Study Smarter

Your homework is to “study for the test.” What does that mean, and what can help you score higher?

  1. Pay attention in class

Although it sounds like a no-brainer, paying complete attention is a challenge for everyone. If you start to doze off, get a quick drink of water or take a lap around the atrium. If you can’t make it to class, email your teacher, check Moodle, or ask a friend about the lesson and homework.

  1. Break up (your studying into chunks)

Few of us can sit and work for hours on end. Try working (without distraction) for 45 minutes, and take a 5-10 minute break. Stretch, grab a snack, or chat with your family.

  1. End the electronics

We’ve all fallen victim to Netflix, Snapchat, and Facebook while trying to study. We physically can’t concentrate in two areas at once, so chances are that “Game of Thrones” is capturing your attention more than that essay. Put your phone in another room or block time-sucking websites such as Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook.

  1. Be the teacher: explain the info

The ability to teach a topic to someone else (even if it’s a pet) demonstrates mastery of a topic. Without referring to the notes, explain a lesson to a friend and have the friend ask you questions to test your knowledge.

  1. Take your own test

Just as a pitcher can’t pitch without practice, you can’t test well without testing yourself. Reviewing the notes isn’t enough: use online review sites or create flashcards on Quizlet as a mock test. By the time it’s test day, you’ll be a pro.

  1. Make it your bedtime story

According to researchers at the University of Notre Dame, reviewing notes directly before bed will help you better memorize them.

  1. Just go to bed!

That extra hour of cramming may not be worth your sleep (especially when you get so little to start with). During sleep, information is processed and stored. Pulling frequent all-nighters can hurt more than it helps.

  1. Before the test: breathe!

You’ve heard it a million times: take a deep breath before diving into that test. The Harvard Medical School agrees: deep breaths increase oxygen levels in the brain and can help “prevent and reduce stress.” It’s free and simple: give it a try.

Remember, if you can say that you’ve tried your best, you’ve succeeded.

Seniors push through the last of their college applications.

Senior Morgan McFall pushes through the last of her college applications.

Categories: Features, Opinion

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