PHOTO COURTESY | PIXNIO
Studying can be overwhelming and it is important to organize accordingly.
In high school, I was one of those students that were lucky enough to get good grades without having to study. This was great at the time; I just got my homework done and showed up for the test and never really had to worry. But then I got to college and realized this was no longer my reality. After three and a half years here, taking exams and trying to keep my GPA up, I have curated a list of study tips and habits that help the most.
Studying isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of people, so I asked for tips, I attended study sessions and I paid attention to what my friends did when they had an exam approaching. As dead week is upon us and finals are around the corner, I would like to share this list with you in hopes that it helps you as much as it has helped me.
Do not study everything the night before
It is exhausting and stressful to attempt to memorize everything you need to know for a test the night before you have to take it. Instead, try studying for a short chunk of time over the span of a week. This will help you to better retain the information you are studying.
Do not memorize words, understand them
Knowing and understanding concepts is important. If you have a stronger grasp on the term, you will recognize it no matter how it is worded on your exam.
Do not highlight
Highlighting passages in a textbook may be satisfying because it looks like you have done a large amount of studying, but it requires no actual comprehension. Instead, make notes in the margin and write out concepts in your own words to better understand what you want to highlight.
Do not write your notes word for word
By phrasing your notes in your own words you are comprehending what you are writing down instead of simply copying what is up on the slides. It is also highly likely that your professor will provide you with the class notes if you ask, so there is no point in copying them down word for word. This can also help when rewriting your notes. Instead of simply typing them again, grab a pen and paper and write them down when you remember and follow up to fill in the blanks.
Change up your study location
Everybody has that little spot that they feel most comfortable, but this can create an environment in which you are not productive. Go to the library or a coffee shop where other people will motivate your productivity with their own.
Organize your study schedule
It is important to know which classes will require the most studying on your part, so organize your time accordingly. If you know and understand more information in one class, spend less time on that content and focus more on something you have a lesser understanding of.
Many college students chose to binge study and just skip sleep for that night (I’ve been there.) However, sleep is important for proper brain function. Make sure you are getting enough sleep the night before the exam so you don’t zone out during the test.
Listen to instrumental music
Having soft, organized background music can help to keep you focused. Choose something that keeps you calm and focused instead of listening to the chatter and noises around you. I recommend “Freedom Blade” by This Will Destroy You.
Everybody has different needs when it comes to studying. The most important tip I can give you is to find what works best for yourself and stick with it. Studying isn’t easy, but if you manage your time properly it can be much less stressful.