Rebecca Sebastian ‘20: As the first semester begins to wind down to an end, students begin preparing for exams. Along with these exams comes a lot of stress in student life. There are many study tips students can use this year and beyond to help keep their stress levels at a minimum and get the most out of their studying.
1. Set aside a specific time and place for studying.
One important way to get the most out of your studying is to set aside a specific time and place for studying. In order to remember what you study, the time you choose should be when you are most alert, meaning not too late at night. Try to study right after school or as soon as possible. The place you choose to study in also holds importance. This place should be free of all distractions, quiet, and away from your phone.
2. Create a plan.
Breaking down all of your tasks into a to-do list makes studying a little less intimidating. Before you begin to study, write down all the things you would like to accomplish. Start with the biggest or hardest topic first and work your way down. Writing down what you want to get done helps keep you on track and successful in your studying.
3. Study for days before your exam.
Cramming everything into one night of studying is not effective. Knowing you have to study an entire semester’s worth of material will make you stressed! However, studying a little bit every day helps save you from last minute stress. Continual studying makes you constantly review things in your mind, which will lead to connections to other things in life. This makes your information easier to remember.
4. Rewrite your notes.
It is important to keep your notes clean. Rewriting your notes is an easy way to do this. Clean notes brings your focus to the material rather than the mess. Also, writing your notes again is a good way to study and remember the concepts. When rewriting your notes, try using color coding. This helps you see which topics go together and improves visual memory– which could be helpful when taking an exam.
5. Repeat the information out loud.
Explain the information in your own words. Doing this will help you make connections to other concepts or to your life and helps you remember the material easier. Also, explaining in your own words can help you realize what you need to spend a little more time studying. You can start off by reading the information out loud from your notes, but later you will be able to do this without looking at anything.
6. Make studying interactive.
Studying can be boring. It is important to ramp up your studying by making it interactive. Not only does this make studying fun, but it also makes it more effective. Studying in a creative way gives you a better attention span, engagement and retention. It also gives you extra practice and a way to assess what you do well and what you are confused about.
7. Review previous tests.
Reviewing through your past tests is a good way to get an idea of the main concepts that will be on your exams. Make sure you go through the test and fully understand each question. Also, reviewing through mistakes on your previous tests is important. Correcting your mistakes will help you better understand the concept, and improve your memory of the right answer.
8. Ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is a good way to make sure you completely understand a topic that you are confused on. A teacher or peer can help lead you in the right direction when you don’t understand. Another way to ask for help is by getting a tutor. One on one time with somebody who deeply understands the material can be very beneficial.
9. Use other resources.
Another good way to study is to use other resources. When you are having trouble wrapping your head around a concept, YouTube videos and Khan academy are a great way to see step-by-step answers to your hardest questions. You can use such websites as much as needed until you are completely comfortable with the material.
10. Take regular breaks.
Finally, it is important that you do not overwork yourself! Studying non-stop can actually be hurtful in the long run. After an hour or so of studying, take a five minute brain break to help you become more productive. Grabbing a quick snack and a drink of water will also help you stay in focus.
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