Have you ever heard someone say that the word "studying" is just a contraction of "student" and "dying"?
Whoever came up with that one sure was crafty, because it captures the meaning of studying perfectly, right down to the core.
Studying has always been a bland, boring task we dread. We often find ourselves waiting until the last possible minute to cram it in because we hate studying so much. But sadly, it's something that must be done.
With the first term of a new school year already nearing its end, the need for studying will start becoming more and more frequent. Start this next term off on a good note by acing your tests and quizzes with some simple and effective study tips will ensure that you no longer feel like dying when you study.
* Pay attention in class
That way, there will be some things that get drilled into your brain earlier on so you won't need to study them later. The teacher will repeat key points over and over again. Watch to see if your teacher writes anything on the board. If she does, it's probably something you should copy down into your own notes. Which leads us to the next step ...
* Take good notes
This is essential to studying because the notes will provide a big chunk of your study material. Make sure that your notes are accurate and always ask questions if there's something you're not quite sure about. Capture all the main points, new vocabulary words and anything else you think is relevant to the lesson.
* Review hardest material right before bedtime
When you're asleep, your brain is busy turning events into memories, so this will ensure you remember the info. Just don't wait until you're super sleepy to study, because then you won't be able to concentrate.
* Turn off your electronics
Unless you're using your computer or tablet to study, turn it off so it's no longer a distraction. Put your phone in a different room so you're not tempted to text your friends when you get bored.
* Test yourself
Flashcards are a good method for this. Write possible test questions on one side and the answers on the back. For vocabulary words, write the definition on one side and the word on the other. Now you can either show yourself the words and guess the definition, or vice versa. Testing yourself helps you remember more info than just reading your textbook does.
* Eat healthy
You know how you always get hungry for munchies when you're studying? Try something healthy and light, like fruit and yogurt as a snack instead of junk food like potato chips. Incorporate whole grains and protein into your diet; healthy food helps your brain.
* Study in a comfy environment
A quiet, peaceful place is best. Try closing your bedroom door if your siblings are too loud. If you get distracted by all the things in your room, pick a quiet table at the library.
* Color-code your notes
They're so much more fun to read and write when you use fun, bright colors instead of looking at the same drab black pen for hours. Also, highlight the main points and key words you need to remember.
* Take breaks
Hours of continuous studying strains your eyes and lowers your concentration level. Reward yourself for your hard work by taking a 5-minute break after every 20 minutes of studying.
* Study with friends
Anything is more fun when you do it with your buddies. Find a couple of friends in the same class and get together for a study session. A great bonus is that they might remember something from the lesson that you didn't.
* Listen to music
Unless you absolutely cannot concentrate while listening to music, play a calming song on low volume. Some people like classical music while studying. Just make sure it's not so distracting that you start rocking out instead of focusing on your notes.
* Don't wait until the last minute
Trying to cram everything in at once is always a bad idea because your brain can't process so much info all at once. Start studying as soon as you know you will be having a test. That way, you can plan everything out well.
* Review as often as possible
Take your flashcards with you everywhere, so whenever you have a few spare minutes, you can pull them out of your pocket to quiz yourself. Try looking at your notes one last time right when you get to class, before the test starts.
* Choose the right time
Make study time a time that you know you won't be busy with other things, so you can be left alone and free of distractions. Research shows that the best times to study are before lunch and after dinner.
Using these tips will make studying a breeze. When you know you've studied hard and you're prepared, test taking is a lot less stressful. Enjoy the rest of this school year and go ace those tests.
Karissa Wang is a sophomore at NUAMES. She enjoys swimming and has a constant craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream. Email her at email@example.com.