Kick off school year with effective studying

Megan Stoerman, Editor-in-Chief

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As the school year starts to pick up and workloads increase, many find themselves struggling to find a study method to help them get ahead in classes and get the best grade possible. The added stresses of preparing for college, taking standardized tests, taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and working outside of school makes many students anxious and worried about excelling. To help ease the stress of finding an effective study method, below is a list of tips and tricks that will aid in the process.

Smart phones can be both a hinderance and added help when studying. They can provide help with making lists with apps such as “Todoist,” allow you to make digital flashcards with “Quizlet,” and even allow digital notetaking with “Bear” and “Evernote.” All of these great applications can be very beneficial, especially with how the world is growing more technological, but cell phones can also be distracting.

Nothing is worse than trying to take notes, study flashcards, type a paper, or even read a textbook and your cell phone keeps distracting you with notifications. Turning cell phones off during hardcore study time is very beneficial and can even help you manage your time better and allow for more time spent hanging out with friends or family.

Flashcards are one of the most well-known yet also most effective study tools. One reason why they are so effective is because they allow for the brain to partake in active recall. Active recall is when the brain actively recalls the information learned instead of just passively remembering the material. Active recall forces the brain to engage with the material and store it away for later use. When flashcards are repeated multiple times, the brain is constantly recalling and storing the correct answer so it will be more accessible for later use on a test.

Carolyn Wilson, senior, also recommends using “review guides for classes like history and biology.”

Study guides provide a place for all the information to be stored for further reference during the studying process and also a handy guide that includes all the content from every chapter. This is especially handy for when finals roll around and it is necessary to know bits and pieces from every single chapter studied. Even though creating study guides does take a bit more time, they are very beneficial in the long-run.

Teaching someone else the material can also be an effective way to study. This is because it makes you know the information completely and in detail in order for you to completely explain the material to another person. Study groups are one place where teaching and going over questions can be the most beneficial. Coming together with a few classmates the night or a few nights before an exam can relieve stress and help answer questions.

When a student has a job outside of school it can get very stressful when laying out how to manage your time wisely. Sarah Tolman, senior, has worked at Culver’s since middle school, is involved in many activities at school, and takes AP classes. She always recommends that you “put school first and even if you only have a bit of time between the two, still use it productively.”

Utilizing these study tips will hopefully lead a lost soul in need of some studying guidance down the correct path. Many of these do require extra time to be built into a night of homework but will drastically help in the end. It is vital to remember though that studying is a learned art. So, next time you pick up your classwork to begin studying for a test try out a new study technique until you find the best ones for you.

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