It is that time of the year again for students. It is getting close to finals time as well as Thanksgiving break. Before you start stressing about your final exams and paper, I decided to do this week's blog on how to improve your studying skills and get the A. I hope my tips will help you get that grade that you deserve.
Tip #1: Avoid Distractions for Better Concentration
- Find a place away from distractions.
- Here are some suggestions:
- Empty Classroom
- Quiet Room
- Your own study area/room
- If you cannot find a quite place or a room without distractions, try putting on you head phones and listen to classical music.
- Previous studies have found that there has been a positive correlation between listening to classical music and performance and memory.
- I have provided a sample of classical music that you can use when studying.
Tip#2: Organize Your Notes
- If you organize your notes, it will allow you to better organize your thoughts as well.
- If you use headings, it will be easier for you to look back in your notes to remind you the different topics/subjects of whatever it is that you are studying about.
- Ways to organize your notes:
- Color Code using different highlighters
- Use Headings for different topics/subjects within your notes
- If you write your notes, type them and use different fonts/styles
- Below are some examples of how you can organize your notes.
Tip #3: DO NOT CRAM
- Avoid studying the last minute. Many previous studies have found that studying the last minute has been proven not effective. Your brain is not able to store the information in your long term memory; therefore, you do not learn anything
- Try setting up a schedule where you will study in small increments of information. This way, you are starting to store information into your long term memory that will enable to recall during exams. Plus, this will avoid the stress that you face when you cram for exams.
- Below is an example of a schedule that provides dates and topics to be studied and assignments that come with it.
Tip #4: Study Smart
- Do not study for longer than an hour.
- According to Primacy and Recency Effect, people have the tendency to remember the first and last thing that they read. The reason behind this is that we can only focus for a certain amount of time.
- When studying, study with breaks. For example, study for 20 minutes and take a 5 minute break. During break, do not go onto any activities that you will put at risk for not going back to studying, such as Facebook, watching TV, calling someone, and etc.
- Rather, do something active like walk around the house or do some kind of exercise.
- If you find yourself bored or cannot focus when studying. Try to find motivations.
- You can:
- Put post its everywhere tell you that you can do it.
- Set goals that you want to accomplish and reminding yourself that in order to reach those goals, you need to pass this class.
- Even have some kind of incentive for yourself. For example, you can say "If I get this A in the class, I will go out with my friends and celebrate."
- Remind yourself that YOU CAN DO IT!
Overall message this week:
TO GET THAT GOOD GRADE:
AVOID STRESS BY STUDYING IN ADVANCED
AVOID STRESS BY STUDYING IN ADVANCED
Angelica Kim is undergraduate student in her second semester taking six classes (18 credits), taking part as a leader of three different students organization, interning in two different places, working part time, and tending to her loved ones' needs. She is also trying to get into graduate school so that she can start in the fall semester for the next academic year.
What will you do in this scenario?
What she did:
- Utilized her planner and set up her deadlines for her assignments which are written down on her planner to remind herself of the upcoming deadlines)
- Wrote down:
- Dates and times for work and internship
- Due dates for her research projects, presentations, exams, assignment due dates, and what assignments are due at what day
- Used sticky note to create mini to do lists for her weekends to remind herself of what she has to accomplish over the weekend
- Organized her note by color coding them.
What happened to her?
She was able to:
- Fulfill her responsibilities within her student organizations and do beyond what was expected of her with her leadership positions
- Received a full-tuition scholarship due to her grades and involvements
- Assigned a mentor which was included with her scholarship agreement
- Received a 3.83 GPA for the semester (Not her cumulative)
- Received an internship notation and a service-learning notation on her transcript
- More involved in other organizations in her campus and community
- She now tutors adults to get their GED and pass their advanced ESOL classes
- Works with children to help prepare them for school
- Works with students to be better writers
Being organized can benefit you in the long run. It helps lessen the stress that we all face everyday because it allows us to know what we have to do and stay on top of things. I hope that my "Organize Me" segment has been a big help. I hope that Angelica Kim has inspired you and made you realize that you too can do what she did. Despite of your busy schedule, organization will help you do everything that you need to do. Always remember, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING AS LONG AS YOU PUT YOUR MIND INTO IT. Get that determination and persistence to achieve your goals.