I don’t like to study and will go out of my way not to study. That makes me a normal student for the most part. With life taking one in several different directions it is crucial to find what kind of study methods work for you. It wasn’t until my last year of college that I figured out what really works best for me, but I’d rather learn it late than never at all. So what works for this procrastinator?
- Early Notes
I am not the best note taker but I still try to take them especially at the beginning of the semester and then again right after mid-term exams. Why, because at these times the professors are teaching a foundation that is often referred back to later on. One should always take notes but let us be real, that doesn’t always happen.If the professor says it more than once, write it down!
On the board, write it down!
On a slide show. Write it down! Taking pictures for later use works too, however when you write something down you are more likely to remember it.
I learned this trick very late in my college career and by accident. I knew the upcoming semester was going to be rather tough for me so I bought a daily planner that happened to have coloring pages in it. I quickly discovered that while coloring the pages, I was more able to focus on what the professor was saying. I didn’t zone out now glance at my phone. By coloring I was able to concentrate and better understand what the professor was trying to teach. Only drawback to this method of learning is that while you are coloring the professor can take it as a sign of you not paying attention. This method worked for me, hopefully it will help others.
- Show up and ask one question
Attend class! Just being there goes a long way when it comes to exams and finals. You already paid for the class so make sure you get your money’s worth. The professor is getting paid whether you show up or not. After all, it is your future not theirs. However, most professors will work with you as long as you try. If you don’t try with them, they won’t try with you.Ask one question. Professors like students who are involved and trying. When you can ask a question or add to the discussion. Yes, we all hate speaking up and end blankly staring at the professor but teaching isn’t easy when your teaching to zombies. Active students break up the monotony of a straight lecture and opens the door for student professor communication
- Study Guide How To
I make study guides to help me through exams and finals. I try to start the study guide a few days in advance but I am a procrastinator so I tend to start the study guide the day before. Part of the reason I procrastinate and most students will agree with me but I have more than one class giving an exam so by the time you study and take the exam for one class you barely have 24 hours before another exam or final comes into play. Last minute is how a student studies during this time. That is why it is crucial that a student is active in class.
Divide what you need to study into pieces. I usually divide it into chapters
Get in your study zone. Mine happens to be in my room computer and books scattered across the bed and some random YouTube video playing in the background. I tend to choose videos along the lines of 48 hours or creepy pasta. Creepy-pastas tend to be voices that tell a story. I choose these videos because the don’t require you to listen to them and when you need a mini break you have something to focus on for a few moments. Music distracts me and so do tv shows and are not compatible with a study zone. Make sure you have something to eat and drink in the study zone else it will be an excuse to not study.
First you pick a chapter and read the first two paragraphs. From there, you read the first sentence of every paragraph. Lastly, you read the conclusion paragraph. Now you have a good idea of what the chapter is about.
While reading if you happen to come across a phrase or fact that jumps out at you highlight it and type it up into your study guide. I try to find one thing on every page that I believe is important. Also while typing out the study guide if you can relate the fact or idea to real life it helps you memorize it better.
Next you take a short break. If you are a procrastinator you don’t have much time for breaks. This break is only meant for those who need to go use the restroom or take a smoke break.
Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 until the ‘chapters’ are translated into notes.
Now it is time to review the notes that you took during class. If you are like me the notes are at random and not that consistent, so you cherry pick information off of them.
I don’t focus too much on slide shows myself but I do cherry pick from there.
Put it down and go do something for about an hour.
Pick it up and read your study guide. If anything doesn’t make sense redo it. If you think it’s not needed drop it. Also remember it is your study guide you are not turning it. Write notes to yourself like “look at the graph on p256”. If you can’t explain it or if there is to much to type simply say “explained really well on page 75 2nd paragraph”
Review it when you think about it, which after the long study session into making the study guide I have a hard time looking at the guide because I still remember typing it up. I tend to get to class about 30 minutes early and read the guide and try to lock it into my memory. What helps me the most is discussing the chapters with classmates before the test begins. They remember things and cherry pick information that I don’t know or have.
Finally, take the exam.
At this point it doesn’t seem like I am a procrastinator, right? When in actuality I took barely existent notes and only made the study guide the night before. However, I do try to show up and take part in class every day. By focusing on the lectures and typing up a study guide I do manage to be a passing student. Finally, remember, unless you are a rock star, procrastinators don’t get A’s