A Level Secondary Secondary Psychology

Secondary Psychology – How to learn studies

“Not another study to learn Miss…”

Many students complain about the number of studies they have to learn for the examination. There are things they can do to ease the process of prioritising and memorising. Here are some activities/ strategies to answer those FAQs…

FAQ Number 1 :Which ones do I need Miss?
Some boards specify which studies students need, some boards don’t. If you are teaching one that leaves it to you, then students find it easier if they have a minimum studies list provided. I do this in the form of a mind map that specifies the name of the study, what it can be used as support for and, if I’m feeling kind, a page reference. I usually set a homework for them to complete the sheet. Testing them on the details in a quick quiz ensures they learn it fully too

FAQ Number 2 : What’s the name of that man that did… again Miss?
Names are another issue for students. They are not vital, but save valuable time in an exam so less detail is needed to identify the study. They can however prove to be a nightmare to recall. I find using dingbats or a visual cue helps. It’s a great revision class activity to get them to come up with cues in pairs.

FAQ Number 3 : What did they do again Miss?
A way to ensure they understand and process the procedure in an experiment or study is to get the students to become cartoonists and draw a cartoon of what happened in the experiment. They may resist initially but when they realise that stick men are sufficient they are happy to give it a go. This method works equally well for any processes such as treatments or therapies (Stress Inoculation therapy, systematic desensitisation etc)

FAQ Number 4 : But what did they find Miss? 
Good old repetition works for the findings. Incorporating the figures into the final stage of the cartoon (on the t-shirts of the stick men for example) can also work well. The figures need to be close to the actual figure to be credited so the students are aiming to remember a ‘ball park’ figure. Examiners don’t quibble generally if the percentage varies by one or two percent.

Try these strategies out in class as plenaries or in those pre exam revision sessions. There’s an extra bonus in none of them require marking. Always good news!

Eleanor Hills
Subject Leader Psychology and Sociology
Roundhay School

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