to help with the problems that arise, then once you think you know it all book the test & pass the exam, it worked for me!

    But everyone is different so you just have to find the way that best suits you.
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+

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