Posts Tagged ‘college exams’

5 Ways to Have the Most Effective Studying Session

Categories: College Life

The art of studying for a final has been at the heart of the matter since the beginning of time. There is no fossil evidence that dinosaurs ever took the time to write out flashcards of the Periodic Table, but I personally don’t believe it’s something we can adequately disprove at this point.

Why is preparing for an exam so darn difficult? If you go to class, take notes, join a study group, do the homework, it should all come together by the exam. For some reason, it doesn’t really add up like that. There can be material on the exam that your teacher never went over in class. There might’ve been a day when you missed class and it happened to be the most important lecture of the entire semester. You might’ve attended every single class, but you still need to go back and memorize which specific dates match up to which specific events of the French Revolution.

Exams are hard. But here are 5 ways you can have an incredibly effective studying session before you take the test:

1. Blockade yourself from the Internet (if possible)
I’m not gonna lie. Internet is amazing. It gives you gossip, games, and Cappex. But when it comes to studying, Internet is the sworn enemy. You’ll be studying and think you’re all deserving of a break, so you log in to Facebook. Three hours later you know more about Janie Margolis’ sister’s best friend’s bachelorette party than the Communist Manifesto you’re supposed to be writing an essay on.

2. Tell your mom and BFF to hold off from texting
Just like the Internet, texting is a black hole that will suck you up, speed time up, and spit you out all confused and empty-headed one hour before the test. Let your friends know you are out of communication. And let your mom know especially, because when she won’t be able to contact you for 3 hours, she’ll order a missing person report on you.

3. Bring everything you need
Prepare for your studying session like my grandma prepares for going to the mall–have everything in your purse you could possibly need. And yes, that often involves a simple pulley system. While, you never know what roadblocks you will hit, you can at least make an educated guess: You’ll probably get hungry and tired. So bring some snacks and definitely a coffee or Red Bull. You’ll probably need to study something, so bring any and all class materials. You’ll probably need something to write with, so bring a pen and paper. You might want to make flashcards. So, bring flashcards. You know how this works.

4. Make goals
Going into a study session with checkpoints will help you make better progress. Before you jump right into the books, make an outline of what you need to accomplish, and at what points in time they need to happen. Having checkpoints will keep your pace up and keep you motivated as you mark off each one.

5. Give yourself time
This one is essential. Your brain needs time to marinate all the information you’re pushing into your head. Studying a couple hours before the exam will not work to your benefit. It’s always better to work a couple days before the test so that you can sleep on the information, let it soak in, and go over any unanswered questions the next day.

Do you have any study tips? Leave a comment below!

4 Ways to Transition from High School to College

Categories: College Life

abcWe know we’re preaching to the choir if we tell you that college is way different from high school.  You’ve heard it a million times before: college means freedom, expanding your world-view, and most of all, time-management.  Before you eject yourself out of your seat so you don’t have to hear another cliché piece of information about college, the following 4 pieces of advice are things that have actually come as surprises to incoming freshman.

So, here are 54ways to transition from high school to college:

1.  Check in with your advisor every semester
In high school, it’s pretty clear what classes you have to take to graduate, and somebody’s more or less holding your hand along the way–and no we’re not talking about your homecoming date.  Whether or not your high school sweetheart heads to the same college as you, you have to take your graduation requirements into your own hands.  Too many college students coast through 4 years of school, assuming they’re on track to graduate and are unfortunately road blocked when they learn they never took that quantitative reasoning class they needed to graduate. How can one circumvent this? Meet once a semester with your advisor to make sure you’re on track. Requirements can get tricky and you want to make sure you fill them. Otherwise, it can cost you more time and worse, more money.

2. Find study buddies
Since you’re eventually going to major in a study, you’ll have the opportunity to deliberately take classes with certain students within your major. Instead of finding yourself lost and confused at midnight before an organic chemistry final, have your trusty study buddies by your side who can help you and vice a versa. Your peers are a great resource–so surround yourself with some study buddies you trust. 

3. Mark test dates clearly in your calendar
In high school, if you were sick, no problem–you could make the test up at a later date.  In college, this gets trickier.  It really depends on the professor and the course.  Never assume you’re going to be able to make-up an exam. Instead, you can usually find out early on what the exam schedule is, and if not, bug the teacher. If you have a conflict you can foresee early on, like a religious holiday, a wedding etc, talk to your teacher at the beginning of the semester. If you wait, it might look like you’re just trying to get some extra study days.  Most of all, you don’t want to miss an exam you don’t have a conflict with just because you didn’t realize when it was scheduled!

4. Give everybody a chance
This goes under the umbrella of “expanding your horizons” but we figured it was too important a part of the transition from high school to college to leave it off. In high school, you could probably walk into the cafeteria, point at each table and say which clique sat where. In college, you have the freedom to completely avoid the clique mentally. Part of this is not prejudging everybody you know. Give people the chance to prove themselves as a friend before you brush them off.  An open mind will turn college into a journey instead of closed off island.

Do you have any pieces of advice for transitioning from high school to college? Comment and share!