Hi everyone! Today I am sharing some simple studying hacks to help make preparing for any exam or final a whole lot easier! Studying is never fun, but it is necessary to earn a good grade and pass all of your classes. Personally, I hate studying and basically do everything to avoid it until the last minute (which has not always worked out the best for me!) so anytime I can find tips or advice on how to make studying less annoying and boring, I am always happy to try them out.
Find your ideal space
Knowing what kind of studying atmosphere you need to work efficiently and effectively is key. For some people, studying in groups or in louder environments (College Lib, looking at you!) is the perfect setting for them to get sh*t done. Other people (me included) need really quiet spaces where they cannot be distracted by anything or anyone. This can be anywhere from your apartment/dorm or the tiny library in a certain art museum on campus that no one knows about. And if libraries aren’t your thing, get creative and head to coffee shops, museums, public parks – wherever you feel comfortable and happy chilling.
Start early and plan it out
At the beginning of the semester, take careful note of all of your exam times. Make a separate list of these dates and organize them by priority/time. Then, when it gets closer to exam time, you can start early and create a specific studying schedule to help you organize which class you will be studying for and when.
Studying for four hours straight will get you nowhere. Actually, I’ve read that the human brain can really only concentrate on any one thing for about 40 minutes, so it’s best to take breaks and let your brain relax and de-stress from the insane amount of material you are trying to cram inside your mind.
Eating and sleeping
During the weeks leading up to your exam while you are studying, make sure to get a good night of sleep every night. Being overtired and college go hand in hand too often, but getting enough sleep is crucial for your mind and your abilities to rock this exam. Drinking another cup of coffee and staying up super late the night before your exam is highly unadvised. Similarly, getting the right amount of nutrition and making sure you eat properly is key to keeping your energy up as you move forward with studying. There were too many days this past year that I accidently forgot to eat at all during them, only to realize it at like 10 at night. Eating and sleeping will make studying easier and more effective.
A fear of failing a hard class or not knowing any of the answers can make exam time and studying the most stressful time in your college years. Luckily, there are plenty of resources out there on your campus to help you conquer stress and live calmer during exams. Seek out counseling, advice from friends, exercise, and fun activities and hobbies whenever you feel overwhelmed with pressure and stress. Find the things that make you happy and don’t neglect them, even when you feel like you have to devote every moment of your existence to studying.
Use online resources & quizzes
Testing yourself on the material before the actual test is a useful way to learn what you know and figure out what you have left to concentrate on learning. The World Wide Web has a million resources to help with college classes – check out YouTube tutorials and explanation videos, SparkNotes, quizzes, and a plain old Google search for everything you need about a particular class subject.
Make note cards
I am a personal fan of note cards for specific times of classes. I think they work best with vocab-type words and simple content questions. It’s very easy to flip through them during a short break before your class starts or while you are eating lunch. Carry them with you everywhere and pull them out whenever you have a free moment or two. Pay attention to which ones you are consistently getting right and focus more on the questions you struggle with or have a hard time answering -those are clearly the topics that still produce the greatest confusion.
Get rid of distractions
Nothing is more tempting than endlessly scrolling through Facebook or sending silly snaps to your besties. Unplug your devices (metaphorically or physically, up to you) and avoid distractions like the plague. Focus on the task at hand and do not let life get in the way of your studying and grade goals.
My best way to remember things is through constant repetition. It’s how I memorized a sonnet for high school English class, and it’s never failed me in college thus far. Technically, basic memorization isn’t necessarily the same as actually understanding the material, so while memory tricks can help you retain information long enough to take a test, putting in the effort to understand the material fully is probably better in the long run. Practice understanding and memorizing the material for a better chance at a high grade.
Don’t doubt yourself or let yourself get too worried or caught up in fears that you will fail or don’t understand anything. It’s better to walk into a test composed, confident, and sure that you’ve done the best you can to prepare and that whatever happens next will be okay. Preparing ahead of time to the best of your ability will definitely calm some of these nerves, but make sure to take further steps to dismantle any negative thoughts beforehand.
That’s all for my tips on how to study more efficiently in college! Do you have any other tips or advice on how to study? Please share them in the comments or with me on Twitter @CaseyDonart. Thanks so much for reading lovelies, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!
Related: How to Handle the Mid-Semester Mark