STUDY TIPS from the TESTING CENTER
Eat well, sleep well, test well! When studying for mid-terms or finals, some of us tend to forget our basic needs. We spend as much time as we can in our books, eating on the go and pulling all-nighters. Having a good life balance is crucial to college success. Don’t forget to eat healthy and get enough sleep! Sleep helps you consolidate your long-term memory (where you store your knowledge) and a full belly helps you focus on course content, not on your rambling stomach. Visit http://studentrecipes.com/ for quick, easy meals and http://psychcentral.com/lib/12-ways-to-shut-off-your-brain-before-bedtime/0006577 for tips on how to fall asleep easily!
Become the teacher! Pair up with a friend from your class and discuss the subject matter. Try to explain concepts to each other. If you can explain course content to a friend, chances are you master it. If you realize you can’t quite get it right, meet with meet with your instructor and have it explained to you again before your exam.
Take breaks! Your brain cannot stay focused on a task for long periods of time. If you work on the same task for too many hours, your productivity will decrease. Take short breaks after 25-30 minutes of work to stay focused! For more tips, read about the Pomodoro technique.
Make a plan! Compile all the deadlines from all of your classes and enter them in your planner. Plan ahead and write notes for when to start working on a paper or project, or study for an exam. This will help you avoid cramming at the last minute!
Get involved! Learning is an active process. Participate in your classes and you will realize that you retain a lot more information. A few ways to get involved:
Save some time for yourself: At CCA, we know our students are very busy, sometimes juggling a heavy course load with work and family. Some may push the limit, which may work for short period but may cause harm in the long run. Even with a busy schedule, save some time for yourself every day. Take a walk outside, exercise, eat dinner with a friend, or go to bed early… You may think you don’t have time for this, but allowing yourself to breathe by doing something fun and relaxing may help your concentration, focus and performance!
Spring has sprung! Temperatures are up, the sun is out… it’s spring! With such beautiful weather, it can be hard to stay focused on school. However, enjoying spring weather can be part of your study routine. Read outside in a quiet park: make sure it’s not too windy if you’re studying handouts or find a shady spot when you are using a computer. Treat yourself to an ice cream cone after 3 hours of work on a warm day! If you’re too easily distracted when you’re outside, take a 10-minute walk for every 50 minutes of work done indoors. You will come back to your books re-energized!
When studying for exams, here are some tips to remember: Skim your text books. Trying to read all of the words is a waste of time. Instead, focus on chapter headings, footnotes, the course syllabus, study questions, and chapter reviews. Don’t cram. Waiting until the last minute just doesn’t work. Instead, schedule your time and make sure to allow enough time to study for all of your exams. Attend review sessions. It is always great to ask those questions that you might have missed, and you will know exactly what is on the exam. More often than not, there are a few exam questions that the professor lets out. Take breaks. Take short breaks every hour or so and leave your study area when you do. It will help keep you focused in the long run and is a proven method to improve memory.