Saturday, June 1, 2013

Studying for Exams #lol

Let's be honest.

I don't study.

Yeah sorry but I really don't. I mean, I do....rarely. (You've probably picked up I don't have the best school habits.)

I have only taken one set of my exams in my high school career so far; last winter's midterms. I didn't study at all. My issue with them isn't that I didn't know what was on them, it was that they took me FOREVER. The Spanish exam was multiple choice, and I finished three out of the four columns of bubbles. My math exam was 92 questions and I finished 50 of them. I don't understand how people can be so fast!!!! Luckily they're giving me extra time on them now, so I don't have to freak out about that.

But I'm REALLY going to try to study this time. I need to get in the habit of doing it because exams are only going to get harder. Our school gives you a choice of exempting one exam if you have a B- or better in the class you want to exempt. This semester I'm exempting science, so I won't have to worry about that.

When I DO study, this is what usually works for me:

[study alone]

Maybe this is an introvert thing, but I can't stand "group study sessions." I can't get any work done unless I'm alone because I get way to distracted talking to my friends and it turns into a social session. If I have a question, I will text someone or google it. But studying in groups usually just makes me annoyed with people because nobody is answering any of my questions and all the ideas get too spread out and lost.

[flash cards]

I really don't know a more effective way of studying than flash cards. They're simple and straight to the point. I find it much more effective to have a parent or friend quiz you. That way, there's not a way you can cheat and it helps to say the information out loud. 

[take breaks when you want them]

Don't plan out when you're going to take breaks. If you do, you'll just be pushing all the work feeling annoyed and waiting for your break. Then you will let yourself stop when you were actually making progress. If you don't think about when you're going to take a break and just work, you'll get so much more done and forget you even wanted one. When you get tired, then that's when you need a break. Just listen to your body and your brain and don't take a break because you feel like you should or you think it's time. 

[get organized]

My major lack of organization is actually probably the main factor that's feeding my lack of motivation. When you don't even know what you're supposed to do or have a plan, how will you bring yourself to do it at all? My mom consistently bothers me about the late work I don't turn in, and I'm like "yeah I'll do it later..." but then I realize how much easier and faster it would be to get the work in if I actually knew what it was. I never think about WHAT I have to do....I just think about work in general. So for each class, I planned out specifically what I'm going to need to do for each class to study.

[do study guides]

At my school, most teachers give you a study guide that tells you everything that's going to be on their exam. For my math class, if you complete the study guide it's 20% of the exam grade. I find this SO helpful. Like I said before, it's much easier to study when you know what you're doing. If your teachers never tell you anything, then use your own judgment and make your own! Go through your notes and type up lists for each class, like "terms to know." 

[other helpful tips]

- Don't watch TV while studying. 
- Don't listen to music while studying. If you think it helps you, then go for it. But whenever I listen to music, I get really into the song and get distracted by it.
- Don't being lying on your bed or slumped down on the couch. Study in an environment similar to how you'll be taking the test. That usually means a desk with proper lighting. 
- SLEEP. This is like the most important thing. If you try to take a test when you've only gotten 6 hours of sleep the night before, you will do worse than if you didn't study. Always choose sleep over studying!
- Use a certain lotion or spray a certain type of perfume when you study. When you're taking the exam, put on the lotion or perfume. It will help you remember the information. Similarly, chewing a certain type of gum will do the same thing.
- "Pretty" supplies are pretty much irrelevant when studying. However, I do recommend color-coding. Associating a certain color with a certain subject will keep the information more organized in your brain. 

Good luck studying!!!

xx Signe

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