It is midterms week, any advice on how to effectively study?
Ironically, my simplest questions are some of the hardest to answer because I feel more inclined to think beyond the surface. With this question in particular, as students, all our lives we have been taught a plethora of ways to efficiently study. Yet, here we all are in college still wondering whether the study guide is going to look exactly like the test.
I believe that studying is indeed all about memorization, but that is not entirely a bad thing. Memorization is just the process of committing something to memory or learning something by heart. It is all about making sure you are allowing yourself enough time to memorize without it seeming as though you are just force-feeding the information. I am infamous for believing that if I study the night before or morning of an exam, the information will somehow be fresh in my memory. This risky method may work for some but for me, it never seemed to be successful because my anxiety from not studying clouds whatever part of my brain my short-term memories reside in.
Take it a day at a time because breaking up your time is essential. It is easier and less overwhelming when you can work on something in intervals. Plan which days you will do what and stick to it. There is always a sense of guilt with living in the moment because we feel like we could be doing more with our time. Do not feel guilty for taking breaks or doing absolutely nothing with that time. I think being present in the now is realizing that, although life consists of due dates and deadlines, you are in full control of how you occupy your precious time.
When you finally find the time or when time finds you, utilize it with things that stimulate you, or give you energy. The hardest part is preparation — planning so that there is less pressure on the future. But, don’t get ahead of yourself. Find a comfortable pace, listen to your body if you are feeling overworked or overwhelmed.
Most importantly, find study habits that work best for you. Every individual may like executing a task in a specific way that is unique to them, so try new things. My go-to study habits are writing out my notes and study beats. I realized I like listening to music when I work but the lyrics can be distracting, so I compromised. Work with the methods that are the most effective for you, so you are comfortable when studying instead of stressed.
P.S. Do not forget to nurture your body with brain food and enough hours of sleep.
P.S.S. Always assume the study guide will be NOTHING like the test.
Best of luck on your midterm,