1.24.2016

STUDY TIPS



As much as I may have complained about all of the studying involved with my college years and the time required to have a successful outcome, I truly do miss some aspects of the college experience and I can guarantee you will too once it's all said and done. :)

So, I thought it would be helpful to offer some of my advice for one of the most challenging parts of being at a university.....the whole studying part. 

"Wait, you have to actually work, study and make your grades count in college?" 

Most definitely. 

Everyone has different study styles so these are just a few things that seemed to work for me and what made me feel the most productive. As a sort of background as to what my study style is, I am much more engaged in studying when I am by myself without any distractions, I am not the type of person that can read something once and immediately recall it for an exam and last but certainly not least, coffee was almost ALWAYS involved in a study sesh. 

Find your quiet, distraction-less study area.
Personally, my go-to spot was my university's library. I went to a smaller university which meant by 5:00 pm, there was only a handful of people in our entire library. This meant two things: order a coffee from the coffeeshop on campus and find a corner computer to be as productive as possible.

Repetition.
As I said, I cannot remember something by simply reading it once. Repetition was key for me. I had a sort of system that I used for a lot of my exams that included reading through the study material a few times, then typing my notes after having just written them down in class, and then rewriting them once or twice. I would repeat this as much as I felt was right until I remembered the material enough to at least feel somewhat more confident to do well on the exam.

Set the tone with music.
A quiet study area was what worked best for me; however, there are two Pandora stations that added just enough background noise and encouragement to keep my mind focused. Rend Collective and Classical For Studying. I HIGHLY recommend these two stations for studying or find your own Pandora station to fit your study style better. 

The HW App.
Unfortunately this is not something I discovered until my last year of college but it certainly helped to stay organized during those last two semesters! If you're like me, you love to make lists, lists, and more lists. This was no different when it came to school. The satisfaction of checking something off on a to do list is way too satisfying. So, the HW app basically takes your love for accomplishing list items and maximizes it to staying on top of your homework, papers, exams etc. There is also a color coding option and to top it all off, it's free. Which is music to a college student's ears. Check it out and give it a try. You will be glad you did. :)

Have someone quiz you.
Once I had studied the material myself, I would hand the material over to someone and have them ask me random questions from my notes. This did not necessarily mean I could nail the answer every single time, but it meant there was someone else reading the notes which sometimes helped to hear the material in a different way, helping to remember key points. This also helped to make analogies and acronyms in order to remember the notes. And on the flip side, if I was able to answer the person's question from my notes, it gave me an opportunity to share the answer in perhaps a different way so that the other person could understand which helps to recall information during an exam.

I hope this list helps you as you are studying for your exams. And remember, as much as you dread the studying now, you will miss this season of your life. So don't take it for granted and hit those books head on but also take the time to get out and have fun. :)

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