I'm a very slow learner and have managed to pass a law degree, several police exams and more than a few IT exams. So now my credibility is established, here are my tips for getting IT information to sink into your brain.
1. Chunk it All Down
My 3,000 mile bike ride started with a two mile ride to the train station. That was the only thing in my mind at the time. I knew I had to reach Athens, but only the next step was the goal of that moment. Same goes for your study plan. Focus on today's subject only. If you start looking at the entire exam you may well become overwhelmed and quit.
2. Work out Your Learning Style
I used to read the same chapter in a CCNP study guide over and over and over again. Each time it was as if I'd never read it! I gave up and did labs on the same subject for a few days. I went back to the chapter and BANG. It all made sense to me. I had a reference point. I then realized that I'm a hands on type of person. NAT, Frame Relay, Access Lists, or anything you can lab up, I do labs. You can actually pass exams by doing labs, reading, doing exams, reading flash study cards and so on. You can even get audio books for many IT certs!
Work out how you learn best and learn that way primarily. Use other methods to reinforce your main learning style.
3. Be Disciplined
Turn off the phone, Facebook and remove all distractions. Study for 50 minutes and take a 10 minute break. Then do another 50 minutes. This study method works like a dream.
4. Write it Out Again
Something magical happens when you grab a pencil and paper and write. It's becoming a lost art, in fact. Once you read a section, write out the main points. These points can become your study notes you carry with you when you are out and about.
5. Take Exams
I'm not talking about the actual exam but practice exams. I can't tell you how many times I've thought I understood a subject and then taken a test and failed miserably. There is some sort of retrieval mechanism in our brains, which we use to apply what we know. I don't know the science behind it, but I do know that this is a massive reason behind most exam failures for students. They didn't do lots of practice exams.
Hope it helps. Please post a comment and a “like” if you agree or tell me what works for you.
This is exactly what I needed to read right now. I’m studying for the A+ cert and have been reading the same thing over and over and absorbing none of it. I hope to use these practical steps to get passed this mental block.