Midterms may be over, but finals are just around the corner. If you’re on top of your life, you’re probably already beginning to study. If you’re like me, you probably won’t start studying until a week before. Either way, here are some tips to help make the most of your study sessions.
- Actually be ready to study
If you don’t have everything ready to go, don’t start studying yet. You’ll likely get distracted or you’ll waste time getting things that you knew you were going to need. Make some food, grab your chargers, do all the prep work before you open the books.
- Try studying outside
If you’re having trouble focusing because of how nice it is outside, try moving outdoors. Changing your scenery can really help, plus it’s nice to take advantage of the summer weather.
- Be comfy (but not too comfy)
Being uncomfortable, for me at least, guarantees that I will be paying little to no attention to what I’m reading. However, being too comfortable can also be a problem. I recommend grabbing a fuzzy blanket and sitting on the couch rather than studying in bed.
- Use food and drink as memory triggers
Studies have shown that there is a strong link between taste and memory. I know it sounds crazy, but it really does seem to help me remember facts during a test if I have my study drink of choice with me: a chai latte. Try it yourself and see if it works (it also works with gum!)
- Recall, don’t cram
When studying, try to remember what you’ve already learned rather than cramming more information in. When you’re in an exam and stressed, it will be much easier to remember the information if you’ve already practiced recalling it.
- Take breaks when you need to
My friend Rebecca taught me this trick: every time you find yourself getting distracted, draw an X on your paper. I like to take a break after I reach 10 Xs. If you’re not focusing, there’s no point in forcing yourself. Take five and come back to it.
- Go to bed
Don’t stay up all night studying. Get a good night’s rest, especially before your test. Even if you don’t finish studying, you’ll do way better on an exam if you get a healthy amount of sleep than if you kept studying.