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September 28, 2006

How to Study for a Geography Quiz

I should have posted this three weeks ago, before my students actually had their geography quizzes, but it wasn't until someone complained about his grade yesterday (4.5 out of 10) that I realized some of them may not have known how to study. I should say, however, that most students did very well on the first quiz (I haven't graded the second one yet, but just from quickly browsing through them it looks like they did even better on this one). Over 25% got a perfect 10 on the first quiz. But the student who got 4.5 (which, let me say, was not the lowest score) complained that he had studied for two hours, so it occurs to me that it is not obvious how to study effectively. Staring at a map of Britain for two hours will not do it. Try this:

  1. Xerox your blank map several times -- you will need these for practice.
  2. Using your study guide, fill in one of your blank maps with the cities or topographical features you will be tested on. This will become your new study guide.
  3. For each thing you will be tested on, practice filling it in on your remaining blank maps until you get it right.
  4. Once you can locate each place individually, practice doing them all at once.

I don't claim that this method will work for everyone, but the key is practice. Do at home what you will have to do on the quiz. One person drew a grid on her quiz sheet, which helped her locate the cities more precisely. She got a 9.5, so her method, which involved doing something, rather than just staring at the study guide, obviously worked. I realize now how unfortunate it is that so many teachers (myself included), just tell students to study, without telling them how to study.

Posted by eklanche at September 28, 2006 08:37 AM

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