Studying

Studying

5 Easy Ways to Master Your Midterms

Congratulations! You’ve reached the halfway point of the halfway point of the semester. Unfortunately as a reward you’re now facing midterm exams. It seems just yesterday you were reading about them on your syllabi, enjoying how far off they seemed. Now, they’re staring you right in the face.

midterms

Not to worry! Midterms aren’t as scary as they may seem. Well, most of them aren’t. There are a few key things you can do to make sure you do well on them and are on the right track to finish out the semester.

Keep Going to Class
Midterms time also happens to be the time when it’s most tempting to skip one or two (or more) classes. Don’t do it. Often the classes leading up to the midterm are full of review material that you’re definitely going to need to know. For those of you who have already been skipping class, now would be a good time to stop skipping, and start studying.

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Study Drug Use on the Rise, Students Don’t Know Risks

Looking around campus, you’re sure to see the signs of finals approaching. More and more students will be spending longer hours studying, using every spare moment to catch up on homework, their jobs, and any outside activities.

prescription drugs

In this stress-filled atmosphere of always having something else to be done, many students turn to quick fixes to help them power through the workload.

These quick fixes often take shape as prescription ADHD medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. Usually the students taking these drugs to help them deal with school haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD, and the number of students taking them has been increasing over the last decade.

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Study Says Students Should Study at Least 2 Hours Daily

How much time do you spend doing homework each night? If your answer is less than two hours, you might want to start studying more until you reach that number.

According to a study from the UK that followed 3,000 students during the past 15 years, students who spend two hours studying each night do better in English, math and science. The study by the United Kingdom’s Department of Education found that studying between two and three hours had the best results for students.

“That’s one of the reasons Indian and Chinese children do better [in school],” said Pam Sammons, an education professor at University of Oxford, about the findings of the study. “They tend to put more time in. It’s to do with your effort as well as your ability.”

So does this mean that you should start studying for 10 hours every day? After all, if a little bit is good, then a lot must be better, right? Well, not exactly.

“What we’re not saying is that everyone should do large amounts, but if we could shift some of those who spend no time or half an hour into [doing] one to two hours [it would be better],” Sammons continued. “One of the reasons private schools results are better is that there’s more expectation of homework.”

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Libraries Swap Stacks of Books for Robotic Retrieval Programs

girls in a libraryWhat do you expect to see when you enter a library on an university campus? Besides dozens of students cramming information into their brains in the hours before an exam, I expect to see thousands upon thousands of books. However, as part of its overhaul of its library, San Francisco State University is going against the norm and has hidden away 75 percent of its books in favor of digitizing its collection.

This school is not alone. In fact, many schools are digitizing their libraries in an effort to make it easier for students to find the volumes they are looking for. At San Francisco State University, the old library was a “rabbits’ warren,” according to the librarian, Deborah Masters. Now, after its “facelift,” the library has put an emphasis on open spaces, more computer and technology available for students’ use, and areas where students can study in groups or grab a coffee in the new cafe.

Some books will remain on display where students can access them on their own. These books will be the ones that are in highest demand, were published recently, or are recommended by a specific department. If a student wants to reach one of the many other books that are not currently on display, he can enter his query in a search engine, which will then cue a robot in another building to retrieve the book and delver it to the student in the library. This entire process is expected to take less than 10 minutes.

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Shmoop Makes Learning More Fun

Shmoop website logoHave you ever wanted to learn about an academic subject – such as literature, economics, Shakespeare, or biology – but did not want to be bored to death as some old professor droned on and on about it? Well have no fear. There’s a new website that will teach you these things while also making you “a better love (of literature, history, life).” It’s called Shmoop.

Shmoop is a website that makes learning and writing more fun and also more relevant for everyone. They do this by reviewing topics that you really care about in a voice that is simple to read and actually pretty funny. They also teach you how to write papers, speak more intelligently in classes, and “make studying less of a snooze-fest.” Sounds like a good thing to me!

