You beat the pen against your notebook as you continue to stare at that same sentence, that same word, in your notes. Your neat row of highlighters sits untouched. Your textbook remains bleakly unappealing. Sunlight streams through a nearby window, and as you imagine all the things you could be doing instead, you start to resent your notes, your textbook, this class—you assure yourself—you’ll never use again. All of a sudden the room is too hot, too quiet, too cramped, so your mind starts to wander.
Anything to get away from this little, well-known practice called studying.
We all hate studying. I, for one, wish that all I needed to do to ace an exam is sleep with the textbook under my pillow and allow osmosis to soak the knowledge into my brain. Alas, life doesn’t work that way.
The difference between passing and failing a course can be directly determined by the amount of time and energy you place into studying for exams. Cramming might have a positive effect in the short run, but when you need that information later on down the road—say, for another class—then you’ll spend precious extra time simply catching up with everyone else. Instead of trying to perfect the art of procrastination this semester, attempt to master the practice of smart studying.
Whenever someone thinks of studying, they picture the situation described above—a boring, mindless practice that reviews seemingly pointless information for hours on end. But in reality, studying is what you make of it. So make it fun by: