Do you enjoy the spring? It’s a time in the year when new life begins, where people can freely go outside and enjoy the beautiful, blooming flowers. But for students? Nope! We don’t have a chance to do all that. Instead, we are stuck with exams such as the MCAS, SAT and finals. The best way for us to do well on these tests is to review our notes while slouching our backs at a desk, also known as studying.
Standards-based assessments, such as the MCAS and the SAT, require lots of studying. Taking these tests can be challenging for many students, especially with the fear that if they don’t know the material, they could potentially hurt their grade or struggle to succeed academically. Moreover, when students stress out too much about their studies, they could perform badly as a result or put their mental health at risk. In this article, we will be sharing tips students can use while preparing themselves for exams. This way, we can all do our best without getting too stressed.
Tip 1: Don’t Only Study At A Desk, Study Actively!
Hunching your back at your desk is tiring, I know. The best posture to have is sitting up straight, however, having that posture makes it difficult to reach your desk. According to Psychology Today, constant sitting puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, depression, obesity and other medical concerns. To avoid this, be active while studying instead of only sitting!
Put your body in an active position while studying
: CBS News reports that, “Standing while learning and completing assignments improves executive functioning
, or the skills you use to break down tasks like writing an essay or solving multi-step math problems.” This proves that keeping your body in an active state helps us study better, because studying requires a high demand for your brain’s functions. Moving will keep your brain working, making your studies effective.
Make it fun!: Instead of using piles of class notes to review, add a little twist to it. You could turn your studies into a sort of game, like a “Family Feud”-based vocabulary game, or a board game or whatever else you can think of! As a bonus, invite classmates to play your game, so you’ll not only be having fun, but studying as well!
Tip 2: Be Organized!
If you’re often disorganized, you’ve probably had the experience of being in a rush, cramming things last minute or pushing yourself to the limit while multitasking. According to Productivity 501
, a website dedicated to offering productivity tips, good organizational skills lead to productivity and efficiency. Appearing organized is one thing, but actually being organized when the work gets tough will make all the difference. Here are some organization skills that should be used for studying:
Having a clean environment: Working in an environment that is neat and tidy will reduce the amount of time you spend hunting files down, and increase your ability to get things done.
Get rid of and avoid all distractions: Technology, your friends and even the environment where you study can all be distractions. Yes, studying while listening to music can help, but let’s be real, we end up doing other things on our technology instead of studying. To avoid these distractions, isolate yourself. Leave your mobile phone, tablet, PC and everything else that could distract you out of the room. Find a quiet room that lacks any environmental noise that irritates you. Make sure that room doesn’t have anything that will detract from your studying. If it is a mess, you might end up cleaning it all up. If there are many visual distractions, you might find yourself staring off into space at something in the room. When you truly find the right space for you, there won’t be anything to waste time on and you will progress much faster in your work.
Planning out your daily schedule
: Schedules are especially important for students with extracurricular activities like sports, after school clubs or jobs. Oftentimes, these students are limited in their time to study. According to the University of Michigan at Flint
, the expected study time for high school students on average is around one to two hours per night. One to two hours isn’t that much, so you’ll have enough personal time to add to your schedule. Try to make sure your study time is when you feel most comfortable, or in the mood.
Tip 3: Eat Brainy Foods!
To those that like to eat, you’re in luck. It’s good to eat healthy while studying to give your brain a boost (but don’t leave a mess on your paper!) According to topuniversities.com
, these foods listed below are brainy foods you might like:
Fish: Salmon, sardines and mackerel have lots of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help your brain’s memory functions.
Eggs: Here you can find important proteins and vitamins like B6, B12 and choline, which help regulate mood and improve mental function.
Green Tea: Tea is a good alternative to coffee or sodas full of caffeine, which students normally drink to keep themselves awake while studying. This beverage provides antioxidants that help sharpen your concentration.
Fruit: Sugar is sweet and addicting, I know. But fruit is sweet and addicting and beneficial, too! It’s a healthier alternative to a candy bar and provides nutritious vitamins for your studying brain.
Tip 4: Support Your Quality Of Life!
You want to know what the most important part of studying is? You. You are the one that’s going to take this exam. Therefore you are the one that’s going to study all of these topics. And for this, you’re going to need to put yourself in the best condition! Take a look at these tips to help you out:
According to Ameritech
, a healthcare college, “Numerous studies have found that the place—or ‘context’—in which you study affects how you’ll remember that information.” The better-suited place you study in, the better you’ll remember information, while the least-suited place can lead to the opposite. Make sure your study environment is the most suited for you! Make sure it has things like comfortable lighting, or nice stationery or whatever you like. Another way to get comfortable is to take breaks every so often. If you take frequent breaks every interval of study, then you will stay refreshed and won’t become mentally exhausted.
Combine your studies with your creativity/hobbies: You’ve heard the phrase “unleash your creativity” right? Well, if you want studying to feel easier, try to connect it with a hobby. Since you’re already used to your hobbies, combining them with your studies can help make learning both comprehensive and entertaining. For instance, if you like to sing, then why not compose a song based on your study notes? If you like to write, why not write a story based on your notes? If you like to act, why not make a story based on your notes, and act it out? There are many possibilities, so try it out!
Study in a good mood:
As I implied, no one likes to study. But even so, don’t force yourself to study while you’re in a bad mood! Make sure you’re not overwhelmed with anything at the moment, and you are feeling completely energized and organized. Maybe even prepare a reward for yourself so you can be more motivated to study! Psychology Today
found that a positive attitude has a specific influence on learning. A good mood affects your ability to learn, especially subjects that require some amount of flexibility and creativity.
So, next time you are hitting the books, try to remember some of these helpful tips. You might be surprised by how much you improve and succeed!