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Five Study Hacks to Make the Most of your Precious Time

With the first round of midterms hitting, it’s important to develop a solid studying foundation early on in the semester! Here are some tips for studying. 

1. Take breaks in between! This is by far the most undervalued studying method. While it’s easy to think, if I just buckle down and do this, I can cram in one unit’s worth of material in just 5 hours, it’s not as effective as taking breaks in between studying. Studies have shown that the most effective ratio is 40 minutes of studying to 10 minutes of break.  Anything over 1 and ½ hours is way too long.



2. Use different methods of studying. Draw charts and diagrams, make flashcards, write up study guides, watch informative videos. Studies show that engaging different areas of your brain helps retain memory better.



3. Create a study schedule and stick to it. If you say you’re going to study on Friday night for at least an hour, force yourself to do it. Treat it like you would treat a date (with obviously less excitement, but that’s a given.)



4. Sleep. I’ve lost so, so many points on exams because of careless mistakes due to lack of sleep. Don’t pull an all-nighter the day before the exam. Chances are, your brain probably won’t be able to absorb all the information you throw at it last minute anyways. So don’t even bother; if you’re going to miss that one obscure question that the professor mentions once in class because you didn’t study the chapter on it, at least you’ll be well rested. You can never regret sleep.


5. Don’t be like this guy.





Honestly, not a bad idea.



Don’t worry – it sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes, you need to look at the larger scope of the situation. It’s easy to drown in stress when you’re calculating the minimum score you need to get an A or a B in the class. However, stressing is only going to make it worse. Be relaxed when you take the exam – this is probably one of the hardest things to do, but hopefully this adorable kitten will make it easier.



You’ll do great!

Katrina is a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon majoring in chemical engineering. She loves reading, watching Friends, listening to music, photography, and anything cozy. 
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