How Do You Prepare?

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By Harry Pearse
Staff Writer

Midterms are in full flow, finals are approaching fast, and it is time to really think about the best way to prepare for these annoying and difficult tests that our lovely professors give us. Every person studies differently when it comes to reciting what you’ve learned over the past few months. What is yours? Do you like to study in the library? Do you like to study while listening to music? Or maybe you like to study when other people are around? Have a think of what gives you the best opportunity to ace these exams.

Harry Pearse studying at one of his favorite spots in the Library: the student incubator on the lower level. Photo: Maxime Devillaz
Harry Pearse studying at one of his favorite spots in the Library: the student incubator on the lower level.
Photo: Maxime Devillaz

If you don’t really have a clue what your most effective studying technique is, then you should be a little worried. However, it isn’t the end of the world! There are a lot of approaches you can try; the most common places people get a lot of work done, and a place in which I am sure and hope you’ve been to, is the library. It is very quiet, most of the time. The tranquility provides a fantastic working environment…it’s where it seems like most people go to do their studies, so it really sets the scene for academics (unless you just go there to people-watch, like myself).

However, because of the library’s popularity with students, there can be a lot of people moving and talking, which means there could potentially be distractions that may take you out of the ‘work zone.’ On the other hand, there are many rooms that can cancel these commotions out of your psyche. For example, there are many rooms downstairs that not many people go to, and there are also quiet rooms in the back where all the books are. Have a look!

Studying at home is always difficult for some people. A few of my friends say that there are way too many temptations, which they would give in to if they were at home. Things such as “Narcos” on Netflix, or anything that is just much more exciting than schoolwork, which, for many of us, is most things, to be perfectly honest!

From my experiences, I can really sympathize with what they are talking about. Although I am probably the biggest hypocrite when it comes to concentrating at home, due to the enticement that “Vampire Dairies” provides, there may be a few things that could help you guys concentrate in your ‘groovy’ place of stay.

For example, tea helps me focus on the many vast academic tasks I have to complete. However, with drinks that have a high content of caffeine, you have to be careful and drink them in moderation.

Although this next part is easier said than done, we have to try and remove all distractions: put your mobile on silent; make sure you don’t have Facebook open on a different tab. We have all been there, when someone texts you and you are in mid thought of a particular stats equation, and you just can’t help but have a peek at who texted, then that peak becomes a reply, and then it becomes a full flowing conversation.

One of the most important things for all of us is to get plenty of sleep! Try to get at least eight hours, which is the standard amount of time to. Although many people can stay up late and wake up early and still function pretty well, I think the majority of us would agree that if we were up preoccupied with shenanigans until the early hours of the morning and then turned up to our quantum statistics midterm, it wouldn’t be the best kind of preparation.

Getting a sleeping routine is extremely important. It will allow your body to get used to what you need to do at certain times of the day. When it comes to revising the theory of relativity at 12:20, you will be able to kick-start that mind for the great task ahead. Make sure it’s not sleep that prevents you from reaching your potential in your classes, because it would be so frustrating. Save your sleepless nights for the weekends!

We need to find the best work environment that works for us, whether it is the library, or the comforts of home. Fingers crossed, once you find this place where you concentrate and work your best, you will start improving your grades.

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