Right now, your study plans for the NCIDQ may look something like this:
You’re taking three days off work before the exam and planning to study and practice as much as possible in the two weeks before that. You’ve cleared your calendar and told your family and friends not to bug you because you’re going to be all NCIDQ all the time.
This strategy may seem like a good one on the surface, but this approach to studying goes against how your brain works.
Where you think you need focused time to learn, what you really need are interruptions.
Those breaks in pattern can be powerful as they help your brain remember what you've learned and help you learn more in less time.
When you’re creating your study plans, leave time for interruptions to happen. For example, if you’re sitting at your desk practicing drawing all day, you're making a situation where your learning is less effective.
Here are some proven techniques to help you learn more in less time.
The concept of interleaving is common in the sports world. It breaks the traditional model where we learn one thing and then move on to the next.
At the heart of interleaving is the concept of variety. By changing up what you’re doing, you gain experience with different skills and concepts. The result is that each of these small steps helps you improve many skills instead of learning them one at a time.
Kenyan runners are masters at interleaving, and it shows in their results. They’ve dominated the Boston Marathon, with both Kenyan men and women winning seven times in the last ten years. The secret is the training that doesn’t just have them doing marathons but mixing in shorter, high-intensity runs. Instead of having the usual “slow-twitch” muscle fibers seen in marathon runners, they’ve developed “fast-twitch” ones as well.
By interrupting the typical pattern, your brain and body will perform better. Vary your repetitive tasks as you study and improve your performance. This helps you prepare for unexpected situations. Remember, the goal of the NCIDQ Exam isn’t just for you to pass but for you to have a solid base of knowledge to use on a day-to-day basis.[/vc_column_text]
To best prepare for the NCIDQ, you need to create a study plan that leaves time and space for you to learn in this way, which is exactly why we encourage you to start preparing for the NCIDQ Exam early.
But what types of interruptions or variations in your routine can help you learn? Here’s a few ideas:
- Break up various parts of what your studying, and don’t tackle entire sections at once. Instead, leave room to do part of it and come back to it later.
- Be okay with leaving drawings or sections you’re studying unfinished. As the saying goes, a break is as good as a rest.
- Go for a walk or step away while you’re studying. Schedule breaks or set a timer so you can interrupt yourself.
Most of all, you need to create a study strategy that helps you learn using various methods and lets you interleave as you go.
Qpractice helps you learn the material in the most optimal way. Our study schedule mixes content from the IDFX, IDPX, and Practicum, so you’re able to master several skills at once.
Also, you can use different learning tools, including sketching, reading, quizzes, videos, live chats, and webinars. Each of these things helps break the pattern and lets you learn in the best possible way.
Qpractice Premium Access members get the mini-course with audio and bonus lessons.
What's your favorite interruption while you're studying?