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School Hacks: The Dos and Don’ts of Studying
Written by Christi Given | November 4, 2015
Studying can be a pain, and exams can cause some people anxiety and oftentimes poor habits. You don’t want to condition yourself to create bad habits going into adulthood and into your workplace. So let’s talk about the things you want to avoid when you’re studying, and let’s discuss what you should do!
Things You DON’T Want to Do
- Stay up late cramming the night before: Some people may succeed at this type of studying and may ace a test or two, but this isn’t a good habit to get into, especially for future work projects. Preparing in advance helps you sleep well the night before and really be rested up.
- Avoid joining study groups: Yes, it’s true that it takes extra time and energy to connect with people from class and to quiz each other prior to exam day, but it really helps!
- Take too many notes: This is called “information overload,” where you’ve just written down every word verbatim and now don’t even know what to study. Try to just write down key points.
- Avoid purchasing books: Some students need financial aid or avoid purchasing textbooks for some classes because it is SO expensive at times to buy all of them, so students check them out of the library. This works as long as you do this in advance because, if not, then all the books that your teacher keeps on reserve may be checked out and you may have to share with a friend. You don’t want to add extra pressure on your plate, so be proactive.
- Not have someone quiz you: This is an epic fail when it comes to memorizing information and really getting good practice, as it preps you in a realistic way without you having to arrange a pre-test.
Things You DO Want to Do
- Review your notes even before exam dates are given out: Review your notes after class and refresh your memory once a week with your notes for the harder or AP classes—you won’t regret it! Plus, you are keeping your mind sharpened. A helpful way to memorize information is by putting it into a song (sounds cheesy, but it works)!
- Draw or write out visuals for certain exams: Sometimes you need to practice drawing out your pre-examinations. You may have a test on anatomy or geography and will want to visually memorize information, so writing and drawing it helps the mind when trying to imprint it in your memory. Writing your information multiple times helps as well!
- Take proper notes: Class lectures can really be the answers practically given out for an exam, so pay attention and highlight key points. Yes, of course teachers may share lots of information, but maybe meet with the teacher outside of class and ask if there are any other special pieces of information you may need to know or review, so you can get a more narrowed-down idea of what to study to save yourself some time.
- Ask the teacher questions and/or do the exam study guide: The dumbest question is the one not asked. Make sure to ask your teacher and peers questions and to participate in class to really get a hold of the curriculum.
- Make flashcards: These nifty little pieces of lined construction paper can actually do wonders when it comes to memorizing and studying. Like Nike says, “Just do it.” Oh, and don’t just shove them in your backpack; actually read them and memorize them!
[Sources: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/709096; homeworktips.about.com/od/schooltests/a/studyfinals.htm]
PI Girls, do YOU have any special studying tips? Comment below!!