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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

As college students, we spend so much of our lives doing work and studying for various quizzes and exams. It can get so tiring. Especially during finals season, the hours on hours of studying can really start to blur together, and it can feel like you’re not retaining anything. Here are some fun and creative study methods that you may or may not have tried before that are meant to make studying a little more tolerable. Some of these may not work for you, so make sure to try new methods and see how you study best!

Write a song or poem

woman listening to music and dancing
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

For math or science especially, all of the figures and numbers can jumble together and make everything more confusing than it already is. Making the information into songs and poems can serve as little tricks to help you when you’re trying to remember a certain equation or formula. You can take an existing melody or create something of your own. Bonus points for rhyming!

Create your own stories

Bridgerton cast posing for Netflix poster

For the humanities or social sciences, you can take the existing facts and spin them into something that’s fun and easier for you to remember. In history, for example, treating an event as a little roleplaying game or TV show episode with characters and plot lines can help you remember what happened and make it more interesting.

Play teacher

college classroom
Photo by Shubham Sharan from Unsplash

Find some friends in the same class (or some willing participants) and act as a teacher, explaining the concepts that you learned and are trying to retain. You’ll better remember the content, and it’ll be easier to apply it when you’re taking your test. 

Make your notes pretty

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

If you’re into art at all, or just enjoy doodling, making your notes pretty can help you enjoy studying– you’ll actually want to look at your notes! Writing also helps with memorization, so spending a little more time making your notes fancy will help you in the long run. 

Treat it like a game show

People sitting at table with laptops and laughing
Photo by Brooke Cagle from Unsplash

Turn the content into a trivia game! Something like Jeopardy or something similar will help make memorization fun. Not only will actually playing help you remember, but making the questions will further cement the information in your mind. This is another one that you can do with friends!


Don’t be afraid to try some new methods! Even if you have something that works for you, it’s always fun to spice school up a little bit.

The most important thing to remember during finals, though, is to take care of yourself first and foremost! Grades are important, but your mental well-being always means more. 

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Gina Jagminas

Illinois '24

Hi! I'm Gina, and I'm a freshman at UIUC. I'm undeclared currently, but looking to go into History or Economics. You can find me hanging out with friends, trying new foods, or watching movies with any free time I have.
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