Put a Little Fun into Your Study

Cherry blossoms are blooming, birds are bursting into chorus, and a warm wind is sweeping through campus. If you’re like most people, you probably would rather head outside with your friends than stay inside and study for finals. However, studying doesn’t have to be all that bad.

Here are a few tricks to help you get through the final weeks:

  • Reward yourself with short breaks. Every half-hour (or hour, if you are feeling really industrious) reward yourself with a nice 15-minute break. Take a walk outside get some fresh air, but don’t forget to return to the books! 

  • Incorporate small treats into your study routine. If you need to, place a gummy bear at the bottom of each paragraph of your text. After you finish each paragraph, reward yourself with a gummy bear.

  • Try integrating all of your senses as you study. Touch the paper, use different color highlighters, and say your notes out loud. The more senses you use, the more the information will likely stay with you. Also try to smell peppermint as you study (as well as before your exam). It’s a natural form of aromatherapy and will help you relax.

  • Teach stuff animals. Arrange stuffed animals, action figures, or any other fun inanimate objects on your bed or desk and teach them the topic you are trying to memorize. Guaranteed—they won’t get bored and will never fall asleep!

 

 
 
 
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From Procrastination to Proactive: Facing Finals

There are only a few weeks left in the semester, but it is not too late to prep for success when it comes to finals.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • The best way to actually start studying is to change the way you think about taking tests. Keep in mind that an exam does not reflect your self-worth and does not determine your future. When perceived in this light, test taking is a lot less threatening. Remember that this is only a test, there will be others, and you will survive them all.
  • Instead of attempting to cram dozens of intricate details into your skull, try grouping items by main concepts first. Once you have the main concepts down, then you can add more details later—and they will seem a lot less overwhelming.
  • If you don’t have enough time to cover all the material for an exam, choose one portion of the lecture material, preferably the one that the professor has emphasized throughout the semester, and know it backwards and forwards.

Finals, Finals EVERYWHERE!. Don't you hate the last two weeks?. git f atr,. Feels batman.

 
 
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Plan a Skill-Building Summer

It may only be spring, but summer will be upon us before you can say April Fools’. Have you thought about what you’ll be doing this summer? Some think of summer as a time to hang out with friends and work on the old tan. Others use it as an opportunity to get ahead and work on their resume. One of the best ways to do that is by acquiring skills to put on it. How do you know what skills to acquire?

The best way forward is to work backward. For example, say you know you want to go to graduate school for forestry. What sort of skills would help you get into forestry school—skills you CAN’T get in a classroom? Can you volunteer at a state park or intern at an environmental agency?

The important concept to understand is that while having a college education is important, the degree itself won’t be enough. Take action now to think about how you can use those hot and lazy months to your advantage. You can still use your summer to work on that tan—just make sure you have a plan!

 

 

 

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How to Listen up in the Lecture Hall

So you’re sitting in your astronomy lecture trying to learn about the intricacies of outer space, but instead…you are spacing out.

How can you center your attention on Saturn when all you can think about is your supper? Fortunately, you can remain engaged and learn as much information as possible.

Before coming to class, look at your notes from the previous lecture and read the material that pertains to the current lecture. This way, you can anticipate what will be covered and be prepared to ask questions. Another helpful strategy is to sit in front of the room so you can fully attend to the instructor and take notes without being distracted. To create self-motivated internal interest, demonstrate outward interest in the material by assuming attentive posture— this will help you focus like a laser beam!

 

 

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Catching Some Zzzzzzzzzzzzzs Will Likely Help You Net A’s and B’s

We have all heard the expression, “Get a good night’s sleep.” While this might be sound medical advice, it is also excellent academic advice. Studies have shown that students who consistently get a good night’s sleep can remember almost 20% more on tests of newly learned information than students who don’t.

Not only is regular sleep beneficial for cognition, but cat naps can also be helpful. Numerous studies have shown that even a 10-minute nap can enhance energy and concentration.

The Mishaps of Memory

How many times have you begun an exam thinking, “I’ve got
this!” and ended it muttering, “Maybe it’s not too late to drop the class…”?

Such calamities occur because of our metamemory—or how we think about our memory. In general, people are not very good at evaluating their own ability to memorize information. So essentially, we are overconfident and we think that we have
memorized information sufficiently when we really have not.

The best way to overcome this typical human error is quiz yourself on the meaning of the concepts, their relation to other concepts, and their overall context. When you start to quiz yourself like this, only then can you ascertain whether or not you have truly encoded the information.

 

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Go Head-To-Head with Your Mind

How many times have you heard that “your mind is your own worst enemy”? Research has shown that there is truth to the saying; students who believe intelligence and academic ability are set in stone will have a tougher time excelling than students who believe their abilities are malleable.

The difference lies in the fact that students who believe in growth potential
are more likely to redouble their efforts and try new strategies in the face of
adversity. Conversely, students who believe that intelligence and academic
abilities are fixed are likely to give up more easily.

So if you are struggling this semester and questioning your abilities—don’t check out mentally. Do check in on your thoughts. What messages are you telling yourself? What problem solving strategies are you not coming up with because of these messages? The mind is a powerful tool and it can master you… or you can master it.

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Leave Time for Assignments!

We’ve all done it. We’ve all pulled the all-nighter where we started a project that was due the next day the evening before.

To prevent yet another scenario where you are cursing into your fifth cup of coffee at three in the morning, break the project down into smaller steps.

Write the final due date on your calendar, and working backward, fill in the appropriate dates for the small steps, including dates for finding research materials, writing first drafts, revising second drafts, etc. A little planning will save you a lot of time and will make those all-nighters needless!

 

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Skim Please! And We’re Not Talking about Milk…

Before every lecture, it’s good to know what you’re getting
into. That is why skimming the relevant chapters before class can be very
helpful to become acquainted with the material even before the professor
discusses it. After the lecture, go back and read the material more closely
with the aim of trying to understand, as opposed to simply reading through
words.

A 24-Hour Review Makes Information Stick Like Glue!

Did you know that reviewing new material within the first 24
hours of learning it helps you increase your retention of that knowledge by
60%?

So while it may be tempting to close your notebook after class and let it
collect dust, you’ll be doing your brain a world of good by reviewing your
notes pronto.

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Confused by Confucius? Consider Questions!

So you’re into the first few weeks of your philosophy class and lectures on Confucius are downright confusing.  The solution? Seek clarity by asking questions.

Oftentimes, students feel embarrassed about making queries for fear of sounding unintelligent. However, if the great sage has you dazed, it is likely that your classmates are also feeling befuddled. In fact, they will probably be relieved to hear somebody ask for clarification. And remember, no one can know everything–not even philosophers!

 

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Enduring the Final Flurry

The collegiate equivalent of Judgment Day is here: finals.

Getting through them, however, doesn’t have to feel like divine punishment.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make the process more bearable. Some
students spend equal amounts of time preparing for each final. Instead, proportion
your study time to how difficult the final is likely to be and how well you
have mastered the material.

Another important tip is to be clear about is what materials are going to be on the final. Are text readings included, or is the final going to focus entirely on lecture material? Will it be comprehensive or cumulative final? Knowing the range—and the limits—of the final will make it easier to organize and structure your study time. Taking time to employ these tips may very well be your saving grace!

 

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