Study tips with Panhel - Alpha Phi
Balancing university and extracurriculars can be tough and stressful. Alpha Phi has a few study tips to offer for the midterm season that is closely approaching :)
1. Start studying well in advance, cramming is the worst!
Cramming has been proven to increase stress levels and create an anxious environment– one that is hard to study in. It is hard to know what information you are retaining and recall what you just memorized in a short span. Lastly, sleeping improves your procedural memory, and if you are cramming the night before, chances are you're not sleeping!
2. Don’t rely on rereading books and notes, focus more on understanding the concepts
Chances are the exam isn’t going to ask you to explain definitions, rather it will test how you can apply your knowledge. Conceptual learning is crucial to succeeding in university.
3. Create practice problems and test yourself!
Not only does this prepare you for possible questions, but it also causes you to think outside the box. This process increases your automaticity and provides insight into what the actual exam will be like.
4. Stay positive even if you make mistakes
Being positive doesn’t just help your mental health. It is proven that you absorb information faster when you are relaxed. Understand that failure is one building block towards success. If you feel yourself getting discouraged, take a second to relax your body and take a break.
5. Find or make up examples
Learning abstract concepts is useful, but it is much harder to apply that knowledge without an in-depth understanding. Luckily, by finding or making up examples, it is easier to memorize concepts.
6. Write a “To-Do” list the night before to ensure productivity
Sitting at your desk and saying “OK, time to study” is a great ideology, however, it is hard to be productive without direction. By writing out a to-do list, you provide yourself with guidance on what to do. You are able to see directly in front of you what needs to get done alongside deadlines.
7. Join a study group
Studying alone can get lonely and no one is there to hold you accountable. Studying with a study group is beneficial as you are able to spend time with peers while also being productive. Additionally, if you get stumped, rather than giving up, you can ask your peers for help and work through problem sets together.
8. Do not disturb!
I know all too well how distracting my devices can get, especially with how much we use technology now. Texts can come from your phone, iPad, or laptop. Put your phone on “do not disturb” to ensure you do not get distracted and lose your train of thought. Better yet, put your phone in your bag and set a timer to work for a certain amount of time. Take a 5-minute break to check your phone as a reward system.