Start the year off strong

Start the year off strong

As all grades are gearing up to return to school, many students are out of practice when it comes to a study routine. Now that I’m starting my fourth and final year of highschool, I have found many different methods of studying. This list is a few of my favorite ways to study, whether it be for a homework assignment or a major exam. 

Everyone can agree that taking notes in class is very important, but people underestimate the importance of how you take notes. In the digital age, many students take notes on a computer or tablet. However, I’ve found that I retain more information when I take written notes. Although it may sound tedious, studies have shown writing out the information you’re learning makes it easier to recall later. Written notes also give you an opportunity to draw a picture of how you view the topic, which can help your memory. Remember your notes do not have to be color coded or written in fancy calligraphy, just as long as you can read them later on. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to get into the groove of studying. This is why it’s important to have a specific time and space to study when you need to. I personally recommend somewhere you associate with school or learning, such as a library or desk. I find it easier to stay focused when I’m not somewhere where I usually relax, like in my bed or on the couch. Time also matters when it comes to when you want to study. Recognize when you feel the most productive and energized during the day. This will be different for everybody, as some like to work earlier in the morning and others late at night. You’ll want to study when you feel the best, which for me is in the evening before 9 p.m. If you’re not a morning person, don’t make yourself get up before class to study because you will most likely be inefficient. Instead, pick a time and place that feels the most comfortable for you. 

Contrary to popular belief, studying shouldn’t only be about memorization and call and response. I find that when I’m focused on memorization rather than achieving a deeper understanding of the material, I’ll forget everything after a few months. This is why I recommend what I call “the tutor method.” The goal of this method is to be able to accurately teach someone who has no knowledge of the subject a lesson in it. You do not have to go out of your way to find somebody either. Helping classmates with problems they are stuck on or even just going through the steps of the material out loud will do. By doing this, you’re actually learning how to apply the information, rather than just memorizing this. Although it does take more time and effort, I found myself much more comfortable when test day rolls around using this method.

Lastly, don’t overdo it. Don’t pull all-nighters or study for hours on end. You are doing more harm than good. Remember to take breaks, listen to music if it helps or even study in a group. It’s easy to get caught up in school work stress, so remember that your needs come first. Reach out for help if you need it because you’re most likely not the only one feeling that way. All that matters is that you just try your best.  

This article originally appeared in The Echo.