The Ins and Outs of Studying


We’ve all been there: it’s the night before a big test and you’re debating if you should pull an all-nighter.

You could drink those 12 cups of coffee and pray you’ll remember everything within that twenty-chapter text, but odds are, come 8 a.m. you’ll be exhausted and unable to recall the information you just spent hours pouring over. Instead of cramming, follow these study tips to ace that major test.

Plan to Study

You’ve got the course syllabus, so you should know when major tests will be happening. Two to three weeks before a test, set aside 30 minutes each day to review a single topic that will appear on the test. It’s best to try to set aside the same 30 minutes each day; this way your brain will know the information that’s coming and file it in a way that easier to recall later. During your next study session, take the first couple minutes to quiz yourself on last week’s material; this mini quiz will help you assess how much information you’re remembering, and if you need to review anything further.

Be Prepared to Study

Gather whatever you’ll need: the text, notes, worksheets. Being prepared eliminates the possibility of becoming distracted when studying. Studying exists as an active, not passive, activity. This means that a student shouldn’t just be reading material, but organizing information and notes into outlines or study guides. Actively studying engages the brain and increases the likelihood that a student will remember important information.

Know How You Study

If you know that you study best alone, then find a suitable space and hunker down. Try to choose a comfortable area with few distractions. Some studies suggest avoiding studying in bed since the brain associates bed with sleep. If you learn best by listening, consider forming a study group that can teach each other. Everyone should be responsible for one topic each meeting and teach the other members. Knowing how you study can help you study more effectively.

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