Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How I Study

It's the week before Reading Week! If you're a student, you know that means EVERYTHING IS DUE. But the end is near...

Anyway, since most of my time right now is taken up by writing essays, practicing presentations and studying for midterms, I thought I'd tell you how I study and include some handy dandy study tips! If there is anything about my identity that I am completely confident about, it is that I am a good student. If I know anything, I know how to organize my schoolwork and study habits. (Now if only I could be as competent in all the other areas of my life...)

So here are ~*~*ALYSSA'S STUDY STEPS AND TIPS!*~*~

Step 1: Read the review and listen closely

Most of my professors in my four years of university have been pretty good at giving review sheets, which include the questions or topics that they want you to know for the test. Some of my professors even go over the review a bit in class, about what they are expecting for certain questions. Make sure you pay attention, and write LOTS of notes when your professor talks about what they want on the midterm! This is invaluable information and they are plopping it right in your lap!

Step 2: Create my own review using the review sheet

I write my notes by hand because part of my study process involves typing up my notes. So I'll go through my written notes, and then plug them in as answers to the review questions. That usually takes a couple hours, but it's actually really easy - it's basically just typing while listening to music, and it's a good way to begin and get everything organized. If you type your notes in class, I would suggest printing them out and then typing them in again to your review sheet. I know you could just copy and paste, but then you're not actually methodically going through the information again, which is helpful for actually retaining the information later. And if I haven't got a review sheet, then I make sure I'm focusing on main subjects and points, rather than silly small details. If in doubt about anything you're not sure you're supposed to know, ask your professor!!

Step 3: Whiteboard study!! 

I love my whiteboard with all my heart for all things organization, but especially for studying. I'll transfer my entire review sheet to my whiteboard, although a slightly condensed version of it (because I only have so much space on my whiteboard). I'll try to focus on writing out the main points and keywords that will hopefully trigger the rest of the details. I usually do this a couple days before my actual midterm, because then I can scan it again a few times as I'm getting dressed or ready for bed in the following days. Also, it's super fun putting all my notes in a whole bunch of funky colours. ;) (Also tip: if you're going to use this technique, make sure you buy low odour markers otherwise you will have a headache after one page of notes.)

Step 4: Quiz myself

The ideal is to get together with a classmate and we quiz each other, but if that's not an option I try to find a willing family member. If I can't find a willing family member, then I'll just do the cover-the-answers thing and ask myself questions. The trick is to try saying the answers out loud. Once I can explain the material to someone else (or empty space) out loud, I know I'm ready for the test!

~*~*Some more tips*~*~

Tip #1: Use a variety of methods I've heard that it's good to study with a variety of different methods, because each different method solidifies the information in your brain even more. So by the time I'm done my study process, I've written the material, typed the material, written the material (in fun coloured markers), and said the material out loud, which I think is pretty good. ;)

Tip #2: Start early Obviously this process is fairly long, and takes awhile. You can't really cram AND do a lengthy 4-step process. I usually start maybe a week ahead, or at least the weekend before my actual midterm, and I usually do one step a day so it doesn't feel like too much all at once.

So that is how I study! Now I must get back to work... happy studying!

How do you study? What are your favourite study habits and tips?

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