Study Tip Archive - May 2009
"I don't try to be the first one to finish when I take a test. It's not like it's a race. If I try to finish ahead of other students, I panic and I get sloppy. Sometimes in my class one student finishes and then it's like everybody starts to finish at the same time, like when popcorn starts to pop in the microwave. I just take as much time as I need. I usually do good."
Student, 10th grader
Savannah, Georgia, USA
"When studying at the library we all know it can get pretty loud these days. I carry ear plugs with me to the library. They help so much, and if I need to whisper, I can hear myself."
Student, 2nd year Bachelor of Science
Houston, Texas, USA
"Make up a memorable song to help you remember information. Also try using mind maps. Don't forget to take regular study breaks and get at least 10 hours of sleep the night before a test. On the day of the test avoid eating sugary things or drinking caffeine as it slows down your brain."
Los Angeles, California, USA
"Do not study at the last minute. Study your notes before hand and revise them 2 to 3 times before taking any exam."
"When you cannot focus on studying, try do some simple exercises, take a walk, listen to music...You will feel better and then you can go back to studying."
Wong Chiang Ann
Student, secondary lower 6
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
"I find, being a visual person, that I work well with pictures. First I create all the major points in headings, and then the steps to these points in small case underneath. I am learning photography and am up to the black and film processing section. I "translate" the notes into easy points.
My translated notes look something like this:
-Film out of canister, into spiral, seal lid, and press "start" on timer for 8.5 minutes.
-Agitate every 30 seconds for 5 minutes. Go to wet bench. Wait 1 minute.
-Take film out of developing tank, drain fluid.
-Stop Bath for 10 seconds whilst agitating.
-Put film in fixer for 6 minutes, agitate every 30 seconds. (Lights on after 1 minute).
It's easier to summarize the major points into smaller sentences, which I retain.
I write all the teachers' notes in blocks of information. Because this is no good for my visual brain, I then make the information visual and can then retain it perfectly.
You've got to understand your own learning style and then work with it.
Hope this helps,
Student, First Year
"First of all organize yourself.Then if you want to learn a chapter just concentrate on the chapter and nothing else. "
Student, grade 8
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
"If you read a word and you do not know the meaning, write it in a book called the word bank book. Write the meaning beside the word that you don't know. And study the words and meanings often."
Student, Primary 6
"Read and highlight important and bold print in the text. Then review at the end of the week."
Greenville, Texas, USA
"I try to study in a quiet place that does not have distractions. This way I can focus on the subject."
San Jose, California, USA
"Do not study too much at a time. And do NOT cram the night before a big test... you will forget EVERYTHING!!!!"
Middle Granville, New York, USA
"Listen to what your teacher says in class, not to students who are talking when they shouldn't. What they say won't be on the test. But listen to the other students if the teacher wants the class to talk about what you are learning."
Student, 5th grader
Reno, Nevada, USA
"I find that it helps especially when learning essays for a language to voice record yourself. This helps you to remember and also you will notice any mistakes made in pronunciation. Flash cards are great for things you may find difficult to remember. Practice your questions by writing them out and make summary notes for every chapter. Explaining something to someone else also helps you to understand and remember."
Student, leaving certificate
"1. Sit in a room that's tidy, so you don't get distracted easily and where there is good air circulation so you can concentrate without feeling stuffy or getting headaches.
2. Eat something filling before you study so that you can concentrate properly and to stop yourself from getting hungry again which could distract you if you have to go get something to eat.
3. Keep a glass or bottle of water with you.
4. Try studying for 40-50 minutes at a time then take a 15 minute break and do something completely non-study related. Watch tv, check your emails, go for a walk etc.
5. Use flashcards for definitions. Write the word on one side and the definition on the other. Then you can use them and check if you're right.
6. When in class forget about everyone else around you. Take notes, listen to the teacher and don't be afraid to ask questions.
7. Reward yourself! If you've studied all week take a day off and go out with friends or have a relaxing day at home. After all the exams are done make sure you have a great summer before the next year."
Student, 5th Year
"I keep an ongoing list of the things I have to do for school. I write the things I absolutely MUST do in red. I put a check and the date next to something when I do it. I used to cross them out but this way I can go back and see what I did. If I write something but then don't have to do it, then I cross it out. So far I haven't crossed out anything I wrote in red."
Student, high school
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
"I can't focus on studying unless it's fun, so I always make it into a game...
1.) I use flashcards to play memory. It's best with definitions, etc.
2.) When I need to remember things in a specific order, I make up funny sayings to the tune of something on the radio. Since I already know the beat by heart, it's easy to remember the information
3.)I make flashcards, then turn on the timer on my computer. I try to beat my own record as to how fast I can write all of the definitions/answers to each card. It's better to write when you are trying to remember for a test than say the information out loud. You can't talk out loud during the test anyway!"
New York, New York, USA
"At the start of a new course, devote a blank page in your notebook to the major subjects of the course, which you write in throughout the semester. By the end of the semester, you should have a list of around five things that make up about 60-80% of the final exam."
Student, 2nd year college
"Find a comfortable area, preferably one with a desk that provides space for materials, books and other necessary items. The chair should provide adequate comfort and height for the desk. Another criterion to consider for a suitable place is one that limits distractions (i.e. not near the phone, kitchen, family room, etc.) I find that as little stimuli as possible allows me much better concentration. "
Augusta, Georgia, USA
"What the mind doesn't remember, the hand does...TAKE NOTES-and also have a peppermint candy in your mouth when you study and again when you take a test to "jog" your memory by association..Works for me."
Student, Junior B
Bellingham, Washington, USA
"First, know how your teacher teaches. Use a digital recording device with a timecode, while you're taking notes, if there is a particularly interesting (or difficult) concept, write the timecode number down in your notes - that way, you don't have to listen to the whole lecture again, just fast forward to the numbers where you need to hear the material again. Also, use a digital camera. Most 3mp+ cameras have enough zoom lens to take pictures of diagrams on the board - this allows you to listen & absorb instead of trying to copy a difficult diagram (note: turn the flash off, it's distracting - most picture software applications allow for lighting correction - enough to see the diagram in the picture).
San Francisco, California, USA
"Don't get bogged down or disturbed by other students when you are in class. Focus yourself so that only the teacher and the study materials are visible to you"
Student, 9th grade