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Massive List of Study Tips

Tips, tricks, strategies and hacks for effective study.


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Before going off to college, my dad gave me a tip. "Treat it like a job. Hit the books Monday through Friday 9-5. Work in the library, not your room or apartment. Don't miss a class. Work ahead during that 40 hours." I followed his advice to the letter. I never had to pull an all-nighter. I didn't have to cram for exams. I never got very stressed, despite attending a competitive school and completing a difficult major.
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45 months old
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Take great notes. This means writing it in a way that you understand and in a way that you would explain it to someone else.
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45 months old
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Be consistent with your work. 5 hours of study is much better over 10 sessions than one.
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45 months old
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If you listen to music when studying, listen to something that doesn't have words in it.
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45 months old
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Do not multi-task while studying. You can not do it. No one can.
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45 months old
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Treat school like it's a job. If you have another job (I think I've had one for all my years of university, give or take), then try to work your schedule so that you still get all your studying done at school. This may require studying in the library on the weekends. If at all possible, don't take your work home with you.
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45 months old
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Get enough sleep. Seriously. Prioritize that shit.
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45 months old
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Create mnemonics for things you have to memorise, if you can make yourself laugh with it, all the better.
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45 months old
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Ask questions in class.
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45 months old
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This might not seem like a big factor but it is: sit in the front row in class.
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45 months old
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When studying for an impending test, do as many practice tests as you can.
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45 months old
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Use ratemyprofessor.com to find good professors. If I had an option I would always choose the professor who was highly ranked because good professors correlate with how much you will gain from a course.
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45 months old
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Get plenty of sleep. You need rest to succeed and take in the information.
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45 months old
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Be sure you go to class every day. Being there and being involved in the topic helps you remember things better.
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45 months old
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When you think you understand a concept, try to explain it to yourself in your head. I try to imagine how I'd explain it to reddit if someone was asking me a question about the topic.
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45 months old
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If you are stressing about exams, about 30 minutes before they start get a piece of paper and write down everything you are worried about. This will help you enter the exam with a clear head.
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45 months old
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Just go to class. It's all I ever needed. Skip class, that's when you start to fuck up.
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45 months old
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Figure out how you study best. Some people like short study sessions, some people like longer study sessions.
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45 months old
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Depending on your major, work on applying the concepts you learn in class to real world situations. I was a poli sci major in undergrad (now law student. Top of the class in undergrad, now near the top in law school), and I'd constantly be watching the news or reading the newspaper, looking for examples of the theories and concepts I was studying. Very helpful for shit to talk about in seminars.
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45 months old
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Don't study when under the influence of a substance. Always study with a clear head.
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45 months old
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This one is pretty personal and I know it doesn't work for everyone. But I take notes by hand. When you're sitting in a lecture while the prof is lecturing a mile a minute, you're forced to very quickly synthesize what they're saying and extract the important parts in order to keep up. I found when I tried typing notes I'd just be typing what the prof said verbatim--I wasn't synthesizing or absorbing anything. Handwriting notes has been a godsend. Plus it forces you to review and re-organize them when making study notes for the exam.
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45 months old
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Make yourself a study schedule and stick to it.
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45 months old
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Review whatever you did in class that day like you were studying for a quiz on it tomorrow. When test time comes, you will have already learned it once, and it's just a matter of refreshing your memory.
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45 months old
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Don't eat right before your test. Digestion takes a lot of blood away from your brain.
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45 months old
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Be passionate about the subject, choose accordingly.
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45 months old
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Invest a lot of time in memorizing facts (make mind-maps or lists, anything that helps, not more than 6 items per list).
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45 months old
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Know the basics really well, they are your fundament and will make it easiert to understand the sophisticated stuff.
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45 months old
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Read a lot, learn to read fast, learn the lingo.
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45 months old
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Don't bum around, when you assigned time for learning, do it.
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45 months old
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Listen to professors and other students, write down main points of what they discussed.
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45 months old
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Find the right people, some professors can enlighten you within minutes, find the smartest people, they will teach you and they will appreciate a promising apprentice, ask yourself what they do and why they do it.
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45 months old
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Gather ideas, professors aren't interessted in stuff they heard before, they crave innovation, that's why they need you, be creative, critical, bold, try things out, don't think about the outcome.
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45 months old
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Be special, stand out, prepare for discussions, don't try to answer every question, try to answer the hardest question.
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45 months old
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If you get stuck on something, skip it and work something else and it will probably come to you.
