Finals week for the summer semester is here. It’s time to cram everything you just learned in a few weeks into your head long enough to last through a test or two. What a lot of students don’t realize, though, is that studying can be easy! During your next study cram session, try some of these cool techniques out.
Make Up Acronyms
Thanks to my fourth grade teacher, I will forever know all nine (well, eight) planets in the order they are from the sun. You know, it’s the one that goes “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.” So, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Unfortunately, they’ll have to make up a new one because Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore, poor thing. My point is, when you need to remember a list of things, why not make up some ridiculous phrase if it will help you?
Read Your Notes Out Loud
When I started working for my college paper, I was told to read my work out loud so that I know what it sounds like and can more easily find my mistakes. Well, this is similar- when you can hear yourself saying the words, you’ll be more likely to understand and comprehend them better. It’s also a good idea to read sentences and phrases over and over again out loud until you know them.
Break Up Your Notes Into Sections
My psychology teacher from high school told us this was a good study method to use, especially when you have a lot of information you need to learn. Break up your notes into chunks and study them bit by bit until you’ve committed the information to memory.
In between your “chunking,” as I stated above, take short breaks so that your mind isn’t overloaded. Study for 20 minutes, then break for 10. Don’t break by doing other homework, though- do something relaxing. Go for a quick walk, or dance around your room. Refresh your focus by completely un-focusing for a bit- it works wonders on your attentiveness AND your information retention abilities.
This might be a weird technique, but when you are reading over your notes, or saying them out loud as I suggested earlier, look away for a moment and focus on something else, like the wall. Think about what you just read. Believe it or not, when used properly, students are more likely to ace an exam after doing this technique.
Make Note Cards
If you are currently enrolled in a foreign language class and have to learn word and phrases, this is one of the best ways you can learn them. Of course, this is a great way to study for any test, but it works especially well when you have specific bits of information to remember rather than broad concepts.
Make Up Songs
One of my math teachers from middle school made us learn this song called “The Pi Song.” It went ‘pi equals 3.14159265358979…” etc. I still have that melody stuck in my head! If you aren’t creative enough to make up a melody, use one from a song you like but replace the words with your notes. This is both a fun and effective way to study.
Whichever technique you choose to use, just remember that the more focused you are on studying, the better. Unplug your laptop, turn off your phone and your TV and you should be good to go. Good luck with your exams!