I recommend the following approach, which you can adapt your own reading and comprehension level:
- First take a fairly quick look through the chapter, paying attention to the opening matter at the beginning of each chapter wherein the author presents his overview of the topics and time period at hand. Look at the subheadings and glance at the first paragraph of each subheading just to get an idea of what this portion of the material is about.
- Then make sure you are in a quiet place with very little to distract you. If that isn't possible, here are a few tricks I have learned along the way: Headphones (I recommend melodic classical composers, such as Bach, Mozart, and Shaupin. For some, it might be heavy metal, jazz, or hip-hop; but remember: the idea is to drown out noise, not create more). Get your children involved: have them look up the topics on the outline or decorate it. If children are reading age, they can read the flashcard questions to you.
- Begin the assessment and look up each question in turn. If you have printed the outline from Study Space, you can use the outline as a roadmap to locate that topic in the textbook. Doing this also helps create a roadmap in your mind. This is the mental map you will follow when you take the exam later. Some answers will be obvious, and others might require more careful reading and some thought. By the time you finish the quiz, you will have familiarized yourself with all the main points of the chapter. You will retain much of this knowledge when you retake the quiz and, later, when you take the exam. If your score is lower than you'd like, just relax--you'll get another try at it, and the average will be recorded.
- Then use the flash cards, and imaps at Study Space to better familiarize yourself with the main points. You can even take a practice quiz, if you want to. You can also print out a chapter outline to help you locate the flash card topics in the textbook.
- Retake the quiz. You'll probably find yourself well in command of the material by this time, especially if you've used the flashcards and outlines from Study Space.
- All of these steps are designed to give you confidence and help you do well on the exam. That is what studying is. Good luck!