Whether it be exams, quizzes, midterms, or finals, it is hard to study for anything that is going on. In addition to that dreaded exam, students have work, sports, clubs, internships, four to five other classes and a social life. How does one find time to study without losing sleep? These top five tips were collected by numerous students and faculty who have mastered the art of making studying a little easier.
Number 1: Making a monthly calendar
It may not necessarily have to do with studying, but knowing what you have going on a month in advance is extremely beneficial. It can help establish what days are better for studying as opposed to others. Many professors also put the class schedule for the course in their class syllabus. If all the due dates, exam dates, practices, work and any other activities are written on a personalized calendar, it may help in designing a study plan that best accommodates your free time. As of right now, most final exam schedules should be released with the time and date, and knowing when those are could help prevent a “traffic jam:” a period of time where there are several things due at the same time.
Number 2: Reading the textbook
Just because a professor may ask you to buy a $200 textbook and does not use it or assign it in class, that does not mean you cannot read it. There is a method to his/her madness. Reading may be boring and tedious, but if there are notes that do not make sense or need elaboration, the textbook is a good place to look. In addition, it helps you study by putting notes in context or giving examples to explain problems the professor may not have used.
Number 3: Taking good notes in class
Taking good notes in class is essentially getting a head start on studying. If you paid attention in class and took notes periodically throughout, then you will have detailed notes on exactly what the professor will expect you to know on the test/quiz.
Number 4: Taking advantage of tutoring, the writing center and all other services that are here to help you
There are plenty of people here to help you study and study well. If you find yourself struggling with anything in a class, seek out a tutor. A few visits, if not the whole semester, should benefit you and your studying skills. Knowing when your exams and quizzes are is important to so you can get help before it is too late.
Number 5: Not cramming
Cramming is not the most efficient way to study. Everybody has been there, when an exam creeps up on you and you have not even looked at the section or notes. However, cramming is only putting that information into short-term memory instead of long-term, which could be difficult when trying to regurgitate all that information for the exam or quiz. If all the prior steps are met, however, cramming will not feel like such a necessity.
Studying is not confined to just mid-terms and finals, but is something students should do throughout the entire semester. Keeping everything together and organized, along with these five steps, should lead to successful studying and management of how to do it well in addition to everything else students do on a weekly basis.