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Study smarter, not harder

With exams quickly approaching, students everywhere are hitting the books in the hopes of cramming a semester’s worth of classes into a few study sessions.

Though procrastinating is never a good idea, there are study methods that work for students pressed for time.

One technique is to summarize information and create an outline of key pieces to look over.

“I guess for the most part I like outlining. I outline the chapters, that’s the best way I study,” said Kristoff Hart, a sophomore music business major.

“Outlining chapters, maybe reading over a couple of sections. Visuals help a lot. If I can relate it back to a more visual subject or relate it to something else other than the actual subject, that’ll help me study.”

For Hart, prioritizing based on a subject’s importance is critical.

“I’m more of a last minute guy. I do it a day before or a couple of days before. It depends on how important the actual subject or exam is to me, I get really busy and if it’s not as important it will get pushed to the back,” he said.

For students like freshman songwriting major Jason Earley, finding a quiet location is essential to being able to focus.

“I spend a lot of time in the library, I like to go there because I can focus and don’t have any distractions. I’m probably more of a procrastinator, but I do study a lot,” said Earley.

Journalism professor Dr. Sybril Bennett advises that students make sure personal needs are met in order to make study time more efficient.

“Meet all your physiological needs, make sure you’ve eaten and have plenty of water,” said Bennett.

“Plan to study during your most productive time of day. Use the Pomodoro technique and focus without interruption for 25 minutes.”

Bennett recommends using a timer to help keep track of time when studying in intervals and avoiding the use of electronics when trying to focus.

For students who listen to music when studying, make sure to avoid songs with lyrics as these can be distracting. Instead, opt for mainly instrumental pieces and make sure the volume is set to a low level.

Though study groups aren’t for everyone, consider studying with a small group when tackling specific subjects. Take breaks often and remember to get plenty of sleep the night before major exams.

-Rachael Foley 

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