I was definitely not the most hard-working student, but I did spend quite some time in the library and the learning center when I was in college. I never knew that I had a system for studying until I started this blog. After writing a few posts about organization and time management, I realized there were also steps I followed to get myself ready and help me study. I thought I would share these simple steps (as always) here and maybe it can also help you if you're someone who needs to study for anything.
It's not a surprise by now that I really like planning. By planning ahead, I can get into the mindset that this (studying) is what I will be doing tomorrow. It's very important for me to get ready mentally before I start to make physical plans. After knowing that I will be studying tomorrow, I like to draw a big picture of what time I'm going to study, what subjects/chapters I need to study, and how long I will be studying. Of course, these are just a big idea; they don't have to be very specific and can be flexible as well. When I plan ahead a brief schedule like this, I know very clearly what tasks I have to finish. This way, I wouldn't waste any time on thinking what I should do next while I'm reading something.
Cut out distractions
When it comes to studying, I have to be honest, it's very hard for me to focus on the materials. I get distracted very easily. It's almost impossible for me to study in my own room because you know, my bed it's right over there. I usually have to go to the library or the learning center in my school, so I can concentrate on studying. Also, when I'm in those locations, I'm surrounded by people who are studying as well. The overall atmosphere really helps me concentrate better. Other than location, I also like to play music when I'm studying. I know for some people listening to music while reading is actually distracting, but I'm the opposite. Since I always studying in a public place, I like to use music to block out everything else, such as people walking in and out. Otherwise, I would just be people watching most of the time. However, I can't just listen to anything. I have to listen to music that's not in my first language (which is Mandarin) and not too upbeat, or I would start to sing along with it.
When I study, I can't just read from the textbooks because it's easy for me to skim through the texts without really understanding them. That's why I always take notes. I like to write down the big ideas, main points, and other important things I need to know from each chapter, so it would be easier for me to review the materials before the exams. For the classes where the professors would talk about things that are not in the textbook, I also use this time to review my class notes and combine the ones I took from textbooks. This way, I can keep all the materials I need organized in one place.
So these are some easy steps I follow that help me get ready and study better. There is still almost a month away from the end of the semester. I hope this post can help you study, or at least come up with your own study system, so you can be prepared for the finals.