Its 4 am and you have school. You look at the clock and are astonished at the time that has gone by after your cramming session that seemed to last for too long. You realize that everyone else has gone to sleep and you have just finished up your studies, only to go to school in a few hours and run on 3hrs of sleep. However, despite all this cramming and review you still don't feel well acquainted with the material and begin to panic. "So what was that all for" you ask yourself.
The answer casts a fog in your brain...it was all for NOTHING.
While it has been traditionally thought that studying long hours at the library or at a cafe maximizes learning a specific set of information, this is not the case. Forget the myth of all nighters and studying for 10 hrs straight because productivity and efficiency declines dramatically after just 2 hours of this strenuous and tiring process.
With that in mind the following are the 10 must haves for studying that will increase productivity and efficiency, helping you ace tests and midterms.
1. A smart schedule
Smart? How? One of the most important things about studying for tests and midterms, when you have numerous subjects to review, is the ability to categorize the difficulty level of the subjects you are studying. So spend more time on the subjects you may struggle with. Pro tip: microsoft Exel makes for an amazing and functional midterm planner. Appropriate the amount of time you deem fit to study a subject.
Here's an example of an exel schedule..
2.One night for each subject
Often times throughout the semester, your ability to appropriate one night to each subject is not as difficult to fit into your schedule, depending on what commitments you have in addition to your school work. Midterms however provide numerous subjects to study with not as much time on your hands. So divide the amount of subjects you have to do per day. For example you could review 2 subjects each night. Pro tip: when reviewing 2 subjects on the same night, one may often find that it gets confusing and in order to resolve that make sure you review 2 or more subjects that have nothing to do with each other.
In order to avoid cramming set a dedicated time for taking a 10 minute break after 30-50 minutes of studying and repeat this cycle to keep you alert and increase attention span. During your study breaks change your setting, go get water, eat a snack, go back to your study space, and start again.
Surprisingly, getting up and exercising during those study breaks of yours allows for a change in blood chemistry, allowing a better and longer attention span. We should seriously consider walking, riding a bike, and even dancing a few steps during your study breaks any kind of exercise greatly improves brain power.
5.Read it aloud
Did you know that you are 50% more likely to remember something when you say it aloud. In this way you are not only reading the information but also speaking it aloud.
6.Write it out
Writing out information is the equivalent of saying it aloud seven times. Taking notes of what you've been studying and organizing it into sections of related information is a great addition to reading it aloud, which in the end results in maximized productivity in your studies.
7.Google Chrome TLDR extension
If you're in a time crunch and you simply can't read a long article, PowerPoint, or online textbook when studying, search up TLDR on google. Click on the first result that shows up and download it to your browser. So whenever you're studying and don't have time to read an entire article, just go to the top right corner and click the TLDR extension and it will summarize it for you.
Make an ULTIMATE list of all the tasks you need to complete. When I say ULTIMATE I mean ultimate. What I mean by this is elaborate on every part of a subject you need to study. Let's say I'm studying for Spanish. My ULTIMATE study list would include the following:
No I'm not talking about actual self control..because let's face it we all struggle with this especially me. Its 3 PM and you're scrolling through Instagram and the next thing you know its 5PM and you're watching a YouTube video on how to curl your tongue into a clover. Yes, "it be like that sometimes."
So to fix this we have self control. This is a free app that you can download on your desktop that allows you to block all social media and any other distraction you may encounter along the web. It let's you enter different URLs like Twitter, Instagram, buzzfeed, YouTube, pinterest, tumblr, etc and blocks these websites for an allotted time that you set. This a great way to eliminate distractions and stay on task. But the key to this is making a family member hold your phone and/or iPad as well.
And the last tip is to reward yourself. If you just killed your final essay or aced your midterm in a class you were struggling with, or even completed all your studies and it's the night before the big day, you definitely deserve to reward yourself. Whether it be to go grab Froyo or go buy yourself a new book... just go do it because you deserve it girl! School is tough and can be mentally and physically draining, but you managed to survive so be proud of that and celebrate!
Psst over here...This was a collab with the amazing Imaan! Shes a beauty, lifestyle, and happiness blogger and I am so excited to be able to collaborate with her today. Make sure to go check out her version of this post by clicking....
Ok let's be honest isn't there something you're supposed to be doing right now. A test you have to study for, a midterm that needs to be prepared for, or an essay due in 2 days? Shouldn't you be doing those things instead of reading this blog post?
Wait, wait, don't go just yet!
Did you like the blog post? What are thoughts? Find anything helpful? Make sure to comment how you'll incorporate these things as you prepare for any upcoming tests?
Ok now you can go and tackle those tasks effectively!
But until then I'll be always smiling and beyoutiful,