With the end of the semester getting closer and closer, seniors are bursting with joy with the prospects of becoming second semester seniors, sophomores are excited to finally go home and the poor juniors are just crumbling with work. Not to worry though! This Wednesday Paula Altekruse and librarian Connie James-Jenkin were nice enough put together some tips and tricks for studying.
First: Pick a class and make a list of all the major topics as well as the sub topics.
- IDEAS: outline of major concepts? And where to find resources?
You will want to write this down after you list the topics so that later you can refer to these sources for quick information or for last minute cramming before the final.
- PLANNER: create a timeline of what to study when to make it easier to focus, avoid stress overload and to make life/work easier for yourself
Some people like to just keep things all in their heads but this can really hurt you if you forget about an assignment or everything gets jumbled up.
Second: Determine your level of understanding
- Okay let’s be honest, if you just look at all the answers or declare yourself a genius you’re only hurting yourself. When it comes to the final there will be NO ANSWERS TO PEEK AT. So you have to realize the cold hard truth now so that you can succeed later.
- Bonnie suggests that you take the list that you made and rate it based on topics you know really well to topics that you need to work on a lot. This would help in determining what topics to focus more on. I mean if you want to, go ham on all the topics but you really won’t need that.
- Once you’ve rated your understanding, you should review the concepts you know well and study the areas that you don’t know well. For example, for areas you know well you could write a summary and for areas you don’t know well you could work on practice problems from old tests and quizzes.
Third: Decide HOW you’re going to study
- Re-do old problems WITHOUT looking at the answers and see if you can solve the problems easily.
- Make summary sheets without looking at any of the class material and see how much you know. Then the parts you don’t know, go over the concepts to review them and try again.
- For biology especially it is advised that you explain the concepts to someone else. You could literally go up to your teacher and just start talking about what ever topic you are studying. It’s harder to talk about something than it is to write something so if you can explain a topic well orally, then you know you’ve mastered it.
- I’m slightly skeptical even as I am writing this, but you could also study with friends to increase the pool of information to draw from. HOWEVER, make sure that studying with friends does not become partying with friends.
Finally: BE confident
- This is my advice to everyone, and everyone at IMSA is talented and brilliant so there is no way that any of us could fail a final even if we tried.
- I personally like to run or meditate before anything major because it relieves my mind of anxiety but everyone has his own stress relieving activity. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you’re not nervous before the exam because even though it shows that you care, it is harder to recall information when you’re nervous.
- TAKE BREAKS! Reward yourself, so that you don’t get sick of studying. If it comes down to it…block your facebook and then reward yourself with facebook. Whatever it takes, go forth and prosper! I wish all of you good luck for your finals, physical health and most importantly for your mental sanity.