Remember ideas that you understand, but forget during tests.
Efficiently study before an exam.
Choose a concept
Pretend you’re teaching the idea to a someone else
If you get stuck, go back to the book
The steps in detail:
After choosing your concept (step 1), write the concept at the top of a blank page of paper.
Fill the blank sheet with explanations and information about the concept, like you are teaching it to someone unfamiliar with the concept (step 2). This is crucial because through explaining these ideas you highlight areas you are well versed in, and (more importantly) areas that need attention.
When you get stuck (step 3), reference the book, your professor, a T.A., or a fellow student who can illuminate that information for you. Then return to the blank sheet and keep going until you get stuck again. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to complete your concept.
If your explanations are long or overly complicated, simplify then (step 4). Use simpler language or come up with analogies or narratives to make the information easier to understand and remember.
One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.