Study Tips for Art History Exams:
STEADY DAILY PREPARATION
Nothing compares to this.
- Set aside one hour a day for Art History study with one day off.
- Read the book.
- Take more time to look at the illustrations than reading the text.
- Read the text
- Go back to the illustrations and understand the points of the text in visual form.
- Understand the illustrations in whatever way you wish—wonder, dream, joke, ask why why there is always a dog in the corner.
This way you personalize the material.
- After class each day before you go to sleep, review the pictures in your book and make a list of the big 5 of those works shown. Do not belabor this. Just do it for a half hour or 45 minutes. Try to remember what was said in class as you look at each picture.
–Always attend class. Art history is not one to skip.
–Draw pictures of the images on the screen. Keep the hand moving. Take notes.
NOW IT’S TIME TO GET SERIOUS
A week to several days before the test, use one or more of the following methods.
1. Study Tape Method
Read from your list of works into a dictaphone or other recording device. Just the Big 5. Listen to it obsessively for the days before the exam. Try to close your eyes and picture each slide as your voice reads the 5 points of information. If you can’t picture it, stop the tape and look at your book or power point. Listen every chance you get– in the shower, walking to class, eating, etc. Your friends and loved ones will forgive you, eventually.
2. Study Buddy Method
Just like it sounds—study with a partner. Use flash cards or cover up the bottom of your
computer screen with post-its to conceal information and quiz that way.
3. The Ebony Method
This former student made up little songs and rhythms to the information. She heard them
when the slide came up. That’s the great part of aural study methods—you hear your own
voice claiming the information.
4. The Hall Zombie Method
Take your flash cards, list, or study tape and pace down long hallways or pace the room.
Movement stimulates the brain and is good for you. Try to see the images without
running into furniture!
5. Techie Method
Quiz the slides from your iphone or Droid. Some students put the power points on their TV.
Don’t know how? That’s why it’s called the techie method—neither do I! But smart people
are figuring this out as you read…..
6. The Celery Method
Get celery sticks—a plate of them. Chew while studying. It stimulates the brain
and has practically no calories. This really works to keep alert!
7. The Where’s Waldo Method
Find silly details in the works and use these to help you remember hard-to-remember
slides. Modern cars and tourists work great, so do bald guys.
8. The Hippy Trippy Method
Print out flash cards and paste them all around your bedroom without the information. Walk
around, point and name. Do this for a week, and tell me if this works.
9. The Get to Bed Already Method
Pack it in and just get a good night’s sleep. It’ll be alright.