Its that time of the year, the holidays are coming up and all you can think about is how you are ready to go home and relax. Studying is the last thing on your mind. We just had midterms so you believe that you deserve a break at this point in the semester. Most proffessors see the opposite, Thanksgiving break is quickly approaching and they seem to love to cram in projects, papers and tests so that when we get back we can focus on the last bit of the class right before the final. The Huffington Post has an article on “9 Awesome Study Tips for College Students” that I will delve into and describe in detail a little further than they did and help give JMU resources that you can use when studying.
Alternate Study Spaces
We all have a favorite library or study spot. ECL and Carrier seem to have an unspoken rivalry and everyone prefers one to the other. Others also prefer SSC because they wouldn’t dare cheat on Dunkin for Starbucks and there’s no better spot than the booths. But as studies show, according to an article in the New York Times, switching up your study spot throughout the course of studying for your tests can boost your memory and increases the chances of you retaining the things you’ve learned.
Study and Homework Groups
When working through a difficult problem or reading assignment on your own there’s a chance that you may get frustrated and end up working the whole day on something that could have taken you 30 minutes, or that you may skip that assignment, problem or reading entirely and then never learn from it. Creating a study group in a difficult class with others in the same class could help you avoid this. They may be better at a portion of the work than you and vice versa. This way you can help each other out and finish the work in a shorter amount of time than you could have on your own.
Make Flash Cards
Yes, I know you have probably used flash cards since you were learning your multiplication tables in elementary school but there is a reason they’re still used today and its because they really work. When creating flash cards it is reinforcing that information into your brain by writing it down, then you can use those wherever and whenever you have the chance to look over them. For those environmentally conscious people Quizlet.com is a paperless alternative with the same results.
I have yet to find a person who enjoys taking tests but according to the New York Times taking tests allows us to know what we do know and what we do not on the subject. Taking tests also allows us to enhance our knowledge as we use our critical thinking skills throughout the test to assess what the best answers are. Now I know you cannot just take a test in a class whenever you want but going over and studying your old tests can be a lifesaver when preparing for final exams. Quizlet.com also has an option to create the flashcards you made online into a test with fill in the blank, multiple choice, true false and matching.
Pulling an all-nighter is not as effective as you would think. According to Business Insider staying up all night to study or finish a big project stresses you out. You produce more cortisol aka the stress hormone when you do not get enough sleep. Staying up for long periods of time does not allow your body to concentrate, which means you are not retaining any information therefore wasting your time studying anyway.
Don’t Categorize Yourself
We tend to categorize ourselves as being visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners, and right brained or left brained. The New York Times has busted this myth and the article shows that many of the distinctions are incorrect. Instead of figuring out what “kind” of learner you are take that time and energy to figure out what study techniques work the best for you. You think you are a visual learner but using those techniques aren’t helping you in anyway so instead of focusing on that try a variety of study habits and techniques and use whichever you find to be the most effective for you.
Go To Class
We have all taken a class that we think is “useless” to attend. Some classes don’t have attendance policies so to you this means they become optional. Going to class can be the best way to prepare for your tests, sitting through the lecture and paying attention (this means getting off of Facebook in the back row) can begin your reviewing process for that test. When starting to study for that class’s test you will be able to recall what the professor previously spoke about especially if you tend to slack on the readings.
Don’t Immerse Yourself in Subject Material
When sitting and working on a single class for fivehours in the library, you may find yourself getting distracted. Looking at the same information over and over for long periods of time is boring and could be less effective than looking at a few subjects over the course of that five hours, especially if they are related subjects. You are more likely to pay attention to things if you alternate between subject keeping things fresh and new.
Manage Your Time
Create a schedule and whatever you do stick to it. Getting into a routine can allow you to stick to deadlines than if you randomize your week and pray for the best when it comes to projects, papers and studying for tests. If you do the same study habits the same time each week you are less likely to stray from them and that way you don’t have to worry about ever procrastinating or missing a deadline.
These nine study tips can allow you to stay on track with your semester, cut down on procrastination and boost your grades. Even though it is the time of the semester when all you want to do is give up and sleep in push through try out these tricks and you might just find that your grades will be in for a treat when it comes time for final exams.
Peace, Love and DDP,