Long time, no see! I haven’t been keeping up with my blog at all these past few months; I’ve been busy trying to figure out what I want in life on top of my day-to-day activities. While I haven’t been successful with that yet, I wanted to get back into blogging. I’ve managed to find somewhat of a schedule to keep up with classes, work, and volunteering, and now I have some free time to blog again!
Since I have midterms for my classes this week, I decided to write a post featuring a few studying tips for those of you who, like me, are taking midterms/exams. I tried to include a variety of suggestions, so this post might also come in handy when you’re taking notes throughout the semester!
Use notecards, pens, and highlighters.
If you are a school supplies addict like me, you will likely be more inclined to study if you have the right gear. I use plenty of colored pens and highlighters, and while I love using them, they do keep my notes more organized. Plus, highlighting important terms after I take notes requires me to read over the material again, which helps drill the information into my memory.
Keep your area organized.
The notecards, pens, and highlighters can assist with this, but it’s always a good idea to stay organized! Make sure you have all the supplies you need to study (laptop, flash drives, textbooks, notes, etc.) and know when you need to study. Whether it mentions the supplies you need to bring or the material that you need to cover, lists can also be beneficial. I hate studying in a messy room (normally I end up cleaning up prior to studying), so if you’re like me, it’s a good idea to study in a clean area or to set aside time to clean up your desk beforehand.
Stay away from social media.
This doesn’t necessarily mean delete your apps or log out for the whole week (although that is an option), but limit your time on social media. It can be so easy to waste time scrolling through social media updates to procrastinate on your assignments. Even when I’m not looking at the app, notifications can pop up and distract me. Personally, I like to log out of my accounts and set up certain times to check them. I don’t make set times as in “9:00am”, but I tell myself I can check after dinner, when I’m snacking on something, after work, when I wake up, etc.
Set up distraction-free study time.
This goes off of the last suggestion, but set up time to solely focus on studying without any distractions! Maybe set a timer for thirty minutes or so, and spend the entire time working on your assignments without leaving for a snack, walking your dog, checking your phone, etc. This way, you can stay focused and get your assignments done efficiently.
Look up multiple sources.
While yes, the test material will hopefully be on the lectures your professor has provided for you, it doesn’t hurt to look up multiple sources about your topic! Maybe your professor recommended a few articles or videos to expand on the lessons taught in class…make sure to check them out! If not, feel free to do some research on your own-especially if you’re stuck on a topic. We have so much access to everything with the Internet, so you’re bound to find some resource that helps you understand the material. I did publish a post a while back on Udemy, which can be great tool to supplement your courses. Udemy has been a huge help with my computer science classes, especially since the videos/courses tend to go more in-depth than my online classes do.
Study with a group.
Studying with others can help you learn the material and keep you on track (for the most part) when you’re studying. If you can successfully explain the material to a classmate, you can probably ace the test with your knowledge! Plus, classmates can be a great resource with any topics that you are not clear on and can add different perspectives that you might not have thought about before.
This one depends on your field of study, but creating different diagrams/charts/images based on the material can be a creative way to understand it. This can be useful especially if you have certain terms to compare with each other or if you can use visual elements to help yourself remember things.
Give yourself incentives.
You have to be motivated to study, so why not give yourself a little incentive? Make sure to scale your rewards accordingly (you don’t need to buy yourself a $100 purse just for studying for ten minutes). Here are some examples:
- Put on a few songs and have a mini dance session after studying hard for thirty minutes.
- Treat yourself to a coffee or snack. You have to stay energized to study, after all.
- Go for a walk. Taking a breath of fresh air and moving can clear your head and ease away any frustrations.
- If there is something you’ve been wanting to buy, it might be a nice way to treat yourself after the exam is over with!