Hello, hello, hello!
Being a student for twelve years, I know first hand that studying can be a difficult, boring, tedious, (*insert all the negative adjectives that exist*) thing to do. The mere thought of it makes me sleepy for some reason. Maybe it’s because I used to try and cram it all in late at night. Or because it’s just so draining…so draining in fact, that I always kept putting it off until the very last minute. I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of frantic note-taking, hardcore highlighting and staying up past midnight the night before an exam.
But this year, I’ve decided to change. Maybe studying doesn’t have to be so bad, after all.
From revising to routines, today I’ve gather a bunch of tips and tricks that might help you stay focused and on task. I believe that learning is simply a matter of staying organised and not distracted. Perhaps it’s not the way you are taught or the quality of your resources that makes you “smarter”, but rather, it’s what you decide to do with the information you are given. What I mean is, you can go home after a long day of school and forget everything you’ve learnt in the past six hours… or you can store it in your brain, remember it. Learn it.
Though the idea does seem simple, it’s not as easy as it sounds, right? Well, here are a few things you can do that have really helped me when it comes to studying:
1. Keeping a giant notebook full of summaries for all your subjects.
After every topic you learn in each subject, jot down a brief summary covering all the main points. It doesn’t have to be too long – just one or two pages. That way, when it comes to your exams, you know where to look!
2. Using the Alarm app on your phone.
Set out a time to study and make an alarm on your phone. Here I’ve set three alarms called “STUDY NOW OR ELSE”, another one half an hour later labelled “It’s break time!” and another one after that called “BACK TO WORK”. Make sure your phone is on full volume so you can fully hear it. When it’s time to study, put your phone on Airplane mode and… STUDY! (Note: in order for this to work, one must resist the urge to hit the snooze button!)
(P.s. please excuse my horrid cracked nail polish…)
3. Writing To-Do lists.
As mentioned many times on my blog, to-do lists are the way to go! Often I like writing a list of everything I want to do, along with an estimated time of how long it will take. Then, I’d make a schedule including all my tasks, as well as breaks.
4. Having a Daily Revision book for all your subjects.
Grab some blank exercise books for each of your subjects. Every day when you come home from school, jot down a very brief dot-point summary of what you learnt (in your own words!) At the end of the week, go over everything you wrote in your revision books. This is also great for when it comes to studying for exams because all the information is neat and concise.
5. Using post-it flags to mark questions you don’t understand.
Stick this at the top corner of the page, along with the number of the question. Next time you see your teacher, remember to ask for help.
6. Using Apps to stay on task.
A great is 30/30, which lets you write a list of things to do and length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move onto the next task.
7. Reminding yourself to study two weeks in advance of an exam.
On your monthly calendar or study planner, mark the date of your exam as soon as you receive a notification. Also write a reminder to study two weeks in advance and highlight these in the same colour.
8. Staying inspired by watching videos or reading about topics you’re learning about.
Learning doesn’t have to just come from bland text books and lectures. Gain a better understanding about the context and other interesting facts by reading or watching documentaries and videos. I especially love watching youtube videos too – CrashCourse and SciShow are great channels for learning about science and the world.
9. Printing out answers to your math exercises.
I personally hate flicking back and forth in my textbook to check answers. Printing them makes life a whole lot easier.
10. DIY-ing an organiser to store your resources for each subject.
I made mine out of an old cardboard box and adding cardboard dividers using sticky tape! If you don’t want to make one, I know lots of shops sell these too.
Here are some more tips…
11. Keeping a folder of all past exam papers.
In case you ever need to go back on them!
12. Using apps or websites to block the internet or certain sites that might distract you.
A great website is getcoldturkey.com and great app is Zero Willpower. (You know, in case you need a boost in self control.)
13. Make an online group chat with all your classmates.
So you can support each other and help each other out with work.
13. Learn to enjoy learning.
(No pun intended!) Knowledge is truly a gift everyone should be grateful for. There’s so much more out there just waiting to be discovered.
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