Five Steps to Effective Study (Or How I Survived a Semester with Math 17 and Gen. Chemistry)

1:42:00 PM

BY LARRY NADORRA


Studying is almost always a bane for anyone, and that’s not just exclusive to students only. We go to school with the hopes of expanding our knowledge and learning new things. But when it comes to assessing what we have learned, we cringe and hope that the tests are easy or when there’s opportunity, we get some extra help (IYKWIM).

We’ve all had our experiences of studying and believe me when I say it’s not the thing we want to do – but we must. As such, I’ve managed to come up with these simple steps patterned after my routine in studying for tedious subjects like biology, chemistry and math (emphasis on college algebra and trigonometry).


1. Determine your goals


Whether it’s to get a passing grade or get the highest score, it always helps to put your mind in perspective on why you’re studying. Try asking yourself, “Why should I study?” or say to yourself “If I don’t pass this subject I would have to do everything all over again.” Having this kind of thinking actually keeps you motivated to study as best that you can. Also, prioritize on having short-term goals first, like studying for a particular quiz and passing it. That makes studying less stressful in the long-run and helps you pass the course bit by bit.


2. Fuel up on energy and get enough rest

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It’s futile to study when you’re so low on energy. I suggest you get ample sleep at night or if not, compensate for the lack of it with a nap before studying. And don’t forget to eat. I particularly discourage eating too much before studying because it tends to make you drowsy later. Based on my personal experience, studying late at night works for me because 1) I’ve eaten supper. 2) I take long naps in the afternoon after lunch and 3) I can’t sleep right away and my brain is super active from 10PM to 12MN. Munching on nuts and drinking water is also recommended when you’re hungry because they don’t leave a mess unlike chips, cake and bread.


3. Prepare everything you need

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Keep your study table organized as much as possible. There’s a certain calmness and assurance to know that your mind is free from all distractions and that will definitely help you focus more while studying. Have your pens in their respective holders and the papers and notes at their proper place so you can easily reach them. Like my grandmother used to say, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”.


4. Review your previous lessons

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Before taking on the more serious topics to study, it is better to scan through the recent notes you made in class. This reinforces the previous lesson and helps to retain it in your mind, making the succeeding topics less difficult to understand. Do take the time to read through every detail of your notes and focus on those which you think need more time in grasping the concept.


5. Give yourself short breaks on regular intervals

A photo posted by Larry Castro Nadorra (@imjustlarry) on

I have very wise grandparents and my grandfather put it so bluntly when he said that studying is torture. So to ease that burden I’ve come up with a system that allows me to maintain my sanity when studying. Take a three to five minute break after every 15 minutes. This refreshes your mind and helps manage all the information that you’re taking in. You may opt to check your social media accounts or browse through 9GAG for some light moments. Don’t take too long though because then you’re mind has wandered off to somewhere else and you forget to study. Set an alarm if you think that might happen.

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Larry Nadorra is a copywriter-turned-zoology student. He plans on becoming a doctor in the future because he believes that you're never too old to fulfill your dreams. Follow him on instagram: @imjustlarry

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Quote of the Day

"Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."
CS Lewis

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