Whether you’re a student or a teacher, you need the right study material to be able to work effectively towards your objectives. It’s not rare that students and teachers use the same material for studying and/or teaching, which only ensures they’re on the same page. However, the question remains – how to select the right material in the endless sea of available resources, and what is it exactly that makes it the right one?
Here are a few guidelines that can help you find the right material for your education.
Make sure it covers the syllabus
Your first reference point is your syllabus which means the material you pick should cover the program of your syllabus. Before you select a particular resource, be it a PDF material or an actual textbook, revise your curriculum. Make sure every topic in the syllabus is included in the study material you have chosen.
This is not a requisite, but it’s much easier to use a single source when studying than several different ones that may cause confusion or delay in your study process. Naturally, you won’t always be able to find everything in one place as the syllabus is sometimes so vast that you need to consult other sources as well, but this is where college textbooks and comprehensive Liverpool study notes covering specific topics and compiled by students before you can be of immense help.
Make sure it’s up-to-date
Every resource or textbook that’s been in circulation for a while will be released again containing newer updated information. This change is usually brought about by the changes in the syllabus that happen sporadically. Before you make the final choice regarding your study material, ensure you pick the updated version that’s in sync with the latest syllabus changes and contains all of the information you need.
Ensure information accuracy
The study material you pick should include the most accurate information on the subject you are studying. This may seem too obvious, but there are lots of study materials out there with outdated, wrong, or incomplete information. Generally, you should look into the authors’ credentials and determine if there are experts in the field backing them up. Another thing to look for is material revisions in addition to just exam change updates.
Optimize content density
When you start looking for study material, it means you’re getting quite close the taking an exam or even clearing your formal education. So, you would want study material that is optimized in terms of coverage and density. Trying to reduce the amount of study content may sound counterintuitive when you’re preparing for a competitive exam, but it really isn’t. Narrowing down your material will help you focus on topics that are required by the syllabus and not waste your time on unrelated topics. Once you can understand the material easily and see how the different parts are interconnected, you’ll be able to retain information more efficiently.
Test yourself in the learning process
Study materials should make it easy for you to focus your learning on specific areas, but they should also efficiently familiarize you with the question/answer testing format. Learning theory proposes that when you integrate practice questions into the studying matter, it makes an enormous difference in subject retention. After focusing on one content, you should then test your knowledge with the relevant practice exam questions. This allows you to monitor your progress, learn from the results, and repeat the process until you have learned that section.
For this reason, your study materials should provide sample questions that correspond to written materials to reinforce the exam points, quizzes and tests to check your knowledge in specific areas, and detailed explanations on why certain answers are right or wrong.
Choosing the right study material can be quite daunting as it can often be messy and awkward, so it’s very important to find the best resources you can. Choosing the right one can determine your grades. Hopefully, as you go through the process of selecting resources, the tips listed here will help you find the material that corresponds to your study requirements and learning style and preferences.