Sooo0o0o0...The first exams are right around the corner and you are most likely nervous. Lets. Be. Honest. We all say to ourselves that we are going to give everything we got to achieve a 4.0. But, between you and I, it's not going to come without some hard work. So, put down the cell phone, tell your friends NO for just one night, and get yourself to the library. Yes, I said the library. The library is a place full of books that condone studying. As the first exams approach, I am here to offer some advice for increasing your overall performance. I am excited to share with you some study tips that have helped me get through some really difficult exams.
1. Lose The Computer: Research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information. The findings were published in the journal of Psychological Sciences. In another study conducted by Mueller and Oppenheimer, they find that students remember lectures better when they've taken handwritten notes, rather than typed ones. So... Pinterest can wait, and so can Facebook! Focus on the lecture and write down what is important.
2. Cornell Note Taking: I used this style of note taking in my psychology class. It helped me memorize and encode a lot of terminology used in Psychology. The Cornell System is both a note taking and a study system. The first step is setting up the paper. Draw a vertical line about 2 ½ inches from the left edge of your paper, and a horizontal line 2 inches from the bottom. This left column will become your questions column. The right, larger column is where you will write your lecture notes, and the bottom is where you will summarize your notes. During lecture, be sure to write down the most important information. Use bullet points when taking notes in order to keep yourself organized. During studying, review yourself. Write specific questions about the material you covered in class. Before an exam, use the questions you created to quiz yourself. Lastly, summarize! Summarize what the lecture was about and use it to ask your professors any questions you may have. Keep up with the information. Be sure to review the material anytime you have time.
3. Importance of the textbooks: The textbook serves as your curriculum for the semester. In my own experience, new professors love the textbook. Experienced professors use the textbook less often, but it still could serve as a reference book for your course. Personally, I bring my textbook to class. During lecture, find the topic they are discussing and underline important stressed topics they are covering in class. During studying, correlate your notes to the textbook in order to make connections. The textbook also serves a tool of clarification! If you are more a visual learner, the textbook offers diagrams and pictures for you to use.
4. Lose The Cellphone: Social media is a huge distraction! Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can wait! Leave your phone in your dorm room and head to the library without it. This allows for a great focused study session. Commuter should leave their phones in there cars or turn their phones on silent. Airplane mode is a great way for you to tell people that you are busy. So, for those few hours, FOCUS! The picture on Instagram will still be there later.
5. Make Booklets: Take computer paper and cut the paper into 4 squares. Stack the paper together and staple it at the corner; forming a booklet. Use the booklet to make study books out of each chapter of lecture. Create a story out of the lecture. This booklet should be able to fit in your pocket. So0oo0o... Instead of searching Instagram online waiting for your "Grande Latte, with 99 shots of espresso, and 17 pumps of vanilla syrup" break out the book and study.
6. Attend Office Hours: Wagner is amazing. The professors are always in their offices waiting to assist anyone in need. They are so welcoming and you can attend office hours at anytime. Don't be afraid to approach your professor. They were once in the same position as you. Ask them questions, after all they do love the subject.
7. Prioritize: Write out everything you have to do for the day and rank it by priority. Wake up early and study in the morning so that you have time do other events.
8. Calendars and Planners: These resources are useful for keeping you organized. Write down all your events and things that you have planned. This will keep you from getting drained quickly.
9. Aromatherapy: This calming practice allows you to remain focused and calm. Certain fragrances like peppermint can relieve headaches and aches. Other fragrances like Chamomile promotes digestion, releives nausea, and promotes sleep. Fragrances can be purchased online at amazon for really cheap.
10. Meditation: Meditation helps you focus on the moment leaving all the worries and stress behind. Youtube videos provide guided meditations that can help you control your breathing during the relaxation. Daily meditation is healthy and can dramatically reduce stress.
Good Luck on your upcoming exams! Ps. Chocolate is always a good stress reliever!