How to Be Successful in School: Part 1 – Study Tips

Good morning.

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With midterms starting it’s always good to remember some helpful tips that will bring about greater success in your examinations. Here are ten study tips that you may find helpful while preparing for your next test.

  1. Give yourself enough time to study – Although it is well known that most students try to cram all their studying into the night before, it is widely accepted that for most people it is not the best way to approach your preparation. Organize your study time accordingly so that there is an appropriate timetable for the material you wish to study, and consider that you may want to study for one exam more than another based on understanding.
  2. Organize your space – Studying comfortably is one way to ensure you aren’t stressed about the process. Make sure you have sufficient lighting, a comfortable chair, and enough room to spread out all your study materials. Also try and get rid of all distractions such as those video games sitting on your shelf. Think of what works best for you whether it’s music playing in the background or complete and total silence.
  3. Use diagrams – Visual aids help to cue our memories after initial studying. Start by writing out everything you know about a topic and then condense that information down into a smaller diagram of information. This method is easy to use and allows you to retain more information by combining learning styles.
  4. Practice – Those review questions at the back of a chapter may seem dull and irrelevant to you while you’re doing them but they are a great help when it comes to prepping for an exam. It helps you get used to the format of the questions and…*hint hint*…some teachers like to take samples of review questions from the textbooks, change the numbers, and put them into exams. 
  5. Talk about the material – If you can teach the subject to someone else it can help you learn to understand the underlying principles to the material better than just staring at a page for hours on end. Try talking to a friend who knows nothing about the topic and see if you can help them grasp one of your primary concepts that you’re studying.
  6. Organize a study group – Everyone learns in a different way and there is usually a lot of information to cover, so break up the information with a group of your classmates and keep in mind that you may be able to answer some questions they don’t understand and vice versa.
  7. Rest – Studying for an exam is a marathon, not a sprint, so spread your study time out across a few days and schedule breaks into the days that your are studying. Get used to the times of day when you are more productive, for example if you study better at night plan your sleep schedule around the extra hours you will spend studying.
  8. Eat – Sometimes hours can go by when you’re deeply entrenched in studying before you remember to grab something to eat, or in order to use your time better you snack on quick, easy to grab, junk food. Keep in mind that your body and brain require fuel to work effectively, therefore eat healthy snacks that promote and aid in concentration and memory such as nuts, seeds, yogurt, and fruit.
  9. Plan your exam day – Know what you can bring to the exam, the format, and the time you will have to write it. Test how long it takes you to get to the exam location prior to the day and then ensure you arrive at least twenty minutes early. 
  10. Water – On average the human body is made up of 60-70% water. Just a small drop in hydration either during activity or simply because you haven’t had anything to drink all day can seriously effect your performance. Being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work well so make sure you drink plenty of water on exam day. 

Good Luck!

Kelly Skidmore

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