We have all been there, whether it is buckling down and studying hard for that one class you need to pass, to pulling an all-nighter finishing an essay; studying and completing coursework can be hard. I am the first to say that no matter how hard I would study in high school, I would always end up failing an exam, quiz or even a report. I didn’t get what I was doing wrong, I poured in hours of research, read the chapter and seeked tutoring. Why was I not retaining any of this information? It also didn’t help that there was always that one classmate that never studied or took notes and yet they were the ones that got an A. Over the course of a few years and starting college, I have picked up a few tips and tricks that has helped me study more efficiently and improve my test scores. It has been a constant process of trial and error and I am still not that proficient in studying for math tests (comment below some math study tips, eh?), but I thought I would share some of these things with you readers and maybe share some insight as well.
Have a good environment to work in
I am all about atmosphere when it comes to studying. I like to keep a clear and neat desk with some inspirational objects that don’t clutter up my workspace. I find a vase of flowers and some sentimental objects keep me motivated and inspired.
Another place I like to work in is a coffee shop. The sounds of baristas making lattes and people chatting with others is a comforting soundtrack to study to. There are also other people that are there to work and study just like me, which I find especially motivating. Whenever I start to daydream or get distracted, I just look at all the people that are concentrating on their work and back I go to typing my essay. Coffee also helps a lot, just make sure not to get too wired!
Take Frequent Breaks
I cannot say this enough, take breaks! What hurt me the most in high school is that I would be sitting at my desk for hours without moving, causing me to get tired, restless and bored. I recommend taking a break every half hour to an hour at the most. Take this time to take your dog for a walk, sit outside and breath in fresh air, write down personal thoughts in a journal or grab a snack. I limit my breaks to ten minutes so I don’t get too distracted and lose focus from my work. Doing this has helped me recollect my thoughts and it also gives me a mini refresh. After ten minutes, I am ready and motivated to hunker down and study again!
Change your location
As a Gemini, we get bored very easily(at least thats what the book in Barnes and Noble said), so I tend to switch up where I study every day. I either go to the local coffee shop (which is my eternal study haven) or stay at home and work at my desk. I find that variety gives new perspective to things. I feel like with every different environment I work in, certain ideas come to me that I wouldn’t have thought of or I find I soak in more information than I would be if I were at home. I think that in high school, I didn’t study as well because I was always at the same desk studying and being around the same things. It made me bored and less motivated to study or do homework. Find several different places you can work in, it could be in your room, at the library or even outside in your backyard.
Know Your Limit
I suffer from not only test anxiety but also study anxiety (is that a thing?). Over time, I learned that I needed to know my limits. There would be days where I would be staring at my computer trying to understand a concept and after thirty minutes of still not getting it, I would end up in tears. Now, I have learned that if I start getting anxious or have worked on one concept too long, I take a moment to breathe or in some cases, stop studying for that day. You won’t get any good studying done if you have fried your brain and are hyperventilating. This advice also applies to getting frustrated with studying or an assignment (I may have thrown a textbook at my wall a few times in my school career). Don’t be mad at your studying, make amends and be friends!