What? you say. Finals, Aloha? But it’s only December! You’d think that your teachers would have better things to do than give you tests–like bake Christmas cookies or watch anime.
I was shocked too. The education system isn’t everything MLIA makes it out to be. Still haven’t seen a single lightsaber battle, and the most notable thing to happen is probably Toga Day. Or the kids who dress as mariachi singers and come to all the English classrooms during seventh period. But generally speaking, my school’s pretty boring.
Anyway, no cookies and anime for us. Foreign language classes begin exams tomorrow, with the essay portion of our four-part final. The rest of the tests are the week after next (right before Christmas break).
Since I’m off to study for Spanish for the rest of the night, I thought I’d share some of my most effective study tips.
5) Acknowledge that studying will make you smarter, and by extension nerdier. If you guys are anything like me, one of the most powerful motivations for studying is that it elevates you within the nerd community. You know that moment when you’re reading your Chemistry textbook and a Vlogbrothers joke suddenly makes sense, or that Tom Lehrer song you love is actually relevant? I mean, thanks to this song, when my Physics teacher asks the class what a quark is I will stand on my chair and scream, “A QUARK IS A FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUENT OF MATTER OBSERVED IN 1968 THROUGH DEEP ELASTIC SCATTER. WE FOUND THAT PROTONS AREN’T AS SIMPLE AS WE THOUGHT. WE THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE SOLID PARTICLES, BUT THEY WERE NOT. UP, DOWN, STRANGE, CHARM, TOP, BOTTOM. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A QUARK IS, IT DON’T MATTER– YOU STILL GOT ‘EM. AND WITH LEPTONS AND BOSONS, UNLESS SOMETHING’S AMISS, THEY MAKE UP EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN SEE AND THAT WE KNOW EXISTS.”
Or maybe just recite it quietly. I’m working on finishing my memorization. (That’s all I know by heart.)
4) Make a list of everything you need to get done, and then order it from most important to least. If it’s all about the same, it’s a good idea to start with the stuff that’s due at the beginning of the day and work your way up. Check things off as you finish them so you can pace yourself and feel a sense of accomplishment, which can further motivate you.
You can color-code it for more efficiency, but make sure you don’t get distracted and start to doodle with all the pretty markers. Use something impersonal, like a highlighter.
3) Keep your folders organized. The most frustrating thing when you’re working on an assignment is when you need to reference your notes and can’t find them. Have a separate folder or binder for each class, and keep all your notes together (dated and titled so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for). This will also ensure that you never lose assignments or important handouts.
2) Make a motivational music playlist, a punishment “start working or die” playlist, or both. For example, if I’m trying to get myself to start working, I’ll listen to this playlist. It has all the classics: Eye of the Tiger, Ready Steady Go, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, Hyrule Field Theme…
And if I want to punish myself for procrastination, I’ll listen to one or two minutes of this. By the time that’s over, I’m BEGGING myself to let me get back to Algebra.
1) Stay off the internet! Ironic, right, coming from someone who’s blogging instead of reading a textbook? For me, the most important tool for a successful night of studying is managing to cut myself off from the computer, particularly YouTube.
I’ve heard there are some good programs that allow you to control this. One that’s supposed to work really well is LeechBlock, which gives you options to block and allow sites to your schedule.
That’s about it! If you have any other tips, let me know- I could certainly use them. Best of luck on finals… And for those of you struggling for those last couple thousand words for NaNoWriMo tonight, kudos! See you on the other side.