To Study and Beyond

Ariana Valacco, Staff Writer

Quizzes, tests, and exams are all obstacles that we students commonly face in life. We stress and stress over them but yet in the end, when we achieve our goal, we know it is all worth it.
To help get you to that goal, I have compiled some tips to help you with your upcoming tests.
1. Get Focused
We’ve all procrastinated while studying whether we’d like to admit it to ourselves or not. However, if you want to meet your goals then you must truly focus and dedicate your time to studying. It is also important to eliminate your distractions, whether it be the internal distractions you face like daydreaming about that boy/girl, or the external distractions that you face like loud noises, your cell phone or even your friends. To increase focus, find an appropriate environment such as the SRC where you can concentrate in peace.

2. Manage Your Time
We`ve all faced those long, dreary nights where we simply run of time to study due to a hectic schedule filled with sports, socialization, and artistic passions. To keep on top of your studies, it is important to create a study schedule and follow it. Make sure to write down dates of tests in your agenda or a calendar to make sure that you have enough time to study and be well prepared for the big day. Keep in mind that the days fly by quickly so use each day wisely and don’t let them go to waste.

3. Review, Review, Review
Our teachers give us many different study tools in order to benefit our studies such as notes, labs, handouts and so much more. Ensure that you are always integrating this information into your studies by:
• Using great notes that are organized, recognise important concepts/topics and focus on the main idea.
• Identifying the most relevant information such as key words, quotes, dates, names, definitions, and theories.
• Eliminating filler words and information; these are notes after all, not the textbook!
• Concentrating on the material that you don`t understand rather than what you do understand.
• Testing yourself, whether it is by doing practice tests and questions on your own or being quizzed by a friend. Questions help you to apply your knowledge and ensure your comfort with the information.
• Explaining the material to a friend. If your explanation is comprehensive enough to another person then you are ready to go.

4. Learn Your Style
Everyone has different styles of studying that fit their personal learning techniques for memorizing and retaining information.
Here are some fun techniques for you to try in order to find out what’s best for you: Assign Meaningfulness to Information: Apply the information you know to something or someone important to you. Connecting it to something in your own life will help you remember so much easier.
Recite Your Notes Out Loud: Do this until you don’t need to refer to your notes and understand without needing clarification.
Flash Cards: This is an ideal method for specific facts. You simply shuffle the cards and read them out loud or to yourself. You can put a question on one side and have the answer on the other or vise-versa. This is one way for you to test your knowledge.
Chunking: Separating large pieces of information into smaller chunks, i.e. separating one page paragraph into a few sentences.
Acrostics: Sequences of letters that help you to memorize information. E.g. My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nothing- to help you memorize the planets.
Visualization: Make mental images of what you learn. The key to a strong image is exaggeration and elaboration. The more vivid and imbued with emotions the image is the easier it is to encode into your memory, so let your imagination run wild.
5. Take Breaks
You may very focused on studying but it is important to take breaks in-between blocks of studying as it can improve focus and attention. However, a study break should be used productively, so exercise, meditate or even phone a friend. If you’ve been studying alone, a little human contact can help bring you out of zombie-mode and make you feel human again.
6. Stay Healthy
You need energy to help you focus, so eat healthy foods and avoid sugary treats that will make you groggy. However, the most important thing that you can do is to get enough sleep. If you stay up all night reviewing your notes, you won’t be able to function properly during your test.

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