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So You Don't Know How to Study...

Many high schoolers, when faced with an upcoming test, make the statement, "I don't know how to study."

Paige Sheffield

February 25, 2014

So You Don't Know How to Study...
Many high schoolers, when faced with an upcoming test, make the statement, "I don't know how to study." Maybe this is true. Maybe these students have been able to do well without studying in prior classes, or maybe they just haven't found the study methods that work for them. Whatever the problem is, learning how to study is extremely important.

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Here are eight tips on how to study. 1. Strategize How You Study You'll never know if flash cards work for you if you don't try using them. It seems easier to just study (or not study) the way you always have, but this may not be what's most beneficial for you. Some people like making flashcards while others prefer rewriting notes, looking through course books, or having someone quiz them aloud.

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Though studying the way you always have is quicker, learning the best way for you to study is invaluable for your future. 2. Learn How You Learn Some people learn better from lectures while others learn better from projects or reading assignments. Identifying your learning style can also help you determine your studying style.

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If you don't learn well from lectures, watching videos of people talking about economics probably won't help you do well on your big econ test. 3. Collaborate With Classmates No, you're not exactly the same as your classmates, but learning how other people study may give you ideas for yourself. Also, studying in groups or discussing the subject in depth with your friends could increase your understanding of the subject. Another thing that really helps you understand a subject is explaining it to someone else. If one of your classmates needs help with the material at some point during the unit and you understand that section of material, offer to help him or her.
Sure, this would be a while before your test, but being able to explain a concept to someone will increase your confidence and ultimately prepare you for success. 4. Stay Informed One of the key aspects of preparing for a test is making sure you understand the material at the time you learn it. If you don't understand something, ask for help right away rather than waiting until the night before the test to try to learn it. This will save you a lot of stress; you'll be able to focus on reviewing the material instead of spending time trying to learn it all at once. 5. Manage Your Time You'll gain a lot more from studying if you don't check your social media accounts every ten minutes. Of course, it's okay, and even good, to take breaks, but instead of taking breaks every five minutes, allow yourself to take a break every hour. That way, you'll have made significant progress before this break. When you take a break every five minutes, you're not truly giving yourself enough time to understand or remember the information. 6. Remain Rested Yes, it's one of the most cliché statements ever made about test taking; get some sleep before the test. Studying seems so much more important, believe me, I know. But studying is useless if you don't have enough energy to rationally think through problems. When you choose studying over sleeping, you'll probably try to rely on your memory rather than simply thinking through the problem and using the skills you have acquired throughout the unit. Plus, you know you hate getting tests back where you made stupid, obvious mistakes. When you start drifting off, set the books aside and get some rest. 7. Complete the Review Packet Maybe this just seems like more unnecessary work, but the review will give you a sense of what taking the test is like. Some teachers provide reviews that are really similar to the test. Some teachers give out reviews that are absolutely nothing like the test. Either way, the review will get you thinking about the material that will be on the test. At the same time, don't assume that the review includes everything that will be on the test and that you don't need to study anything else. While the review provides a glimpse at the test, it is truly only a glimpse; if you fly through the review, great! That's a good sign. But that doesn't mean you have everything completely mastered. If you struggle with the review, you're not destined to fail, either. Find where you're having issues and focus on those problems for a while. 8. Don't Panic Panicking never really fixes anything. If you worry too much about the test, you won't be able to focus on studying nor will you be able to focus during the test. Remember that this is just a test, and you know this material. You sat through the class, did your homework, and took notes. You will be okay. 9. Don't Rely Entirely on Memory Even if you're great at memorizing things, trying to develop a deep understanding of the material will be much more beneficial than trying to memorize the pages of your textbook. Chances are, your memory will get a little fuzzy during the test. Instead of memorizing the answers to the review packet, work through questions and get adjusted to thinking the way you'll have to think on the test. 8. Focus on YOU Ultimately, studying is about what works for you. What works for your best friend may do nothing for you, and that's okay. Don't think that you have to stay up all night studying because everyone else seems to be. Don't think that you'll fail because you don't go about studying the same way everyone else does. Study the material, get some sleep, and have confidence. There is no "right" way to study; any method that works for you can get you the right answer.

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