How do you make yourself understand information?

People always say the key to doing well on a test is understanding the material. How do you make yourself understand the material ifyou dont know it? What are other ways of understanding without memorizing?

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi Sarah...your question is actually the key to doing well on a test.

    Information itself doesn't equate to understanding. You can memorize all the information you want, but that doesn't mean you understand it. But if you DO understand it, its amazingly easy to recall the information. Understanding a thing integrates it into long-term memory.

    The REAL way to make yourself understand information is to ask yourself questions about it, then find the answers from texts, class, internet and classmates. Questions like...

    - What other information is this related to...and how?

    - Why did this happen the way it did?

    - What were the motives of the key role players?

    - What were the consequences of this event?

    - If certain variables had been different, how might it have turned out differently?

    - In what ways is this information important to you?

    - How does this relate to your current or future life?

    Memory and recall are two different things. Recall is ACCESSING the memory. It's hard to recall something if you haven't related it to anything. Doing so puts mental "hooks" on it so you can snag it from memory.

    This, by the way, is the equivalent of REALLY LEARNING something, not just cramming for a test. Good luck with your learning...and your tests!

    Source(s): Ph.D., Duke University. 20 years studying the research in cognitive neuroscience and its application to human behavior, performance and learning.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    With some things all you CAN do is memorize - if you are remembering the names of presidents, and when their terms were, there isn't much to "understand" - you just have to memorize (and I would suggest flash cards). If we are talking about math or statistics, etc. instead of memorizing the way to solve a problem, you should understand the concept.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1. Read the material

    2. Picture the situation or circumstance, as if it were a movie in your head

    3. Put yourself in the movie, one role at a time

    4. The viewpoint you achieve from these different perspectives are the viewpoints from which you will answer the questions.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When I was in college I would write notes in class, then re-write them later on. That helped me absorb the information better. When I say later on I mean that night so it is still fresh, and if you have questions you ask the next time in class.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If it's verbal, I concentrate on listening very closely.

    If it's written, I go over it and over it again and again.

    Memorising is pretty much the only way to get things through to my thick skull haha!

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