Something people don’t realize when going into college is how much work you need to put into it. A lot of hype is of the parties and drinking and not so much on the all-nighters, hours in the library and crazy test schedules. However, if you are organized and can get things done..it’s not as bad as it’s cracked up to be. My second semester was hell. I had an exam once every single week so it felt like I was constantly studying. My main way to study back then was note cards. If you right everything down on note cards and quiz yourself until you get it right every time, you’re guaranteed to do well. Make sure you know the answers both ways..so if the answer is on one side and the question is on the other, go through with the questions on the front and then once you got that down, go with the answers facing front. That is if you want to be completely, totally, and 100% ready (unless you have an a-hole teacher that throws in random questions). Note cards are also good because they’re easy to take on the go. If you’re walking to class or waiting in line, you can just whip them out and go through a couple. When I did flash cards I would make the cards 3 nights ahead of time, memorize the first half 2 nights ahead of time and then the night before memorize the second chunk in addition to the first. Although it was hell, it paid off.
This year, though, I’ve taken a new approach to studying. I guess I lost my motivation from that second semester or maybe my summer was just TOO good that I couldn’t seem to snap out of it but I just COULD NOT get myself to study as nearly as much as I did. My exams were less frequent though. The semester before I’d have 3 exams and then a final and now last semester and this semester I’ve had 2 exams then a finals. So, my exams are A LOT less frequent – but that means more material on them. I prefer having less exams and more material, though, because that means less time studying in the long run. So, now, I just write out everything on notebook paper and that usually gets it in my brain if I’m paying attention as I write. Then, I read through it and highlight things I don’t remember. Then, I take those things and rewrite them on another piece of paper and continue the cycle as the list gets shorter and shorter. That’s a lot easier for me to handle since it’s not just looking at flash cards. Writing it out gives me something physically to do. Just make sure if you’re doing that, you’re not mindlessly writing it out because it’ll be a waste. That’s my new approach and it seems to be working. When you’re more social and actually get friends who influence you to do other things than work it’s tough and you gotta find ways to study in a shorter amount of time- hence my new strategy. Just MAKE SURE you study. Everything else will fall into place if you do well in school, it’s SO important.