By Kassidy Weber
At one time or another, every student has been in that infamous situation where they’ve studied their notes endlessly, but once the test is given to them, they have no clue what they spent hours studying. In school, there’s nothing worse than staring at a test page with your mind and the scantron completely blank. Although studying isn’t always easy, some effective methods can definitely help your experience.
“If I were taking a test and had forgotten everything, I would start to panic and get nervous,” senior Ingrid Chen said. “In that situation, all I can do is try my best.”
One recommended strategy is the “rewrite method.” Regardless of its known effectiveness, not all students use it to their advantage. Rewriting the information over and over allows you to permanently retain it (also explaining why teachers have you write out your notes). USA champion and memory expert, Ron White explained in his article “Repetition and Reinformation,” how it’s a terrific method of memorization. It is sure to help imprint your notes in your brain.
“When I study, I use flashcards,” sophomore Will Moser said. “Then, I’ll write the word and definition side by side and over and over until I can’t forget it which makes things much easier.”
A common scenario that is sure to enrage all students is mixing up two similar answers. To avoid this frustrating situation, try the “mapping method.” Take history for example: you have two similarly named events. Memorize key points that’ll help you distinguish one from the other such as a specific detail about the event, a rhyme, or important phrases. This method could also help you with matching definitions for English or formulas for algebra.
“I use this method for studying different characters in Japanese,” sophomore Darren Johnson said. “This method helps because I only remember how to draw one character, and the meanings of the rest, and it makes it easier to memorize.”
Some students learn better when comparing their notes and questions to other students. Before resorting to Google, try looking on the school’s CircleIn (this is an app where students can ask questions and receive notes), Quizlet, or Kahoot. Youtube is also a popular platform that students should be using to their advantage as with numerous video tutorials. These sources have different interpretations and structures which provide many options.
“When I’m still confused on my notes, I will try to find a video or two on Youtube,” sophomore Ben Boyle said. “I also often use it to find music to listen to while I study.”
Some students can’t bare the idea of staying in one place and staring at their notes for hours on end. To make the experience less daunting, divide your notes into sections. Before the big test, take your time to focus on a specific section of your notes, then focus on another. Doing a “study marathon” would only make your mind feel scrambled, but the “division method” makes it easier for your mind to comprehend. After taking time to look over each section, you can have a friend test you, refreshing your mind right before. When studying, look for catchy songs about your topic to give you an entertaining way to help memorize with a memorable tune stuck in your head.
“I listen to a song to help me memorize,” sophomore Rio Bartlett said, “When I had to memorize the presidents, I found a song for it.”
No matter what subject your test is for, these methods can successfully help you memorize and focus. Setting achievable goals for yourself helps gain motivation. Remember to study in an organized area, and surround yourself with positive vibes. The most important thing to keep in mind is to not push yourself too hard, try your best and ask if you need help. Grab your pencils, pens and highlighters, it’s time to get an A.