With the school year rolling along at rapid speeds, finals are now upon us, and it's time to seriously hit the books. However, studying doesn’t have to be miserable! It may seem tedious, but you can upgrade your next study session with these five things to help you trudge through it and come out on top.
The first and most crucial step may surprise you. You have to find the right music! Music will put you in the right mindset and give you the focus you need. When I am about to sit down and crack open the books, my mood plummets. To get myself back in the zone, I play music that will get me pumped up. Studying might not be the most exciting thing, but it’s necessary. You might as well have a good time doing it, right? Once your pre-studying dance party is over, switch to a slower and less distracting playlist. If you keep breaking into dance, you aren’t going to get anywhere! I use Pandora for most of my studying playlists, but you can use whatever your heart desires.
While that music may put you in the zone, it is extremely important to take breaks. Lift your head from the books and papers, recognize your surroundings, and just relax. You should give your brain some time for all of that information to sink in. While on your break, grab a snack or check your phone. However, don’t take too long of a break. You may lose the motivation to begin again and you still have studying to do! Once you have a good five- to 10-minute break, go ahead and dive back into those notes.
One of my favorite things to do is study with friends. Meet up at a friend’s house or the library and make it a study party! Bring some snacks, drinks, and of course your study materials. Studying with friends can be successful or it can be a disaster. Being with friends can be distracting, so make sure you pick the right group of people and make sure they all know you have to get down to business.
Related: Can You Make Studying More Fun?
When studying for a vocab or foreign language test, I love making flashcards. My friends and I find they are a simple but effective way to memorize things. To not use as much paper, I cut or tear index cards in half. Most of the time I only need to put one word on each side, like in the case of foreign language vocabulary. Not only are flashcards fun, but they can also be taken anywhere just by putting them in your pocket! There is no need to carry around notebooks or binders, which is a major plus. There are also apps and websites, such as Quizlet, where you can make flashcards online and go through them on your phone. If that isn’t convenient, I don’t know what is!
After your brain has absorbed all of the needed information for the test, test yourself! It may not be what you want to do after a lot of studying, but it will be worth it. Cover up half of the answer or write out a whole test, whatever works best for you. Nothing tests your knowledge of a subject better than a test itself.
These five quick study session tips are sure to make it a lot easy to get through your long nights—and maybe even make it more enjoyable. It’s all about your mindset. So set yourself up for success and to get some good learning done. And good luck with your tests!
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