How to study without wanting to cry

Storm Aiken, Designer

With the start of classes also comes the painful, yet inevitable, tests. I’m not just talking about that big midterm and final exam, either. I’m talking about those tests that happen every two or three chapters. While they might seem annoying and unimportant, not doing well on those can add up very quickly and might even cost you your grade. That’s what this is here for! Keep on reading to get some pretty good tips and tricks to help you out this semester.

Firstly, eat food! This can not be stressed enough! Your body needs nutrients to survive! Eating a good meal either in the morning or the afternoon can help improve spatial and short-term memory. Avoid high-sugar foods, and try something like oatmeal or a slice of toast for breakfast. Eat something that has protein for lunch, as well as some greens/vegetables. Try a granola bar or trail mix for a snack.

Next, it’s important that you, stay hydrated. This one should be a given; we all know that getting dehydrated is a terrible experience. Water is better than soda or juice, but if it’s what you have on hand then go for it.

Sleep is another thing that your body needs to function properly! I know that this isn’t always an option either (guilty as charged), so try and get as much as your schedule will allow. Maybe even try to squeeze in a power nap sometime during the day, or in between study sessions.

Speaking of studying, make sure that you don’t spend too long studying a single topic topic. Try breaking it up into 30-minute segments, with 10-15 minute breaks in between. Switch topics often so that your brain doesn’t go numb trying to cram it all in there. Lastly, don’t cram, you won’t actually learn anything that way. Give studying before bed a shot. Try taking a few minutes before going to sleep to flip through flashcards. If you have notes, read through them once or twice. If you prefer not to read right before bed, see if your teacher will let you record the lecture, and listen to it while you get ready for bed. You can also play it while driving to school, or after you wake up in the morning.

When taking notes, try writing everything out instead of typing or printing off the power point. It might seem tedious, but the movement of writing it out can help to commit it to memory. You could also rewrite your notes later so that you can better organize and tailor them to how you learn best.

Lastly, try using sensory markers to help you remember the materials such as color coding based on sections, highlighting key ideas, or saying important terms out loud. Flashcards can come in handy for things that you just aren’t getting right away. You can also chew a piece of gum while studying, and chew the same type while taking the test. Your brain has a higher chance of linking the two, helping you to remember the material better.

Remember, not all of these will work for every person. What works well for one person might not work at all for another. The important thing is finding out what works for you and improve from there. The bottom line is to study. Yes, it might be a lot of effort, but it’s important if you want to succeed. Even if it’s not a refrigerator-worthy A+, just feel proud of yourself for putting in all of that time and effort. I hope all of this has helped you get some ideas on how you can improve your study habits. What are you waiting for? Go and get those grades!

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