College represents the real world, where distractions come in fancy packages called socials and the time you’re supposed to devote to work or study is eaten up by recreational activities. But so many college students manage to strike a good balance between partying and fun. On top of all that, they have enough time for volunteer work and part time jobs. How do they do it? They probably found their own formula for “work hard, play hard”.
How can you go to all the social events you want to attend and still get consistently high marks in your exams? Here are some tips.
Sharpen Your Memorization Skills
Some people seem to be naturally born with an exceptional memory. You might have seen this in action several times when a classmate or a friend recites back a whole page of information from a book he has just finished reading. Sometimes it’s genetics, but most of the time, it takes practice to develop a photographic memory. If you have good memorization skills to begin with, you can develop this skill yourself.
This skill will come in handy when you’re pre-reviewing for an exam. Pre-reviewing is necessary if you anticipate an essay in your next quiz, but whether the test is multiple choice or not, you still need to read ahead to understand the concept fully. Read a page in your text book and list down all the words you don’t understand. Eliminate the mental noise caused by you asking yourself what a word means or in what context a phrase is being referred to. Once everything is clear, read the page again, speaking out loud if necessary.
The final step is to highlight the sub-headings in the book, or create subheadings yourself. It’s easier to memorize the page if the bulky paragraphs of text are divided into sections. Read and re-read until everything is clear to you. With every pass, you will remember more details, especially if you like what you’re reading. Remember how you used to read your favorite novel and you can repeat the lines to yourself long after you’ve read the book. The same principle applies in memorizing.
Some people say that just memorizing text without understanding it is a bad thing. But I disagree. Discussions happen inside the classroom or in one-on-one sessions with your professor. That’s the time to fully dissect what the text means, and doing this will become easier because you can discuss the topic without opening the book to read it again.
Never Cram for an Exam
Some students have different definitions of what cramming is. Some say they remember more if they study the night before the exam, which makes cramming a useful tool for them. Some students consider studying a week before the exam as cramming, especially if the subject involves a lot of memorization. Whatever your definition of cramming is, don’t do it. The good parties and events have a way of cropping up right when you’re at your busiest, which will distract you from properly studying for an exam.
If you don’t feel comfortable studying ahead of the exam week, you can leisurely read your books on your free time without really trying to memorize anything.
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