Posts Tagged ‘finals week’

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 College and High School Students Can Avoid Procrastinating During Finals

laptopFinals week on campus means students start doing really strange things–sleeping in library cubicles, drinking copious amounts of terrible tasting energy drinks, and procrastinating with things they would’ve never thought twice about before final season hit, like say, generously offering up 3 hours of your time to organize a friend of a friend’s Star Wars action figure collection.

Look, it happens to the best of us.  And we know from experience that procrastination is your worst enemy when it comes to finals. So here are some tips to help keep you from procrastinating so you can stay on top of your studying:

1. Make a list and create a schedule
Finals is the most annoying time of the school year because everybody and their mom is citing off all the insane workloads they have to do in a rapidly approaching deadline.  It’s like a campus-wide game of one-upping:

“I’ve got three 7-pagers and 14 short stories I have to write in the next hour.”

“Oh that’s funny, because I have to somehow get in an interview with the leader of the free world, edit the footage, and produce the greatest social commentary of our generation in the next 5 minutes.”

Instead of just blabbing your list of to-do’s off to anybody who’ll listen, actually write it down. Taking the time to write out your list will help you visualize the amount of work you have. Estimating how much time each task will take will help you distribute your time more effectively.

2. Start with the thing you fear the most
We know you’re not looking forward to the 25 page research paper on how disease is portrayed in 20th century opera–or maybe you are–either way, whatever the assignment is that you have the most anxiety about, that’s the one you should get done first.  It’s kinda like a nightmare–you get it over with by the time you wake up, and then you’re off to conquer the day! If you avoid the work you fear the most until the end, chances are you won’t have the time or the energy to fully complete it….let alone get the grade you were hoping for.

3. Get off Facebook
Do it. Deactivate your account.  We all know the real culprit behind this nationwide college procrastination! Why would you want to spend 4 hours studying biochem when you could spend 2 of those hours learning about your ex-boyfriend’s camping trip and the other 2 about his new girlfriend. We love our social networking addiction as much as the next guy, but it’s definitely a roadblock when it comes to studying.  Plus, you can always reactivate your account as soon as the last final is over.

4. Treat yourself
At the end of the day, we’re all just a bunch of Pavlov’s dogs who can be conditioned to do just about anything as long as there’s a yummy treat waiting at the end. Motivate yourself with something you know you’ll forward to, like ice cream, 30 minutes of your favorite television show, or a nail polish change. Little pick-me-ups through your long study days will give you the breaks you need and keep you from procrastinating.

Do you have any other tips? Comment and share!