By Emerald Green
They say that time-management is the key to success, but with school, work, family, friends, a significant other, extracurriculars, homework, extracurriculars, social lives, social media, food, “The Bachelor,” homework, sleep, and Ed Sheeran’s new music, it isn’t always that simple. It can be hard to squeeze in even more time to study for upcoming tests or semester exams (January 18-20). When this happens, don’t resort to the “can you send me the homework” text. Instead follow these shortcuts personally handed down to you by the studiest of Cougars.
Before you do anything, organize your work space. Put your papers into piles and order it from the simplest to most complex material for the best way to understand it.
- Ditch the phone
Keep your phone at a distance. Don’t be the victim of a vibrating cell phone. Your phone can make it even harder and take even longer for you to study. You don’t need those Instagram notifications distracting you from scoring that semi-decent grade on tomorrow’s test. Turn on “Do Not Disturb” and toss it into the other room. Your twelve followers will survive.
- Learn from your mistakes with practice problems
As you study, figure out what sections of the unit you have issues with. Look up practice problems. After you do them, see what you did wrong, go back, and fix it.
Using flashcards is one of the most common study habits because it’s one of the best techniques for memorization. Flashcards will help you remember those polyatomic ions or geometry formulas at home, on the bus, or right before the test. The repeated motion of rewriting will help your brain retain the information.
If you want to save some trees, or you don’t really feel like writing, type all of your information into Quizlet to create a set of virtual flashcards to study. Match word to definition or even test yourself while you’re on the go. Compete for your high score because you can’t let @harrystyles456 beat you by 0.27 seconds. This is not how you will go down in history.
- Study Buddy
It can be hard and distracting to study all by your lonesome, so find that special someone to struggle and cry with as they quiz you with definitions you didn’t know you were supposed to study. He or she just may be your rock and that person to lean on as they ask you what “verisimilitude” means.
If you think that flashcards are totally middle-school, try using a fun mnemonic to help you study. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a mnemonic as “a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.” It’s even been said that the more ridiculous it is, the easier it will be to remember. Stage competitions with your study buddy to see who can come up with the most clever connections to help you memorize the material. It will actually be incredibly fun and helpful, and that mnemonic about Rostow’s Modernization may even become one of your new inside jokes. Studying will probably take longer because of all the laughing from your new inside jokes, but you’ll always remember what Rostow’s Modernization is.
When all else fails, ruling anything out is not an option. Cross your fingers. Create songs. Break out that lucky underwear. Don’t step on cracks. Light that candle. Kneel before that DIY shrine, and pray to the test gods of the Clark County School District because you know you’re going to need it.