I’m definitely no expert at studying…heck I even have a tattoo that says “C’s GET DEGREES” on it as proof. But I am in the midst of a really insane intensive course that involves a lot of memorization and moves really quickly, and I thought I’d share some of the ways I’m staying afloat in this course. No, actually, not just staying afloat. I’m maintaining about a 95% average in this course.
Here are some things that are working for me:
1. Do all the exercises provided in the textbook and by your instructor. Even if they’re monotonous as hell and you think you know it all, just do them. There’s something about the repetition that really sticks things into your brain.
2. Flashcards. I mean hella flashcards. I allow myself the use of one hundred flash cards per chapter in my textbook. They work really well for me, although I know they’re not for everybody.
Each one of those stacks you can see is for one chapter.
3. Attend class. I mean every time. What? You don’t want to? Yeah, you know what? Nobody really wants to be there. It’s not fun. It’s work and it’s boring and it’s hard and annoying and inconvenient. But going to class gives you that one little edge on the material. You can ask questions and be active in the learning process, which creates connections in your brain and helps with understanding.
4. Read all the material, before the class you’re going to be learning it, if you can. This way you have a grasp on what you will be learning before the instructor starts in on it and you can think of more in-depth connections and questions to ask in class.
5. After class I go over the textbook and take notes on the chapter we just talked about. I write everything relevant out in point form, or in a way that is easier for me to remember and understand.
6. Do not let yourself fall behind. Push yourself.
7. I doodle. A lot. In class and while I’m taking my textbook notes. I re-draw diagrams and write things out in little stupid flowcharts and lists so I can understand them better. It makes things a bit more interesting sometimes.
8. Use fun office supplies if you’re a dork like me, to make it a bit more pretty.
Pro Tip: If your textbook is too heavy and you have no plans on selling it back at the end of the term, just rip the pages out and put them into duo-tangs. Just be really sure about it first!
Double Pro Tip: Get a day planner you love, it’s totally worth it.