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45 months old
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Memories are context specific in nature. The more links you make to relevant knowledge, the better you'll remember it. So, first option is linking it to something else you know well (try to work out how the different things you're studying stick together) but if you can't do that, even just try to apply it to something you know in real life.
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45 months old
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Write down key points on note cards to study.
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45 months old
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Keep away from distractions. Don't study with electronics on or people around you talking, you are less likely to take in the information adequetly.
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45 months old
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Set study targets that you can easily achieve.
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45 months old
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Getting past the first 10 minutes of studying is the hard part. Once you pass that point you will be able to concentrate longer.
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45 months old
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Go talk to the professor during office hours. You will aquire great feedback and learn what you are doing incorrect so that you can improve.
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45 months old
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Caffeine will aid you during test taking. The reason being is that caffeine speeds up body processes and will allow you to recall information more quickly than without caffeine. With this being said, do not take caffeine while you are studying as it also decreases your attention span making it harder to focus on the task at hand.
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45 months old
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List all the concepts you have gone over since the last test.
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45 months old
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Don't cram for exams. If you are studying on a regular basis this isn't necessary. Cramming hurts you because you can't think clearly or take in the information accurately.
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45 months old
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Read ahead so that you can focus on the discussion in class.
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45 months old
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Form a study group.
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45 months old
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Get a dry erase board for solving problems on and hang it in your room.
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45 months old
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Listen to classical music, it helps you concentrate.
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45 months old
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Do not procrastinate. Do the work while its fresh on your mind.
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45 months old
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For test taking, don't drink a lot of fluids 1-2 hours before your test. The body takes about 3 hours to pass fluids, and holding back the urge to pee definitely won't help you on the exam.
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45 months old
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Don't study in your room. Study somewhere that you can focus with no distractions.
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45 months old
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Have a consistent study place, pick one spot and always study there if you can. This will help your routine and help you focus on studying.
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45 months old
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Take breaks when you need to. Don't over do it.
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45 months old
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If you are doing well, keep studying and see how far you can go.
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45 months old
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Tell history like its a story. We all love stories, movies, whatever so if you read the information and talk it out like a story it's easier to remember. It's not just butt loads of information but a fun story about these strange people conquering things.
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45 months old
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Even if you hate the subject, find something about it that interests you and focus on that.
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45 months old
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Consider other factors and your lifestyle choices. Are you prone to depression (not trying to say this is a choice)? How is that affecting your ability to get motivated? What steps could you take to change this? Do you watch too much television? Maybe it is time to make some changes. Assess everything you do and ask yourself seriously, "what is this contributing to my time on this earth? What would I do differently with my time without this thing/activity? Do the pros outweigh the cons of this thing/activity and even if so, is there something else that is even more beneficial (better pro-con ratio)?"
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45 months old
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If you're having a really difficult time focusing on your studies or sitting still, allow yourself to take a five minute break every 15 minutes. This might sound excessive, but you'd still be studying for 40 minutes every hour.
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45 months old
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Get comfortable, but stay off your bed and don't try to lay out. This will just make you tired and not focus.
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45 months old
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If you're reading from a textbook, take your time. There's no need to rush. If you suddenly get an urged to rush, cover all clocks. Unless you need to be somewhere later, then set a timer and don't look at it.
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45 months old
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If you need a break after you've been working for a while, don't just surf the internet for a bit. Go out for a walk, or grab a snack. That way, you'll still be thinking about what you're working on, and it's harder to get completely sidetracked.
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45 months old
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When you're reading in your textbook, highlight important events and write down any vocabulary you may need to know. If you highlight too much, nothing is highlighted.
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45 months old
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If you are given printed version of the course, take notes and don't hesitate to write between the lines as long as it's readable.
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45 months old
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Is it basic stuff like dates or vocabulary? Flash cards then quiz yourself.
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45 months old
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Simple one: plan out your study. It helps you to take responsibility for what you've got to achieve each day.
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45 months old
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Learn to summarize and summarize well. You should be able to summarize ten pages into one.
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45 months old
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Read the chapters or slides of the lecture before you go to class! This way if you still don't understand something after the lecture you know what to focus on.
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45 months old
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When you have that break, I would avoid things like reddit, tv, internet, facebook... Go do something with your hands. Make a drink, do some push ups, play an instrument, tidy the kitchen.
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45 months old
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The best form of study isn't 'cramming'. Keep up to date during the semester. It doesn't take that much effort to do so, and the benefits are that your exam period is far less stressful and you will nearly always get a better result.