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College Students Using Adderall to Study for Exams

It used to be that when a student had a test or a paper coming up, he would start preparing for it weeks in advance. He would find motivation to study from within by wanting to do well in a class, and that motivation alone would be enough to help him stay concentrated and driven during his study sessions.

Flash forward to 2011, and there’s a new factor in students’ studying habits. It’s not what every student does, but many do, include Jared Gabay, a senior at Auburn University. What could this new factor be? Gabay and many other students use a “study drug” to give them a little extra study boost.

“I’m more driven,” said Gabay about how he feels when he takes Adderall, a prescription drug that was created to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. “I don’t focus on anything else [except my studies when I have taken an Adderall]. If I have a paper, that’s all I’m doing. No distractions, no socializing, just on with it.”

Many students on campuses across the nation are using Adderall and other ADHD medications, such as Ritalin, to help them study.

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Knowing Where Your Time Goes is Essential in College

Time management is an issue that many college students struggle with. Personally, I go to class for 15 hours each week, work for 20 hours a week, and sleep for 56 hours each week. However, there are 168 hours in each week (24 hours x 7 days) and I can only account for 91 of them. I have a feeling that many college students can relate to my situation, and although it’s not really a big deal if you cannot count where every single minute of every single day goes, knowing how much time you spend on your daily activities can help you become a better student. Confused? Read on and I’ll explain.

Most college students study about three hours outside of class for every hour they actually spend in a classroom. This means that if you are taking 15 hours in the upcoming semester, you should be studying for 45 hours outside of the classroom. However, if you do not set aside the time for this responsibility, you probably are not going to actually do it.

This scenario can be applied to many other aspects of your life, such as cleaning your dorm room, going to the gym, or holding down a job. For several years I have heard my friends say they cannot hang out because they just don’t have the time. So, in order to keep you from becoming one of those people, try using this Weekly Time Usage List to help you discover that you really do have time to do all of the things you want AND study those 45 hours a week!

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Piazza Takes Study Groups into the Digital Age

Pooja Nath was one of the few women to study engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in India. Since most of her classmates were males, Nath had a hard time finding people to study with.

“Back then, no one owned a laptop, there was no Internet in the dorm rooms,” said Nath. “So everyone in my class would be working in the computer lab together. But all the guys would be communicating with each other, getting help so fast, and I would be on the sidelines just watching.”

This difficult experience during her undergraduate studies prompted Nath to create a website called Piazza. Nath created Piazza in 2009 when she was studying at Stanford Graduate School of Business as a way for students to get help with their studies, even if they can’t find a study group that works for them.

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Best Foods to Eat Before an Exam

You’ve spent all night cramming for your test, and just as you leave for class in the morning, your stomach grumbles, reminding you that it’s time for breakfast. So what do you choose? Perhaps it’s a pack of crackers from a vending machine, or maybe a quick bite of your roommate’s leftovers will do the trick. Don’t just settle for convenience food before a big exam. There are several brain foods out there that will increase your chance of getting that much-needed “A.”

Here’s a list of foods that will keep both your stomach and brain satisfied:

Blueberries: Whether in your oatmeal or yogurt, blueberries are one of the best brain foods. Studies have shown blueberries to improve motor skills in lab rats while also possibly reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

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Use Transparent Language to Become Bilingual

Being bilingual is invaluable in the job market today. Learning a new language can be a really fun process, if you choose the right way to learn. There are many different ways to learn a language: you can spend hours in a classroom, practice with flashcards, or use a language learning software. One of the best new language learning software programs today is Transparent Language.

Transparent Language was founded in 1991. Since then, Transparent Language has helped millions of people learn a new language by using a “declarative first” approach. This means that you learn a language by learning and remembering words, phrases and short sentences. This creates a database of knowledge that you can draw from when you are speaking the language. This also helps you master the vocabulary and use the language in it’s natural context.

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