John Malloy's Study Tips
By: John Cyril Malloy IV
PTS Falconer Contributor
December 11, 2018
1. Write It Down!
All of us will be skimming through study guides this exam season, and the one thing that mustn’t be neglected is the power of a pencil. While you may easily forget important things that you read through over the course of this week, the old-fashioned note taking method of pen and paper boosts memory and the ability to understand concepts and facts. Flashcards are a lifesaver.
2. Don’t Marathon Study
Sit down at a well-organized desk. Do a problem set, read a study guide (while writing down important tidbits), or browse through a powerpoint. After you finish that topic, go to the kitchen and grab a banana, stretch out… do anything except stay sitting down for hours on end. Try and move around every 30 minutes or so. You need brain food and you are 98% water so help yourself to healthy snacks and liquids.
3. Do Yourself A Favor and Put Away the Phone
Phones distract you. Be efficient, cover material, and then look at your phone for a few minutes after a full session of focused studying. If you allow yourself to get immersed in the material, it gets way less difficult to become interested. If you are interested, you WILL remember the important details. According to the BBC, “Researchers found that students sending and receiving messages while studying scored lower test results and were less effective at tasks such as note-taking.” Turn off the music and block out the outside world.
4. Plan It Out
If you have an idea of what you want to study, you can organize deadlines for each topic throughout the study session. Not only will you be able to hit every subject methodically, but you will also feel empowered as you cross each topic off your to-do list.
5. Talk to a Friend - About the Material
If you teach a friend, or merely talk to them, about the American Revolution, solving Newtonian Mechanics problems, or adjusting “for-loops” in code, your brain is forced to retrieve that information. You will remember what you preach.
You NEED to sleep. Not too much more than usual, but not too little either. Anyone will be sated with a solid eight hours of sleep, so aim for that mark. Staying up into the night will just make you a zombie the next day. As you sleep, your brain replays memories so you don’t lose them. This includes studying!!! Your brain will recount everything that you grinded out the days before so you will be prepared for the test. Worst of all, if you neglect sleep, you will be at risk for completely blanking out on the morning of the test. Just rest. This is the easy part.
Give it your all for the next week. We go on break next Tuesday. Relax. We will be alright.