BY: OLIVIA VARNSON
(Gainesville, Ga.) – Final exams are fast approaching. If that is not enough to worry about, there are also the looming due dates of projects, papers, and last-minute quizzes in the weeks leading up to summer break. It can be overwhelming to look at the deadlines from far way and even more difficult to muster up the motivation to dive in and do the work. Luckily, there are scientifically proven methods to studying and staying organized that also leave room for sleeping, eating and relaxation.
First, a planner will come in handy. Some students can make it through an entire semester without needing to be reminded of assignments that need doing. In the last few weeks of school, however, there is no time to make up for missed due dates and bad test grades. It is the final push, and staying on top of things is crucial. A planner can help put things in perspective and prioritize which assignments need to be completed first.
When the time comes to sit down and get to work, staying focused can be a challenge. Studies have shown that caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea keep the brain alert. Cold water can also help in staying awake during all-night study sessions. As important as it is to stay focused, however, it is equally important to take a break. When the mind begins to wander, as it naturally will, get up and take a walk or make a snack. Let the brain relax after a few hours of cramming information. Exercise, such as a light jog or a few squats, can help reenergize the body as well.
Study methods differ from person to person. Some prefer to study in groups while others prefer to work alone. Regardless of preference, the most effective studying happens when it is spaced out rather than saved for the night before an exam. This allows for repetition, which is one of the easiest ways for the brain to memorize information. A planner can also be helpful in scheduling study time in the week leading up to an exam. Not only will it improve the probability of memorization, it will also help prevent the stress of last minute studying. Writing the information down and reading it out loud helps the brain learn information using multiple senses. Many students have studied by pretending they are teaching the information to a class. This method challenges the brain to simplify the information into its most important ideas.
To make the final weeks of the semester a success, plan ahead, develop an effective studying method and remember to take a break every once in a while.