by Emily Bunsold
A wave of panic washed over Bellbrook High School the week that midterms were due. And trying to scrape up that last bit of hope to raise that 89.4% up to an A by the end of the week can be the ultimate struggle. I have rounded up a bunch of useful study tips that will leave you with extra time to just sit back and relax; while for those who waited until the last-minute to study for that test worth 80% of their grade, the world is just one big ball of stress.
Before I get into the details, I just wanted to make clear that everyone learns differently, and these are just a couple of ideas that have helped *me* obtain and memorize information for studying. With that being said, without further ado, let the studying begin!
1) Some people have to do their studying in dead silence, and sometimes if I’m studying for things that deal with a lot of reading, like English, I do as well to focus on the words better, but 9 out 10 times I listen to music while studying. It keeps me awake and the music is never the same, so studying isn’t as boring as it’s played off to be. Some of my favorite stations to listen to are:
-the “classical music,” “passenger,” “birdy,” and “misterwives” stations on Pandora
-the “deep focus,” “intense studying,” and the “brain food” stations on Spotify
2) DON’T STUDY ON YOUR BED! It’s really tempting because, especially halfway through the first quarter when you’re just getting used to these early mornings, and all you want to do is catch up on your sleep but that just exactly what will happen if you spend too much time there. And I’m sure you won’t be thinking about sleeping when your teacher is handing out a super big test that you didn’t study for because you accidentally fell asleep while trying to study!
3) When I take notes, I like to make them really fun with all different colors of highlighters, but the only color that I don’t use while taking notes during class is the most generic of them all: yellow. When it comes time to studying my notes, I take the study guide (if I was provided one by the teacher) and my yellow highlighter and with all the pinks and purples and greens make my notes look entertaining, but distracting, so I take my yellow highlighter and use that one only to pin point specific details that are on the study guide so that I can focus solely on the yellow when it comes time to study my notes.
4) Back when I took Spanish and would have to memorize vocabulary I found that making English connections between the Spanish words can actually help more than you would think! Once you find a funny word or phrase that goes with that word it’s hard to forget that connection. I’ll explain: let’s say you take the Spanish word “bailar” (to dance). If it was me, I would think, “bailar kind of sound like ballerina, ballerinas dance and bailar means to dance.” Works every time for those annoying vocabulary tests that happen every so often. Vocabulary tests are easy points, if you study for them right.
5) YouTube is an awesome resource to use if you’re not understanding what’s going on that day and don’t have time to ask teachers during mentor or after school. I find that YouTube is most useful for math, but I know for a fact that it has information on practically everything. Also Google practice tests and quizzes so that you can see just how well you’re understanding the information. If you get questions wrong, go back and highlight and make sure you focus more on those topics.
6) And my very last tip is to take breaks! Your brain needs to rest every once in a while, and taking breaks ensures that you are able to retain information and not just study and forget what you have learned. That defeats the whole purpose of studying in the first place! So I would take about 15 minutes breaks for every hour of studying. Get a snack, watch a little bit of TV, go on Twitter, and then come back and quiz yourself to make sure you’ve gotten it.
Hopefully you can use at least some of these tips to help you get motivated and focused for next quarter’s midterms so that you’re not knee-deep in stress for the rest of this year!