Longer doesn’t mean Better Preparation
Preparation expires. The sooner you
Some students make the mistake of taking too long to prepare for the board exams. Another common situation is waiting a year or two after graduation for the ‘perfect time’ to review. Wrong move.
How Memory Works
Think of memory like walking through a grassy field; going from point A to B like in the picture. You have to hack your way to create a path. Due to the passage of time, the grass grows back naturally. When the grass grows tall again, you then have to retrace the path. This illustrates the Trace Decay Theory — the idea that memory fades due to the mere passage of time.
I, for example, have already passed the CE board exam. If I were to take that same exam today, I would surely flunk. The preparation I’ve done is already expired. Similarly, you may have had high scores and grades during college. But it doesn’t guarantee an easy time in your review. Most probably, you already have forgotten those lessons. Preparation expired.
The trace decay theory is the reason why preparing too long or waiting after graduation are both bad.
Keep the Grasses Low
Every topic requires creating different paths. Once those paths are established, you must maintain them.
The key is to tread them from time to time. Refresh the lessons often to keep the grasses low. The Notebook Summary Technique may help you in this (Visit Part 1: Learn Smart).
Also, the emotions of excitement and inspiration fade with time. Better to take the plunge right after graduation.
- Don’t wait for the perfect time. Go review after graduation
- Refresh the topics you have learned from time to time. Timing is important.
- Preparation and inspiration expires. Go take that board exam!
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