How to study effectively

How to study effectively


Still feeling a little anxious?  Unsure if you’ll survive finals week?

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone – plenty of people on campus feel as if they are drowning in their own notes.  Instead of wallowing in your stack of open books and scattered papers, make an organized study schedule for finals!

Prioritize your material – Study for the most important, most difficult or most stressful class first so you’ll feel ready and prepared by the time of the test.  Don’t wait until the last moment, either.  If you have a test on Thursday, start studying a week before, especially if that test happens to be the test you are most worried about. This way, you won’t have to cram right before your test.  You can appropriately space out your studying so that the bulk of it is done ahead of time.

Eliminate wasteful hours – Shut down Facebook and Tumblr and get some studying done during that time instead.  The time you spend doing something unproductive could be time spent studying.  You don’t even have to study for a ridiculous amount of time.  Make use of notecards, highlighting, mnemonics (word play to help you remember terms and concepts) and group study sessions.  For each day, schedule appropriate blocks of study time, approximately 50 to 90 minutes, on each subject.

Take a break – Don’t stress yourself out; take a break in between your study periods.  Give yourself time to relax in between study sessions; approximately 15-25 minute breaks should be sufficient.  Study for one subject, then allow yourself to check Facebook for a few minutes before settling back down to study for the next topic.

GO TO SLEEP – It’s more beneficial for you to get enough sleep before a test, instead of staying up all night to cram.  Research shows that giving yourself enough sleep before an exam will benefit your grade more so than forcing yourself to stay awake to stare mindlessly at notes that you won’t remember.  You can think more logically and rationally with more amounts of sleep, so don’t deny your body rest if it needs it!

Eat well – Last, but certainly not least, make sure you eat an adequate meal before your test.  Everyone understands that food gives you energy, and without energy, you can’t possibly focus on a test that is zapping away at your mental stamina.  No one can possibly concentrate when his or her stomach is growling!

If you still need help, you can always check out the University Library  and the resources it offers.

If you want more detailed tips on tackling the test itself, check out the first two study tip articles, “Tips that will score you an A” and “Tackle the scantron tests with ease” on the Campus Crop.

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