The Chemist: Study Tips
Hey Everyone! I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and a good first week back to work/school. This week, since finals are slowly approaching, we decided to talk about study tips. I hope some of these help you prepare for your last exams of the semester.
I'll give you all 3 of my favorite study tips/habits that have been good to me.
1. Rewrite your notes/Rework the homework.
This is something I try to do on a biweekly basis in general in order to keep up with the class, but you can implement this anytime while preparing for finals. This is good because it gives you an opportunity to really go through and figure out what you remember and understand and what you don't. You get to look over everything you've covered (or just the parts that will be covered on the exam if it's not cumulative) and spend extra time on the material you completely forgot about. Same with reworking your homework. Typically, hopefully, answer keys or practice exams are posted for your classes and if so, give them a go! I tend to focus on old homeworks I didn't do so well on and use the answer key and my textbooks as guides to figure out where I went wrong. Practice exams can be helpful in the same way. They show you the type of material your professor is most interested in, which can help guide how you study. Maybe they're focused on the broad picture and how things relate to each other and not so much that you know every gritty detail about something super specific. Either way, take advantage of these resources.
2. Study in groups.
Group studying is by far my favorite thing to do. Now, there are catches to this...You have to come prepared to study in groups and also choose who you study with wisely. If you don't, then this falls apart. You want to make sure the group of people you've decided to study with aren't people that are completely struggling in class, you want people that have been doing consistently well and maybe one or two people from class that are the superstars. The point of group studying is to actually LEARN something. You want to be able to have a conversation about the material and use each other to work out some of the grey areas that may not have been clearly explained in class. You don't want to get to a study date, unprepared, and can't even answer the questions being asked or join the discussion. You'll be playing catch up and won't benefit fully from that experience. I'd say spend some time studying by yourself and get a list together of the things that are still a little fuzzy and take THAT list to the group to get some help.
3. Study a little at a time.
My final piece of advice when it comes to studying is to do a little at a time. Map out when your finals are and how much material you'll be tested on, then pick days of the week to devout to one or two subjects and go from there until your exams. You do not want to cram, you won't retain the information as well as you could if you did it in smaller increments. Typically, the information builds on itself so start at the beginning and work your way through the material, making connections along the way. Using this method makes studying a little less stressful and you can set mini goals leading up to the exam. You can do things like rewarding yourself to your favorite food after studying 3 chapters of material, or after diligently studying for 4 hours. Set whatever incentive you need to to keep you motivated as long as you get your work done.
Hopefully these tips help you all for your upcoming exams! Don't forget to start studying soon (aka today) if you have exams in the next 2-3 weeks. You don't want to look up and only have 3 days to study. Also don't forget to stay organized while you study - here's my post on that if you need a refresher.
Tweet me some of your own tips that have helped you study! See you next week for Macademics!