Popular Study Systems
Some people find it helpful to use specific study systems in their academic career. One of these study systems has the interesting title and acronym of “M.U.R.D.E.R.”. Another good study system is the Index Study System.
M.U.R.D.E.R. stands for the words mood, understand, recall, digest, expand and review which all represent steps for good studying. Select the right mood or environment to study. Mark what you don’t understand and recall the information that you do. Go back and look over the information not understood in an effort to digest it. If you don’t understand, even after using separate sources, begin to ask questions in an effort to understand. Review the material that you do understand and use the strategies that helped you to learn this material to understand new material.
The Index Study System suggests that you write down questions or words you do not know on index cards. Write the question on one side and the answer on the other. Keep the cards out of order and then try to answer the question on the first card. Sometimes it is a good idea to speak out loud, and to have a friend help you. It is a good idea to carry your cards with you, so you can review them in moments of waiting. Remember that even if you can think of an answer, but cannot explain that answer, you should go back and review that section of your textbook.
Test Review Tools
When it is time to study for a test, it is a good idea for you to create visual aid or other tools that will help you learn and to remember the material. These materials may be used differently for different tests.
You need to
create a study checklist. Know all the material that your teacher will test. Keep notes, assignments, outlines, formulas, vocabulary words and other materials that you have been asked to learn. By coming up with a checklist, you can see what you do and what you do not know. You can manage your time to best address the areas that need more study.
Summarizing your notes or creating concept maps of important ideas and relationships provides another good study tool. Make lists with these summaries, and show relationships between the concepts. The visual aid will help in studying.
It will help some people to read their notes or test onto a cassette or cd, so it can be read back to them. Not everyone likes this style of learning, but for those who do, it works well. Listening to the notes, text or lecture in the background can serve to increase retention of the subject matter.
Many students make
flash cards out of note cards. Put down the words, formulas, definitions, dates and lists that you need to have memorized. Put the question on one side and the answer on the other. Use the flash cards to test your memory. Not every tool works for every person. Figure out which ones best suit your learning style and practice them.
Stress Management
Stress can be a terrible block to student success. Symptoms may show up as physical, mental or social. Your behavior may change for no reason.
In order to manage stress, you must analyze the situations, people and happenings that make demands on your life. Learn to recognize stressors before they happen. It is good to know that having a test during a week a term paper is due will put you under stress. You can prepare for the situation.
Time management is an important component in managing stress. If you have your calendar and your list on the calendar prioritized, it will help you to cope with stress.
One way to manage stress is to
be organized. Analyze your time. Get everything together that you need to accomplish a task. Make sure that the important things are prioritized. If smaller things have to be let go, do it.
See if you can get
control of your environment. See who or what is controlling you, and if you can change it, do so. Get out of the situation for a day or two, if necessary.
Give yourself positive feedback. Make sure that your inner dialog is positive and uplifting. Do not be too hard on yourself. Let yourself know how well you are coping with the situation. Take care of yourself.
Get enough sleep, usually seven to eight hours a night. Take breaks while you study. Get up and walk around. Get some exercise. Make sure that you eat correctly. Watch your caffeine; it can aggravate stress. Be careful about how much sugar and fat you eat.
Learn how to relax. You do not have to be busy every minute, even if you have things to do. Learn how to recharge yourself. Sometimes it helps to relieve stress if you do something for others. Do something you enjoy to get your mind off the stressor.
Learn to recognize stress through your body signals. If you are under a lot of stress, it may help to talk with someone about your problem. This can be a friend, a family member or a mentor. If the stress persists and you cannot get beyond it, it may be time to seek help through the counseling center at your school. Remember that stress affects everyone in different ways. Do not be afraid to ask for help.