Ah finals week, the smell of coffee in the air and stressed out students all over campus. It came up faster than Spring Break was over and everyone is cracking their books and opening new packets of flash cards.
There are many different ways people approach finals week – pulling all nighters or studying just the night before are a few extremes that some go to. However, these extremes are highly unnecessary due to an amazing studying technique that my psychology professor taught me.
I use it for every class and not only does it help me remember the information better, but also understand it from a completely different perspective. So here it is, your new go to study method.
If you have reading to do for an exam
Say there are 30 pages in the chapter. Read 10-15 of those pages without taking notes, just read them like any other article you would be trying to comprehend. Read fast too, because reading slow leaves time for your brain to wonder and lose train of thought. Reading faster helps your brain understand more and take it in at the same time.
So you’re done reading those pages. Now go back and re-read them while taking notes and highlighting things this time. Trust me, you will go back and realize what you misunderstood. Breaking the reading into two or three different sections makes it a lot easier too. Yes you have to read the reading twice, but it will be a huge help in the long run. So give yourself enough time for this technique because it is time consuming, but well worth your time.
If you have a lot of memorizing to do
Flip through those note cards and re-read notes as many times as you can, in 15 minutes. Take a break from memorizing every 15 minutes because, let’s face it, we won’t be able to keep our focus every minute during the countless hours of studying.
After 15 minutes, our brains will start to wonder and focus less on the task at hand, rendering flipping through notes, useless. Take a tiny break with social media, getting a drink, talking to your mom or going outside for some fresh air. It eases your mind and resets it to be refocused.
The best advice for good study skills is leaving yourself enough time. You can’t except to study for a night and ball out on the exam. But all of us experienced college students know that by now.We’re not in high school anymore Toto. So leave yourself enough time, take breaks and read the material as much as you can.
Good luck to all next week, and may the odds be ever in your favor.