Studying. That awful, tedious, soul destroying task that plagues the life of all students. Perhaps I over accentuate the dreadful activity, but at time I have felt all of the words used describe accurately my view of studying. Those and of course the primary, simple, and well used phrase “it’s boring”. At one point last semester I found it so boring I wrote a Shakespearean sonnet on the topic of boredom. I should mention at this point I am a black belt in procrastination.
To try and get this slightly back on the topic of studying, and not onto the topic of procrastination (which I could, and may, write a book on) I will say why I wanted to write a bit on studying.
It is that time of year when exams are looming upon us, and if you are like me studying appear a long and tedious task, but do not fear I have some tips to aid you in your studies.
- Don’t just sit down and decide you are going to study 6 hours straight on it. Break it up in to 1 hour chunks with small YouTube, food, Netflix breaks in-between. This will give your mind a chance to rest and absorb some of what you have been trying to learn. It is also more achievable and making achievable targets is important, because if you miss your first one you can easily loose motivation all together.
- Use a variety of methods and find what works for you. I have tried about every method of studying and some have been far more effective than others. My favourite at the moment is mind maps and then using post it notes to elaborate on points. A long standing technique has to make up lists and get people to quiz me on key points. For memorising short things association can be useful. I have also tried building apps and online quizzes to help me study. Really it’s about finding what works for you, but make sure you try new things as they may work even better; however, do not try osmosis. It does not work. Specifically don’t try it for an exam in French or you will fail.
- Allocate times to mess about. The key to not procrastinating is to set up times to do what you would be doing when you procrastinate. For example rather than procrastinating by writing a blog; set aside a time of day to write it in, or if you know there is a certain time of day you focus less organise your study time around it.
- Drink lots of tea. Probably not as much as I do, but studies show chemicals in tea can release stress and increase focus which is what you need to study. The making of the tea also gives you a short break from your studies.
So those are my tips for studying, and if they work for me they can work for pretty much anyone. Good luck with the exams!