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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Columns

Tips and tricks: Staving off study-itis


It is that time again — we are in a finals state of mind, and in some ways, spring finals are worse than winter finals, what with the siren song of hot beaches, theme parks and water parks tempting us away from our studies. The warm weather invites laziness.

Biology sophomore Ammaar Azeem is hard at work studying in the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library. Pro tip: when studying, try to stay organized, keeping papers and handouts in order for easy access. /Mahnoor Samana/The Daily Cougar

Biology sophomore Ammaar Azeem is hard at work studying in the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library. Pro tip: when studying, try to stay organized, keeping papers and handouts in order for easy access. /Mahnoor Samana/The Daily Cougar

I can practically hear your exasperated groans, wishing that first week of May was done with already. Well I’ve been in college a while, and I have a few tips and tricks you can use to stay focussed through the end of finals.

First, study in segments — do not study in long blocks of time. This is especially true if you prefer to cram, like I do. Cramming does not work for everyone, and the long, eight- to 12-hour cram sessions can be intense if you are not used to it. Pace yourselves. It is very difficult to study for long periods of time without losing focus, and even during my long cram sessions, I schedule a 30-minute break every few hours, just so I can make it through the night.

Divide the time during the last week before finals into blocks for each class, with a longer block the night before your exam so you can get one or two glances of everything, just to refresh your memory. If you are taking a heavy class load, it may be more beneficial to match your studying schedule with your exam schedule — study for your last exams first, then your first exams later so the information is fresh, and then after those first exams, go back and study harder.

Also, get organized — before you start to study, come up with a plan of attack. Every class is different, and the emphasis on what and how you should study can differ between them. Plan ahead to save yourself some time and hone your focus.

Finally, it is best to eat light and keep hydrated. It is a good idea to eat before you study; having some food in your belly can help relax you, but overeating will to make you drowsy. Just eat a sandwich and a small bag of chips. Grab a big bottle of water before you get started. Avoid the temptation to grab energy drinks. They just dehydrate you and tempt you to stop what you’re doing to get another drink. Just sip some water to give your brain a breather and keep hydrated.

If you like these tips and want more tips and tricks on studying or on anything else, send me an email at the address below. I would be happy to take my best stab at anything you can throw at me. In the meantime, good luck on the rest of the year and finals.

Aaron Manuel is a print journalism senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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