The winter break is not the only thing coming around the corner; exams have crept up on many students along with the promise of a well-deserved break. Whether you are a seasoned exam taker or an anxious freshman, many of us still struggle with the process of studying. Looking back at their binders full of content, some students get easily overwhelmed. Every teacher repeats: “Even fifteen minutes a night is enough!” but even that can seem daunting if you struggle to study or if you don’t know how. A study guide on studying could be a good start, so I’ve compiled a list of five effective strategies for studying.
#1: One of the most important tips is eliminating distractions. No one can study when they have the biggest distraction next to them: their phone. Put it on do not disturb, and my favorite, toss it on the floor away from your study area. Make sure to be in a quiet area and eliminate as many distracting noises as possible. Music is acceptable as long as no silent concerts occur.
#2: Snack while you study! Something even as simple as goldfish will keep you content and focused. Even a little sugar helps prevent your blood sugar from crashing while you “study.”
#3: In the days of studying and preparing for the exam, remember to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Studying until your brain is fried and sleep-deprived has been proven to reduce a student’s performance on assessments such as exams. Sleep also gives your brain time to process the information you just spent that evening studying, allowing you to better retain it.
#4: There are many different studying methods, one of which is the SQ3R method. SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. Survey: instead of trying to memorize everything, start by skimming a chapter and take notes on important details, headings, and other standing-out features. Questions: quiz yourself on the information you just took in. Read: go back through and actually read everything this time, and look for the answers to the questions you asked yourself. Recite: recite the information you just took into yourself, repetition helps form memories. Review: go back over all the information you formulated over the previous couple of steps.
#5: Try not to overwhelm yourself, plan out your studying. Make a list of what subjects and chapters you will study on what night and for how long. If you just try to do the bulk of your studying in two days, you’re bound to get overwhelmed. Plan. It. Out!
Exam season can be stressful, but just remember you just have to remain calm and collected. Plan it out and eliminate distractions, keep these tools in mind, and don’t get into your own head. Lastly, keep your eye on the prize: a two-week-long winter break.
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