What is meant by getting "understanding?" To get understanding from a course means to have a grasp of the purpose and intent of the course and to have a good grasp of the material presented during the term of the course. In order to aid in accomplishing this, you need to review your class or text notes as soon as possible after taking them to fill in any details or clarifications in order that your notes make sense to you every time you read them. Once you come to the end of the term and have your full set of notes in front of you, you may want to go back and look at the course description again and see how the class lectures have addressed the concepts, ideas and terms that were intended to be covered.
Many students use their study time to memorize terms and the like, but don't take it any further to think about how these different terms inter-relate and thus never get a full understanding of the big picture the course is trying to communicate. Other students take the time to formulate different types of questions to force them to come up with answers and investigate the material a little deeper to gain a better perception of the material.
Often small study groups made up of students currently taking the course can be of value towards the goals discussed above. If everyone in the group comes with questions to challenge their peers and the answers come in your own words rather than memorized recitations, the effect can be very revealing. When you answer a question in your own words aloud, you learn very quickly just how much of the material you know, remember and understand.
A lack of understanding is most often linked to allowing only minimum study and review time. That is to say, it goes back to less than optimum use of time and/or how the available time is prioritized. Remember, life is a series of choices. The result of what happens in your life is mostly related to the result of lots of seemingly little choices you have made in the past. Time management is another way of saying "life management." Manage your life. Manage your time.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013