Exam Preparation Week 4
Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Hey Biz Man Students!
As you have probably realized, there is a lot of content to learn for Biz Man. I also realize that your attention is divided across a number of subjects which means that you can’t afford to spend hours and hours memorizing definitions for this subject. This week, I will be sharing how I memorized content for the exam.
1. Mnemonic Devices
The first method that I used to memorise content for Bus Man was creating mnemonic devices. Mnemonic devices are short acronyms or stories which help you remember a series of letters which in turn help you remember a list of ideas. For example, to remember the driving forces for Force Field Analysis, you might use the mnemonic device: PIGS MELT CC. Each letter stands for one of the driving forces:
· P – Pursuit of Profit
· I - Innovation
· G - Globalisation
· S – Societal Attitudes
· M - Managers
· E - Employees
· L - Legislation
· T – Technology
· C – Cost Cutting
· C – Competitors
I also used mnemonic devices to remember elements of motivational theories, management strategies to respond to KPIs and heaps more! Even if the letters were super weird so the mnemonic was very strange, I found these to be super helpful when you want to remember a reasonably long list of ideas. I also found it helpful to improve my recall speed so that in the exam when it asked for one of the driving forces, I could very quickly (in a matter of seconds) list all the driving forces in my head and select the most appropriate one.
The second technique that I found particularly helpful was ‘chunking’. This is where you split one huge piece of information into smaller parts. You probably already use a bit of chunking in your everyday life. For example, when you think of your phone number, you probably think about a series of 4 numbers, then 3 numbers and another 3 numbers. So, if your phone number was 1234567899, you probably think ‘1234’, ‘567’, ‘899’.
I found this technique useful when trying to remember the 9 Key Performance Indicators. I split the KPIs into three main groups based on area of management responsibility. (Note: KPIs can definitely be used by other areas of management responsibility, e.g. HR may also be interested in net profit figures and Sales & Marketing would be interested in % of market share – I just split them into these three categories so they are easier to memorise!)
3. Cue Cards
Cue cards were my holy grail for Biz Man. I created a set of hand-written cue cards for all the technical terminology used in the course. My secret to creating effective cue cards was to hand write them and keep the content as short as possible. I found if there was too much text on the cue card, it was impossible for me to remember everything. Instead, I tried to keep it to one sentence or a few short dot points. I tried to rephrase things in my own words and I found this helpful as it was much easier to remember something expressed in the way that I would say it.
You can honestly get so much benefit from just creating a stack of cue cards, but using cue cards effectively to revise is also super helpful. I had a huge stack of cue cards by the end of the year so it wasn’t very practical for me to revise the whole deck every day. This is why I adopted a method called “spaced repetition”. This is a method where you have 5 boxes of cue cards (I just used rubber bands because I didn’t have boxes lol). One stack you would revise every day, the next stack would be every second day, the next would be once per week, once every fortnight and only right before the exam. All cue cards start in one large pile (everyday box). When you get a cue card right, it graduates to the next pile (every second day box). If you ever get a cue card wrong, it goes right back to the everyday box. If you keep getting it right, it graduates to the piles that you revise less frequently. This is a great tactic because it separates the content you know from the content you don’t know and focuses your attention on your weaker areas. I found this particularly helpful because in Year 12 I didn’t have all the time in the world to revise Biz Man (I had another 4 subjects to focus on as well).
And that’s it! Those are my top memorization tips! I hope you found them helpful and good luck with your study this week.
Have a question?
In the final weeks before exams Lauren will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Lauren might answer it live!