As exams are occurring for University students and they’re coming up for High School Students (sorry for reminding you) I thought I would write a blog post which talked about tips for studying. Now, I am probably one of the worst people ever to give out tips for studying, the reason, because I study the night before for things and expect to do well. But, that’s in the past (we all hope) and I’m now picking up different skills for proper studying (and it only took 4 years of high school and one year of university to figure a few of the skills out!). So here they are, my personal tips for studying that I hope will help you whether you’re in high school or university!
BEFORE THE QUIZ, TEST OR EXAM PERIOD….
(1) Go to Class and Take Notes
I know, you’re probably like “that is a very obvious tip”. But honestly, it’s not as obvious as we may think it is. A lot of people will attend class and then spend the whole class watching the hockey game or talking to their friends on Facebook. Do your self a favour and take notes while you’re in class. If you’ve already made the effort to actually attend, you may as well take that one extra step and actually pay attention and take good notes in a note pad or on the computer! Also, one little tip: sitting at the front helps you to pay more attention to the Prof because first of all, he or she is literally right in front of you and second, the entire class behind you can see what you’re doing on your computer and it’s a bit more awkward to watch that hockey game (or maybe not for some people. But for me sitting at the front forces me to pay attention in a way!)
(2) Condense the Notes that you have Taken in Class
While you may be happy with the notes you took in class, they are likely really long. Do what you can to condense the notes that you took and only include the REALLY important facts you need to know. This way, when it comes time for your quiz, test or exam, you’re not as overwhelmed with eleven pages of notes.
(3) Organize your Study Schedule
It’s important, especially for exams that you don’t study you’re favourite subject over your least favourite subject. Organize your study schedule so that each day you are spending time studying a different subject. Or, each day you can spend an hour studying each subject. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are focusing your time on each and every subject. If one class is harder for you than another, study it for two hours instead of an hour that day. It’s all up to you, but this will definitely make things less overwhelming during the study period!
DURING THE QUIZ, TEST OR EXAM PERIOD…
(1) Utilize the Time that you Have + Staying Healthy
During the quiz, test or exam period, it is really important to utilize the time you have/follow your study schedule. This way, if you study all throughout the day, you can have time to relax at night and on the weekends. I find it pretty common that people are “studying up till 4am” or “pulling all nighters” in order to study. However, if you utilize the time that you have, you really shouldn’t have to use your precious sleeping hours. Sleep is your best friend all the time; but it becomes an even better friend during school. Your brain needs sleep to function and you will likely do better on a test after a good nights sleep. On top of this, healthy eating all the time is important, and it’s important to remain eating healthy during tests. Basically the “feed the brain” idea. Utilize the time you have during the day, remain healthy by getting proper sleep and eating well throughout studying and your brain will thank you for it later! (and you may even be happier with the outcome of your grade on that test!).
(2) Cue Cards and Charts are your BFF
Different people have different study habits. Personally, I found out that I study best using cue cards and study charts. My reasoning for this is because instead of staring at a piece of paper that has 500+ words on it, my study notes become even more condensed. Another great thing about cue cards and charts is that you have to write out all the information on them before you start studying, therefore, you’re actually studying when you don’t even feel like you are! (well…kind of)
(3) Find your Perfect Study Place(s)
This next tip if very important. I find it way easier to study in a quiet room with no distractions. On top of that, I like to switch up the places I study. Sometimes i’ll study in my room, sometimes at my friends houses/rooms or one day i’ll go to the library! This way I don’t get bored of the place I’m studying in and I found that I actually study better. Make sure wherever you choose to study is free from distractions (distractions are definitely your #1 enemy while studying). If you have a macbook there is a great app called “self control”, it’s pretty sad how often I use this app, but when you are studying you can turn the app on and it will not let you go to any of the websites you listed for the amount of time you want. I put websites like facebook, twitter, tumblr and youtube on so that I don’t feel tempted to go on (i literally can’t go on them till the time is up). It’s an awesome app and I recommend it to any of my fellow students who get distracted by anything and everything (GET THE APP HERE!)
(4) Time to Study!
Now it is finally time to study. Remember, go to class, take notes and do your homework. Condense those extra long study notes to make it easier on yourself. make a study schedule and follow it (NO PROCRASTINATION!). Figure out which method of studying is best for you (i.e. re writing all your notes out, cue cards, charts, graphs, power points, readings, etc!). Then, find you perfect “no distractions” study place and well…study!
I hope these tips help you a little bit! I always love reading the different tips and tricks people use for studying and I love that I’ve practically figured out what works best for me at this point. Good luck on all your exams everyone, and happy studying! (as happy as you can be while studying).
Xo Ali Grace