Study Habits for Finals

University of Washington Student, Dan Laush, Studies for SEO ClassBy: Helen Voelker
A key component to college admissions is having a good GPA.  Here are 10 tips to help raise your GPA (or keep it high) so when it comes time to fill in the blank on your application, you’re feeling good.
1.    Set a Schedule
Most things in life have set times; you have school, extracurricular actives, and hanging out with friends, so why not study time? If you set a schedule for when you’re going to study you’ll be more likely to be productive during that time because you’ll know when it ends.
2.    Have a goal for your study session
Studying for your final test? Set yourself up for success by setting an achievable goal. If your goal is to memorize chapters 3 and 4 rather than 3-10 then your study session will feel much more successful.
3.    Do the hardest assignment first
When looking at your homework for the evening, is there one assignment that sticks out as being the most difficult? Do that assignment first while your brain is fresh. If you wait until the end of the night then your brain will be mush and the assignment will be even harder. Plus, getting it out of the way will be a huge weight off your chest!
4.    Eliminate Distractions
Turn off your cell phone, Facebook, the TV and any other distractions in your workspace.  All they do is a waste of time and prolong the study process. Don’t have the self-control?  A website called Self Control could be helpful. This website blocks email and any websites you put on the “blacklist” for a set period of time.
5.    Make Flashcards
Flashcards are great for memorization. The process of making the flashcards themselves helps because you have to write down all of the information, which is great for information recall. After you’ve made the cards quiz yourself or have a parent or friend quiz you.
6.    Know How You Work Best
Are you a morning person or do you like to stay up late? Do you like studying in bed or do you work better at the kitchen table? It’s important to understand these things about yourself and plan your studying around them. If you don’t study well in groups, then tell your friends “no thanks” when they ask if you want to come to the library. You’ll get more studying done in a timely manner if you recognize the ways you work best and stick to those practices.
7.    Take a Break
When you get home from school the last thing you feel like doing is homework. So don’t. You’ve just been thinking all day long, let your brain take a rest and hit the books after dinner. Oftentimes when we’re on a deadline taking even a few minutes break can seem like too much. However, studies have proven that taking a 5-minute break every hour increases productivity. So, take a load off before you hit the books again!
8.    Get Help
If you’re working on an assignment and you don’t know what a word means, or even where to begin with a problem, don’t just sit there and stare at your text book, get some help.  Ask a parent, friend, or teacher for help or get a tutor for a subject you’re struggling with. That way you can make sure you understand the tough material.
9.    Use Acronyms and Sentences to Memorize
You form acronyms by using each first letter from a group of words to form a new word. This is particularly useful when remembering words in a specified order. An example would be NBA= National Basketball Association. A Sentence is like an acronym; you use the first letter of each word you are trying to remember. Instead of making a new word, though, you use the letters to make a sentence. An example is My Dear Aunt Sally (mathematical order of operations: Multiply and Divide before you Add and Subtract).  These little tricks are very helpful when it comes to testing!
10. Don’t wait until the last minute
Everyone procrastinates. However, you’ll find that if you start studying a little bit each day for the big test you’ll have a better success rate than if you do it all at once. Pulling an all-nighter might sounds like a great idea, but in reality your brain won’t retain the information as well if you’re stuffing it to capacity within a 24-hour time period. Start studying early so you can get that A!
Studying might not always seem like the most fun activity, but as a student it’s an important and inevitable part of your life so you may as well master it! Follow these 10 steps to become a studying pro and get the grades to get in your dream school!


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