Exams suck your soul. It’s a fact of life. And studying gets even harder when your subjects are boring, and summer is right around the corner – proof being the GORGEOUS weather outside.
But keep slugging through it! Freedom tastes even sweeter after trying your best at exams.
Here are some tips I actually use to ‘trick’ myself into studying.
1) Keep your homework open on your desk before you go to bed.
This way, it will be the first thing you see when you wake up, and it’s pretty hard to ignore. As an extremely lazy person when it comes to studying, laying out your notes and textbooks ahead of time also rid the obstacle of ‘setting up’ for a long study session, which may deter you from studying. Even if you don’t jump right into your pre-prepared layout, you’ll feel guilty just looking at it….and will be too lazy to put it away. Yes, I can be that lazy.
2) Treat yourself to tea at the beginning and end of study sessions.
It serves as a reward before diving the books, and calms you down, which helps you concentrate. In fact, studies show that drinking black tea relieve stress (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5405686.stm) and other studies prove that green tea does the same, and is healthy for you to boot (http://www.ehow.com/how_4747605_whether-green-tea-relieves-stress.html). By marking the end of the of a study session with tea as well, you can really take your time enjoying the flavours – it will be some of the best tea you ever have.
3) When in doubt, haul your butt to the silent library.
Seeing people around you studying really motivates me into working, so they don’t see how much of a slacker I am. But be warned, this can be a double-edged sword: if you choose the wrong library, you could be distracted by other people’s conversations, the books in the library, or your own friends passing by. That’s why when I am being particularly lazy, I don’t take the chance and go to the strict, silent sections of the libraries.
4) Take brain breaks – but don’t spend them looking at a screen.
When I’m not under pressure, I can study for a max of 50 minutes. So every 50 minutes, I take a brain break – usually to stare out the window, let my mind wander, and play a good song (if it’s really good, then you have to dance. Obvs.) It’s especially important that you don’t spend your brain break looking at a screen, because you’ll most likely start off innocently checking your email and end up on Facebook for hours. Whenever I spend my brain breaks away from screens though, they never last a very long time, and they are still refreshing. I also heard on the radio (100.5 the Peak) that moving for 1 minute every hour improves your overall fitness.
5) Play sad, classical songs.
In my Consumer Behaviour class, we learned that people concentrate better when they listen to sad music rather than happy music. I actually did this before learning this fact in class because I don’t enjoy studying, so sad music seems like an appropriate way to express my feelings. I also remember from a high school Physics class that Classical music is the only genre of music that makes people produce the ‘productive’ brainwaves that help you concentrate. From this class, I also learned that it is not recommended that students study while watching TV since that makes them produce the ‘sleep-time’ brainwaves, and every other genre besides classical makes people produce the ‘action’ brainwaves that make you want to dance, go out with friends, and basically do anything but concentrate. So if your study playlist makes you want to get up and dance, it might be time for a change.
– Shiv 🙂
BONUS TANGENT! Shiv’s study song recommendations.
Check them out if you want some sad, classical songs.
- Groove Armada – Edge Hill
- Vivaldi – Winter
- Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
- Nothing Can be Explained (instrumental) – Bleach Soundtrack
- Joe Hisaishi – Princess Mononoke Symphonic Suite
- Joe Hisaishi – Hana Bi. I really love this song! And Joe Hisaishi is great classical music, it’s a good place to start if you don’t like Classical music (like me). The composer, Joe Hisaishi, does soundtracks for animated movies, so his songs are shorter and are more interesting than most classical. Check him out!