Whether it’s for a quiz, test, or final exam, studying is (for most of us) a necessary evil to do well. As the years go by, you learn the methods that work for you and those that… don’t. But, if you’re looking to try out something new this year, here are my own tried and true study tips that could help you out.
There’s Always Homework
Even if you finished all your classwork in class, there’s always something you can be doing to prepare yourself for tests and quizzes, even if the teacher hasn’t announced them yet: reviewing. Every night, after I’ve finished whatever school work I need to do, I’ll review what I’ve learned in every class. I don’t take long, just 10 minutes for each subject, to make sure I truly understood everything. If I have any questions, or if something is unclear, I’ll write down those points and ask my teaher about them the next day. This is a great way to make sure you have a general understanding of the topic before the test.
Make Study Notes
I know that personally my chapter notes tend to be long and full of all kinds of information- stuff that will be on the test, and stuff that won’t be. As the day of the test approaches, a good tip is to make a separate set of notes including only the most important points to know. Coming up to a test, you don’t want to overload your brain with excess information. Making and reviewing these notes effectively takes about a week- I usually spend the first five days before a test making the notes (divide the chapter as evenly as possible and do one-two sections every day of the five days), then I spend the last two days reviewing my completed notes in detail.
- Pro tip: save these notes! When exam time rolls around, compile all your study notes into one exam package, adding information only if necessary. Then, spend all your time reviewing for the exam without having to worry about making new notes.
Don’t Study On Your Bed
I know it’s cozy, but don’t do it. Your brain associates your bed with sleep, so this could make you super sleepy while studying- which will make you way less likely to retain information. As if that wasn’t bad enough, too much time spent studying on your bed could stop the association with sleep, and start an association with productivity and school work. That means, when you’re ready to pack up the books, you’re way less likely to be able to fall asleep, and a good night’s rest is so necessary to ace that test.
Listen To Music
Listening to music can definitely help you to focus when you study! Except, usually your favourite songs aren’t going to have that effect, unfortunately. Most experts recommend either classical music or video game soundtracks as the perfect study playlist. Classical music can help you relieve stress, and as a result you’ll be much more efficient when you study. As for video game soundtracks? Well, those songs are specially crafted to help players concentrate and focus on optimal game play, and will have the same effects if you listen to them while studying.
Taking regular, short breaks can really be a huge help, especially if you have a lot of material to study. On nights when I have a ton of information to get through, I like to take one 25 minute break after every hour of studying. On nights when I don’t have a lot of studying to do, I’ll take shorter breaks more frequently- usually one 10 minute break after every 25 minutes of studying. On these breaks, do something that you find relaxing, that can help to de-stress you, but also something that will allow you to feel like you’ve accomplished something, so that you are energized and inspired by the time the break ends. On my longer breaks, I’ll typically go for a quick jog, and then grab a high-protein snack to help me power through the long night of studying to come. On shorter breaks, I’ll either stretch, or watch a YouTube video (usually both at the same time) just to distract myself from getting overly stressed. Keep in mind, though, that if you do decide to go the “YouTube video” route, it’s important to cut yourself off after one short video, and put your phone away.
Do any of you already use these tips? If not, what are your go-to study tips? Let me know in the comments!