How to Adult: STUDYING

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Julya Socoteanu

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When we were little, our parents helped us study every night. Everything was perfectly laid out for us: from step-by-step assignments to clear studying schedules. In middle school, every teacher provided test reviews, we were still reminded to study, and Mom took our phone if we did not complete our homework. Because we were still “Panther cubs”, we had not taken our education into our own “paws”. We were dependant rather than independent. 


Now we are in highschool. Only sympathetic teachers provide reviews, parents are leaving us alone, and grades actually matter. Tests are more intimidating and impactful than ever before. Things look a little different than they did in elementary and middle school. How can we make our education truly our own? How can we tackle the daunting obstacle of studying for tests? 


Take Good Notes

To make your best effort preparing for tests, you have to start at the very beginning. How you take notes when you are first tackling a topic can affect your understanding of the entire unit. Consider taking neater notes, formatting ideas in a way that is easy to read, using colors, and emphasizing terms with different fonts or shapes. Studies prove that writing something in a brighter color makes it easier to remember. Later, go back and read over your notes. Although it is time-consuming, rewriting your notes is helpful too. 


Study in Sections

Do not save everything for last minute! Cramming is not an efficient way to study. It will overload your brain and you will not retain the information. Instead, divide the unit you’re learning into sections. Study one set of information until you have it down, then move on to another. After you’ve mastered the second, combine the two. Considering that this is the most effective way to study, you should plan ahead so that you’ll have time to cover everything well. 


Find a Partner

Every high school student has organized a “study group” that consisted more of hanging out than getting work done. But having one or two other people who can help you study is useful! Make sure it is someone you know you can work well and focus with. Even if this person isn’t your best friend or go-to person to spend time with, that may make them a better study partner. 


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Often, teachers are more than willing to give you extra practice or references to study. They just want to see their students taking initiative. Don’t see asking for extra help or expressing concern about an upcoming test as a negative thing.