Finals week. Easily the most stressful week of the year.
Sometimes the hardest part about studying is knowing where to start.
The first step is figuring out what you don’t know. Look at old reviews and tests to see which questions you got wrong or which concepts you know you struggle with. Look through your book to see if you come across any phrases that seem unfamiliar.
If it’s all hard, then pick one and focus on that topic. Pick one that your professor highlighted in class, because it will likely be on the exam.
Any effort you put in will be worth it.
Get your best grades with help from these study tips!
Flashcards don’t work for everything, but they are one of the best study tools when you need to learn things quickly and clearly.
Flashcards work best with definitions, formulas, vocab, language translations, laws and acts, and properties.
Depending on what you need to know, they may also work with people and places (like capital cities).
Write, Write, Write
Writing something down is an extremely effective method of creating long-term memories.
Even when making flashcards, like mentioned above, try not to use online flashcard makers. The information is easier to learn when you have to actually write the information on the card, instead of just copying and pasting.
They key to studying by writing is not to copy your notes down word for word. Read your notes and then, without looking, try to summarize the main concepts and the words you need to know.
It’s okay to look back at your notes to make sure you are writing everything correctly, but use it to improve your summary, not just as something copy without processing.
Do Practice Problems
Especially in math and science, there is no better way to master a skill than to practice over and over.
And even though it’s not fun, practice the concepts you are the worst at.
Once you know something, move on. Don’t keep practicing things you know how to do.
Use your phone timer or an online timer to keep yourself focused. It helps to make you aware of how much time you are actually spending on studying.
Set timers of 10-20 minutes each and do as much work as possible as you can until it is up.
Then refresh and try again. It might seem like a weird trick, but this can really boost your productivity.
Listen to Music With Words You Don’t Know
Listening to music while doing a task can improve your performance on it! Plus, it can cut out all the distracting noises around you while you study.
While you’re studying, listen to a new playlist of a genre you like, or even one in a language you wont understand.
Study music without words is always good, too – you just want to make sure you’re not getting distracted by the lyrics.
Find a Good Space
Studying alone in a space where you have no other distractions is the best way to stay focused and on track.
Don’t study in your room or with group of friends, unless they are also studying. Group studying can be good as well, but you won’t get homework done around a bunch of friends just chilling out.
Study With Other People
One good way to guarantee that you study is to schedule time to study with someone else.
Whether it’s just two of you or a group, you can work on problems together and talk things out. They may know a part of the subject better than you, and vice versa. Plus, one of the best ways to learn something is to teach someone else.
Along with finding a good space, you want to make sure you are getting rid of any reason to leave your spot. Bring your charger, some water, a snack, a jacket – whatever you might need within the time you are studying. That way you won’t have to start over so many times.
Think About the Subject
One of the best things you can do, even when you’re not cramming, is simply to think about the subject you are taking. What does the teacher want you to get out of this class? What concept is this topic trying to make me learn? Why is this relevant to what we read or practice?
Answering these questions can help you feel a little better about studying because it will feel more purposeful. You won’t feel like you’re just studying for a test, you’re trying to learn.
Just Get Started
Procrastination is always one of the biggest issues with studying for anything. That’s because “studying” seems like such a big task that you feel like you couldn’t possibly tackle it.
Break it down into smaller steps, and then start with the easiest one.
Just getting yourself going makes continuing to study so much easier.
What’s your favorite study tip?