Top 10 study tips
So you’ve been to class, taken notes, written papers, and that big test is looming. How do you prepare?
Here are some helpful hints:
1. Start early. Plan out a study schedule with a calendar/to do lists, and stick to them!
2. Collaborate. Once you can explain a topic to a classmate or answer their questions, you’ll know you understand it. Plus, their questions and study guides can help remind you of points you may have missed.
3. Review class notes before going to sleep. What you read can sink in overnight. All-nighters are tempting, but it is way harder to recall information from class when you’re exhausted! If you do feel pressed for time, check out sleepyti.me; this website can help you sync with your sleep cycles and keep from feeling tired.
4. Avoid burnout. When you feel like your attention is dwindling, switch subjects or reward yourself with a break, short walk or healthy snack. To stay on task, you can time yourself or use the Nanny app for Google Chrome, which can block your access to distracting sites after a certain amount of time.
5. Find a good place. Try a variety of locations for studying until you find one to let you stay relaxed, yet focused. If you can, try to study in a setting similar to where you’ll be tested; it will help you stay focused on test day.
6. Don’t just read over your notes! Use a variety of methods to see what works for memorizing and
quizzing yourself. Instead of flash cards, you could fold a sheet of paper lengthwise and write vocab on one side, definitions on the other to review and quiz yourself without getting confused. Or, type your notes, and white out terms or definitions to test yourself and check answers by highlighting. While copying notes, concentrate on what you’re writing or typing, and put concepts into your own words
7. Make your notes interesting. If talking them out or rewriting and quizzing don’t help, use colors and charts to organize, color-code, and ultimately remember, ideas from class. You can also use mnemonic devices.
8. Contact your professor. If you’ve started early enough and get stuck on a certain concept, reach out. You’ll be sure you’ve got the right answer that way, plus you get brownie points for being engaged.
9. Take care of yourself! It makes a huge difference. Sleep is a huge memory booster, exercise reduces stress, and foods high in protein and low in fat are better for the brain—and your energy levels.
10. Visualize success. Envision yourself doing well, and stay positive—too much stress can be a memory inhibitor. When you’ve been working hard, confidence will help!