Say Goodbye to Cram Fests

School is back in session and it’s time to return to the all too familiar grind! While going to lectures may expose us to main learning concepts, we need to crap open our textbooks to soak in the nitty-gritty details. This, of ouches, can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially when carrying a full course load of detailed-oreintated notes. Here are 5 strategies to help you excel in absorbing and retaining information!

1) Use A Highlighter 

It’s easy to lose track of main ideas when faced with the prospect of long and seemingly never-ending readings. Highlight main ideas to distinguish and process the reading material.


2) Talk It Out

They say you haven’t fully learning a concept until you are able to explain it to someone else! Put the books away (temporarily), and try explaining the concept to a friend. Doing so will challenge you to break down the complexity of what you’ve learned and present in it layman’s terms.


3) Making Mind Maps

It’s no surprise that courses typically present over-arching ideas and layered concepts. Throughout the term, create a mind map that visually links and connects various ideas/concepts you are learning. By the end of the term, you’ll have an easier time noticing take-home messages and unifying themes!


4) Post a Poster

Difficult nitty-gritty details that you can’t just seem to grasp?! Create a poster that lists out these pesky nuggets of knowledge, and put it in a spot that you’ll encounter many times a day (i.e. desk). Daily glances can do wonders when struggling to nail down details!


5) Test Yourself

It’s not enough to read and re-read lecture slides and textbooks! Challenge yourself through the use of flashcards and mock exams. This will bring “red/yellow light” areas to your notice, helping you target these areas of concern.


by Cynthia Naslund

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