Since I’m currently taking summer courses, I’ve had two midterms in the last month. I’m only taking one course so the load is pretty light but exams still require a great amount of study time. I find that I have a specific routine when it comes to studying that pretty much applies to all the courses I take so I thought I’d share that with you. This time, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite studying tips and tools. Hopefully you can find some new and helpful tips in this post!
My desk is often very messy but It definitely does feel better to study in an organized environment. Having a clutter-free desk makes my mind feel clutter-free as well. It also helps that I can find all the materials I need without having to dig through the piles of stuff on my desk. A nice bright atmosphere is also very important. Other than a room light, it’s also very important to have a bright lamp. Sometimes when I study into the night I like to close my room lights and just have my one lamp open. It makes me feel focused somehow that all the light is focused on my desk.
I need need need to have food around me when I study because I use snacks as short study breaks. I like to bring a basket of snacks (ie. cookies, granola bars, fruits) and put them away from my desk so I can get in a little big of stretching in between. Also because my table is quite small 😛
I always make to-do lists on what chapters I need to read and what not. It’s never good to be wondering what to study next because your mind tends to wander. Having a schedule helps you continue studying for a longer period of time because you can immediately start on the next task after you’ve finished your current one. Staying organized always helps!
Flash Cards & Sticky Notes
These are probably a no brainer but flash cards and sticky notes are a must! I used to never use flash cards because I hated writing more than I needed to but now I pretty much can’t life without them. I like to print out my learning goals for each test, number them, and then make flashcards with notes corresponding to each goal. I make these to highlight the more important material and also as a last-minute easy and fast way to study. As for sticky notes, I use them to write down definitions for vocabulary that I might have missed in my own notes. The notebook I’m using now (from Artbox) has a space on the side where I can write short brief notes. There is where I often put my sticky notes on.
The sticky notes above are neon ones from Daiso and they are my favourite. Since they are slightly translucent, I love using the thin ones to highlight in the textbooks that I want to resell one day. As for the flashcards, I think I got them at my university bookstore but they just have these coloured edges which are great for organizing into chapters/units.
Prior to an exam, I also mark in my notebook which page is what chapter which just makes for easy navigation once you get farther along into the course.
I bought this leather catch-all tray from eBay and I take it with me whenever I go out to study. At home I like to set it up on my desk and put in all my tools for studying like my writing instruments, flashcards, and sticky notes. I think this is really great because you can easily find all the stuff you need in one place.
Hopefully these tips weren’t too run of the mill and actually helped you of some sort!