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John Michael Domino

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How To Study Effectively For Exams!
by John Michael Domino   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, April 09, 2010
Posted: Sunday, February 14, 2010

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Chapter I of the "Mentoring To Go" book features an analogy about a Submarine (Hero) Sandwich and studying effectively. Read on and enjoy every bite!

Chapter 1

 A Plan For Success

How To Study Effectively For Exams! 

The “Study Fresh”

Submarine (Hero) Sandwich






“The Stale Submarine Sandwich”


 It is great to eat a submarine sandwich prepared with hot and fresh bread. This process prepares and makes way for the meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes that we will enjoy in our sandwich. Placing fresh ingredients on an old stale slice of bread does not sound very appealing. The same is true when preparing for class. Take a few minutes and check the syllabus and/or study guide for the day’s lesson. Scan through the main objectives and look up some of the information to be presented either in the textbook or on the internet. This is called previewing the information.






“Don’t settle for medicracy!”


 “Preview information and

get a head start to success!”



With proper previewing you should go to class feeling more confident knowing more information about the day’s lesson than ever before. Previewing also increases motivation because students who preview usually feel more connected (plugged-in) and they can better identify with the lesson contents. Many students have commented that they really enjoy this technique. Previewing is preparing for the days challenges. So be prepared and preview!



“Preparing the Sandwich”

“Proper preparing before you start earns many rewards later.”




Analogy: Before making a sandwich, one must decide what type of bread and which ingredients to place on the bread. We need to preview to see what choices are available and get an idea of what ingredients we want to include in our sandwich. Then, like the sandwich, we need to be prepared and ready for the lesson. So don’t forget to preview the lesson before class everyday. Not previewing is like not reading a menu and settling for mediocre ingredients in a sandwich.

 Question: "How do you eat a three-foot long submarine sandwich?"


  Answer:By taking very small bites and saving some for later!


“Don’t ‘cram’ yourself

physically or mentally.


Achieve success



What would you do if you were given only a few minutes to eat a three-foot long submarine sandwich?  You wouldn’t want to “cram” yourself physically, then why cram yourself mentally?  The key to success is to study information in “bite size” portions to make it easier to review before an exam.





Previewing increases self-confidence – When playing a sport like soccer or baseball on new turf it really helps to warm up before the game. This way the team becomes familiar with the territory and this increases their self-confidence. It is the same way with previewing before a class. Previewing before class naturally increases self-confidence.



-  Increases motivation – When we preview we naturally enjoy learning more. After previewing you will feel more confident and motivated because you can engage and participate in the lesson. This motivation is enough to turn those difficult subjects into a challenging and more enjoyable experience! 


-        Stimulates learning - .One of the first steps in learning is identification. For example, once you know the definition of a word you naturally become more stimulated to learn more about the subject.


-        Increases memory – If more time and effort is spent learning something then it is usually easier to recall.  For example, if you previewed medical terms and then discussed them in class your chances of recalling them are much greater than if you were exposed to the terminology for the first time.


-        Increases wellness – With previewing, many students are much happier about being in class. They feel better about themselves because they are an integral part of the group. It gives one a sense of belonging. Once you get in the habit of previewing you will probably not want to be unprepared ever again!


-        Class participation points – Most instructors provide a set amount of points for class participation. That’s why it pays to be prepared and know the material being presented. This can make a significant difference in a final grade.



“Same Day Review”


“Take a bite out of time”


For most of us, our memory seems to go out the window and fade away much too fast. After a few days or weeks things we learned may seem to become fuzzy and hard to recall. Think of the fresh submarine sandwich that was made on Monday. It was prepared right before our eyes and we usually eat it soon after it’s prepared. Now that is eating fresh! It makes sense to eat fresh. Now let’s take the same sandwich and this time instead of eating fresh we place it on shelf for a few days. Perhaps we will eat it over the next few days or will wait until the weekend. Does that make sense? Of course not, and this is because it will be very stale and tough to eat. In fact, it may become so hard that we may not want to eat it at all.



Think about all of the notes that we compiled fresh out of class on any given Monday. It would probably be a good idea to review that information as soon as possible while it is fresh in our mind. The other alternative is to place the notes on the desk and, much like the sandwich, let them sit there for a week until they become stale and much harder to understand. Like the sandwich it is much better if we review the information the same day.


The Bottom Line: A “Same Day Review” (SDR) technique is a great habit to get into. Therefore, it’s best to review all information ASAP while it is still fresh on the mind. 


 “Eat fresh and study fresh!”



“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”


Joseph P. Kennedy


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Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 2/19/2010
These tips worked for me. No fear, no cramming, and great insights and fun along the way. Thanks for sharing. J'nia
Reviewed by Mary Coe 2/14/2010
This is an excellent preview. Interesting and informative. Great job on this article.
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