As we get further into the school year, more tests and quizzes begin to appear. This can prove to be a problem as many people (myself included) start to study and realize that they are out of practice.Thankfully, it just takes a few reminders to recall the best ways to study and start the school year off on the right foot.
Study a little bit everyday
As someone who tends to procrastinate, this tip has really helped me. Starting a week or two in advance removes the usual stress of the night before. By learning a little everyday, you retain more information overtime as you are only learning one small portion at a time. Trying to cram the night before results in forgetting much of the information and causes a high amount of stress. Plan out what you are going to review each day, and by the time the test comes around, you will know most of the information already.
Choose music that’s not distracting
Music is one of the most important parts in studying. Even though most people don’t choose to listen to classical music, the words in other types of music can sometimes be distracting. Try music without words so you can focus completely on the task at hand. There are countless of different music options, and by choosing what works best for you, you can most likely increase your studying efficiency.
Studying for long periods of time can be long and tiring, so make sure you take lots of breaks. This gives you an opportunity to walk away for a minute and come back with a fresh mind, cold bottle of water, and maybe even a snack or two. When you come back, you will be refreshed and ready to go for another set of studying.
If you have questions, ask the teacher
This is always a good idea whether you have a test coming up or not. Teachers want to know if you need help so that they can explain and work through it with you until you understand the information. Don’t be afraid to ask them during break, flex, and study halls. I promise they will be more than happy to help you in any way they can. Just make sure you thank them for their time and effort.
Find a quiet place to work
Many different things can distract you from your work, but one of the most prominent distractions is noise. It’s hard to stay focused on your work when people are talking around you. Make sure you find a quiet place to work before you begin, or you will waste time listening to the conversations instead of studying. Try the library or a quiet place in your house where you can be alone with your work, away from all the distractions.
Teach it back to someone
Being able to teach the information shows that you truly know it. It also can reveal what you need to work on as well. Pretend to be the teacher and teach yourself or a friend what you just learned. You can use your notes at first, but after a while try teaching the information from memory without help. Not only are you teaching it to someone else, but you are reiterating that information in your own mind as well.
Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic?
It is a good idea to figure out whether or not you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. If you are a visual learner, it may help to read the information a few times and then put it into diagrams and review sheets. As an auditory learner, I recommend reading out loud or putting the information in Quizlet and listening to the computer read it as well. Making charts, diagrams, and writing the information out will help kinesthetic learners who learn with their hands. Doing a mix of two or three of the different techniques can also help depending on the subject.
Work with the info instead of only reading it
Reading the information over and over again won’t always cause it to stick in your mind. Making a PowerPoint or review sheet helps you learn the information better as you work with the information in different ways. Taking the time to learn and not just memorize material can help you remember it over long periods of time. Quizlet is always a good resource whether you are reviewing the information or learning it for the first time. It has multiple features that will help like flashcards, review games, and even practice tests.
Learning with friends makes studying a little bit more fun. You can ask each other questions and work through problems together. Teach each other the material and quiz one another. If you don’t know how to do something, it is likely that one of your friends does. Two heads are better than one, and when it comes to studying this common phrase proves true.
Make your own tests
Made up tests show what information you need to review further, and they also help you think about what types of questions the teacher might ask. Making up your own test can show you what information is especially important and reveal which topics the teacher might ask about.
*One last helpful hint:
Make things interesting
Spice your studying up. Reward yourself as you study with treats or extra break time. Move to a new studying location every once in a while. Try studying outside, at Dunkin Donuts, or the library. There are many possibilities when it comes to planning your study time, you just need to find out what works best for you.