Study Smarter

Time sure passed by quickly; summer classes are already approaching us! During this short break between final exams and summer classes, it’s essential to review how to study and prepare for upcoming midterms that will be looming over us in a few weeks time. Remember that besides studying hard, you will also need to study smart.

I used to stress a lot when midterms for summer classes were approaching in such a short period of time. Most often, I would want to relax a little bit beforehand; it was summer, afterall. However, I would unfortunately end up wasting time by procrastinating. This usually resulted in staying up very late to compensate for my loss in time. Evidently, what I got from this was poor efficiency at night, and not enough energy to study the next day.

However, I have come up with three steps that helped me to reduce my stress levels and  achieve a more efficient studying pattern:

1. Face your stress
You are stressed because you have a time constraint, and are now wasting your time worrying and making it worse. What’s not changing is the amount of work that’s sitting there. Start now, and you will have less to deal with in an hour.

2. Make smart selections and smart plans
Make sure that your plans for studying are S.M.A.R.T., by ensuring that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. It’s useful to know exactly what you should be studying. A smart way of going about this is looking over the learning outcomes for the course, and tailoring your studying style to meet the outcomes. This way, you save time by spearheading exactly what it is that you need to study instead of minor information may not be as useful. Lastly, make sure that you prepare an adequate amount of time to study the material. This way, you are not rushing to ineffectively cram the material into your stressed out mind.

3. Take care of yourself
This is one of the smartest things to do during exam periods. “Take care of yourself” involves making sure that you are eating well and sleeping well. Our brains need proper nutrition to function well and, as you read from my experience, bad sleeps are detrimental towards being able to study efficiently.

Above are the three steps that I found to be super useful. They helped me to adapt a thinking pattern that eased the stress, and I am now able to maximize the productivity in a limited period of time. Hopefully they provide aid during stressful times, and good luck to those taking summer classes!