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45 months old
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Don't study where you relax. Have a dedicated place (library, desk, coffee shop) so you can have a physical and mental separation between "study" and "relax".
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45 months old
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When taking notes in class or rewriting your notes while studying use different colored pens. It is easier to recall notes because of the different colors.
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45 months old
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For maths, the best thing you could ever do is a lot of practice questions.
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45 months old
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Rewrite your notes before the exam. It really helps lock in the information.
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45 months old
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If you're like me and you're always getting crazy ideas for projects/whatever, have a scrap of paper and if an idea comes, scribble it down, then you can forget about it.
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45 months old
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Use multiple senses while studying. It helps you retain things better. Examples would be to write out your notes while reading them aloud. Then you are saying them with your mouth, hearing them with your ears, writing with your hands, seeing with your eyes.
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45 months old
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Turn off all distractions. I.e: computer.
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45 months old
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It is so easy to think, "Well, I will just get on reddit/facebook/WoW" for a few minutes. If you are going to take a break, don't do something something that is going to completely take you away from studying.
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45 months old
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If you are struggling with staying off reddit/any other website, get cold turkey and set it for an hour. It has helped me quite a lot.
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45 months old
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Put on some music on a very low level. Instrumentals are preferred.
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45 months old
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Don't study in bed. A psych professor in college told me that your bed should be used solely for sleeping and sex. If you start studying in bed then you're going to eventually have trouble sleeping since your brain is associating the bed with activities other than sleep. Sleep is SO important to succeeding in school.
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45 months old
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Get comfortable, but stay off your bed and don't try to lay out. This will just make you tired and not focus.
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45 months old
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If you're reading from a textbook, take your time. There's no need to rush. If you suddenly get an urged to rush, cover all clocks. Unless you need to be somewhere later, then set a timer and don't look at it.
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45 months old
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If you're reading from notes, copy them. Did you type them? Write them out. Did you write them? Type them out if you can. If not and they're not very neat, rewrite them neatly.
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45 months old
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Is it basic stuff like dates or vocabulary? Flash cards then quiz yourself.
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45 months old
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If you like study groups (I personally don't, they usually get off topic or will just not study at all), form one with people you know will actually study.
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45 months old
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See if your roommate or SO will help out if you've made flashcards.
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45 months old
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Flashcards are always a good idea. Have someone help you go over the flashcards with you. I remember a lot of stuff from my anatomy class simply because of the silly hints my hubbie would give me to try and help me guess the answer.
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45 months old
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Take a break after about an hour. I usually take a 15 to 20 minute break, then back at it for an hour.
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45 months old
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When you're reading in your textbook, highlight important events and write down any vocabulary you may need to know. If you highlight too much, nothing is highlighted.
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45 months old
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Read the book. Take notes. Rewrite the notes within 24 hours. Participate in class discussion. Explain the lecture to someone else. Make a study group. Get exercise. Eat decent food.
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45 months old
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Relate the material to yourself somehow. You will create more neural connections if you relate it to your memories, and thus help the information become more entrenched in your brain.
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45 months old
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Active recall. Don't just read your notes. Make flashcards and force yourself to try and remember. If you can't remember it this way you simply don't know it, and how are you going to remember it on the test anyway?
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45 months old
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If you are being forced to memorize something for some BS test that you are ok with forgetting forever make a pneumonic. I don't really recommend a pneumonic for things you want to remember long term, unless you REALLY REALLY think you can remember the pneumonic itself, and how it works (shorter is better in this case i.e. 3-5 letters and remember, relate it to yourself... maybe your Mom's name for example)
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45 months old
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Take breaks. You will operate at a much more efficient level the rest of the time. One hour on, 10 minutes off is a pattern that I have found to be very effective.
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45 months old
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Sleep enough. Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Make sure your body is working at 100%. Remember the body-mind connection.
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45 months old
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Consider other factors and your lifestyle choices. Are you prone to depression (not trying to say this is a choice)? How is that affecting your ability to get motivated? What steps could you take to change this? Do you watch too much television? Maybe it is time to make some changes. Assess everything you do and ask yourself seriously, "what is this contributing to my time on this earth? What would I do differently with my time without this thing/activity? Do the pros outweigh the cons of this thing/activity and even if so, is there something else that is even more beneficial (better pro-con ratio)?"
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45 months old
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When trying to memorise something, write it down in your own words. You'll be able to more easilly recall it.
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33 months old
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Practice good sleepign habits, getting plenty of consistent rest helps you think and learn better.
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45 months old

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