Written by Aspengrove student Brooke Chapman
After 5 years in an IB school, I have learned multiple skills and study tips that helped me gain confidence in my work and have helped minimize my anxiety during tests and deadlines. These are the study tips that I have found to improve my performance as a student.
Set the Stage
When studying it’s important to find a quiet and calming space you have to yourself. The majority of the time, I find the hardest part of studying is getting the task started. When I have a designated place to study, where my supplies are organized and available to me, this is when I get the best work done. This place can be your desk, kitchen counter, or even a local library. Find what works best for you.
The Exposure Effect
From a visual learner perspective, I find it super useful when things are consciously brought into my set of vision. The main concept being the more exposure, the better familiarized. I find this tip extremely useful when I need to memorize something such as a biology term, a mathematical formula, or even a historical date. I simply write in short form or even just the name of the word, on a sticky note and post it on my mirror. By placing it on your mirror you will familiarize yourself with the term when brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or combing your hair. To take that one step further if you have multiple items you need to memorize try color coordinating, making each subject or category a different color to help mentally organize the information.
Make It Enjoyable
When preparing for a test or when you have tons of homework you need to get done, it can be stressful. Things will build up in your mind and make it seem nearly impossible to complete the tasks. This is why I have found ways to try and make studying more enjoyable, maybe even fun! This can look different from person to person. I like to make myself a nice warm beverage to treat myself. Or I turn it into a game using multiple online sources that can make learning more enjoyable and easier on yourself. My favourites are Quizlet, Khan Academy, and Kahoot. If online sources aren’t your thing, try finding a study buddy who also needs help, going for a walk, and quizzing each other is a great way to learn new material.
The Masters of Note Taking
Note-taking can be a difficult task and can seem kind of boring or even too much information to write down. When I’m studying I like to take 2 different types of notes. Now, this might seem like a lot but it will make sense. I can not emphasize this enough. HANDWRITE YOUR NOTES! Do not type them on your computer.
- During class when the teacher is giving a lecture, doing notes, or talking, take notes. I cannot stress this enough, sometimes without noticing teachers will say the most important or useful things during class and if they are not written down, they will be forgotten. These notes don’t need to be pretty just yet and they do not need to be every single word, just enough to lodge the idea in your mind.
- Go home and make those notes pretty! Take the textbook, or online videos as well as the notes you took in class and rewrite them to your liking. Make them pretty, fun, and readable. I like to use colors and different sizes in my fonts to emphasize different parts. Make visual doodles, make things fun to look at, make them memorable.
These are some of the most useful study tips that I use and have found work the best for me. I hope that these will be useful to you in your coming years of studying.