Teach Others to Teach Yourself

I’ve got my first statistics test this evening, and I’ve been pretty stressed out about it for the last week. If you remember, I’m not a numbers person! However, attending a study sessions with my fellow classmates yesterday afternoon actually made me feel much more confident in my ability to do ok (note, not AWESOME, just ok!) on this exam.

It turns out that the one thing I actually really understand was the one thing most of the session attendees didn’t understand. Thus, I was able to walk them through the steps I took to solve the problem, and it helped solidify my own approach. I’ve found that teaching others really helps me teach myself. When I was preparing for my economics final, I went through some of the problems on a white board, explaining all the steps to my husband as I worked my way through. In both cases, there were questions about why I did it this way or that, where I found a piece of information, and how I ended up choosing one line of reasoning or another. The “why” is a great way to approach problems, as it keeps you from just memorizing one formula for one situation. Since I knew why I was taking certain steps, I was able to apply them to several different problems.

I found that one of the study attendees was able to work through some of his own questions by walking us through some examples. He’d found a much faster way to solve one of the problems, and he gave us the steps to complete the problem in half the time. The session was worth it just to pick up that Excel trick!

So, wish me luck on the exam tonight! Next time you’re confused, find someone to teach the subject to… you might realize you know more than you thought!

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