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Studying 101

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It seems like just yesterday there were “Back to School” supplies in Staples and all we were worrying about was what the weather was going to be like for Homecoming weekend. However, as reality slowly creeps up on us, midterm season *gasp!* is quickly approaching. The first few weeks of class are over, which means no more slacking off. It’s time to get out your credit card and actually start ringing those textbooks through – better late than never!

Balancing assignments with studying is never ending during the school year – your to-do list is probably piling up pretty quickly right about now. This balancing act can be difficult, especially when you’ve been able to relax and kick your feet up all summer.

If you feel like getting a head start (or catching up) on your assignments and prepping for your exams, here are a few helpful tips that can make studying less stressful, informative and maybe even fun:

  • Go to your lectures. Sometimes it’s super tempting to skip class and stay in your cozy bed watching Netflix all day, but listening to and reading the lectures live is a hands-on method to absorb and retain the information more.
  • Manage your time. Give yourself at least one week to study for an exam. This way if you’re unclear on anything, you will have time to actually understand the material and to ask your TA/ professor/ classmates for help.
  • Become acquainted with your professors. This is very important – building a relationship with your professors allows you to stand out from others and builds your confidence. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class, ask questions, and answer their questions as well.
  • Create a study group. It always helps to go over material with friends or classmates. You may have missed an important aspect in regards to one concept, or need some clarification on another.
  • Study Tools:
    • Colourful cue cards. These are useful for studying definitions or diagrams.
    • Smaller sections. Try to break your assignments/essays/projects into sections and set deadlines for them so it’s not too overwhelming. In the words of Henry Ford, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs”.
    • Take clear and concise notes. Nothing worse then getting ready to study before your exam and having no idea what you wrote about. Make sure you write notes that you understand, not just a regurgitation of the professor’s lecture.