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Preparing To Study

Feb 11, 2008
While no one studies the exact same way as another the common link between students can come with preparation. Often times the educator and student as well place the focus on studying the material and information before the big exam, but what about the notes and other materials? Those are just as important if not more so than the actual studying session itself. It sounds funny, but if students will prepare to study the session will go more smoothly and they will get the most out of their allotted study time.

Organize Materials

It does not matter whether a student is the best note taker or smartest in the class. If they are unorganized they will not perform as well on the test and in the class as they could have. Organization is essential in studying, test taking and everyday life for that matter. Taking notes is very important and time consuming so students should ensure that they place their notes in a place where they can find them and also so that they will not get damaged. It is very difficult to study from a coffee stained page of notes or pages that have been thrown in the garbage. How a student organizes is a personal choice, but the key factor is organizing it in a way that is accessible.

Prioritize

Studying is the easiest thing to ditch, after all there are football games on, social events and well even the laundry looks good. Studying often gets put on the back burner and put off until the very last minute, which is not a good idea. First, the student is tired and really doesn't feel like studying at all. Secondly, they are frustrated because now they must cram the information to even hope for a passing grade. Thirdly, there is no possible way to study a months worth of information in an hour or two so many students give up all hope. By prioritizing and scheduling time to study it can eliminate the frustration and impossibility of studying. Cramming the night before has actually shown to be more detrimental than effective or helpful. That is because the information is all jumbled in no particular order therefore confusing and causing anxiety and stress. So prioritize your time and place events and needs in chronological order so that they all get attended too.

Recall

The brain is like a big computer that categorizes, classifies and stores information. When a student is studying or entering information into their "built in" computer the brain has a system of storage. This storage system has to do with what is called recall, or how the person can access the information when they need it, say for a test. The student can help with how the mind stores the information and this in turn helps them remember the information when it is time. Say that a person is studying about roses and the information about roses is stored with what they ate that day, what color their room is and lots of other things that are a part of the person's life. If the student makes the assumption and link between the information about the rose smell and the studied information the brain will likely classify the two together. Now when the student is testing and needs to recall the learned information they can simply remember the smell of the rose and it will likely draw down the necessary information.

Avoid Brain Fatigue

Brain fatigue? Now there is a term that you do not hear everyday, but it is a very possible problem that many students suffer from. If you think about all the information and demands placed on the human body and brain it only makes sense that there could be fatigue involved. The brain can only take so much abuse before it shows some signs of slowing or other memory problems. Students often decrease sleep time for every other need in their life. They miss a couple of hours of sleep for that party that everyone was going too, a few hours to study and then there are work and family obligations. It adds up and in fact most Americans are sleep deprived, which leads to some serious problems. The problems are not only psychological, but also health problems and frequent illness. This causes grades to suffer and makes it more difficult to remember information, recall it and get a good grade.

Preparation for just about anything is important and studying is no different. This process should be taken seriously by the student to ensure that they are getting the most out of their allotted study time. If the two hours that are set aside for studying are spent looking for materials or wasted because of fatigue, the time is a waste.
About the Author
Visit Gene's website College Success for more College Study Skills and information on Becoming a Nursing Student.
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