Last Push: Tips for Studying

I still don’t understand how Rankine ovoid* works, and I have my fluid mechanics final on Monday. I have spent hours and hours to study, but I still cannot do the practice exam. I have gone through the problem sets three times, but I still need to think what steps I should take next to solve the problems.

Are those feelings familiar to you?

*Rankine ovoid, for those of you who are wondering.

The end of another academic year is approaching fast. Some of my friends are done with their finals, and are already home for the summer break. My school is kind of late compared to other schools, since we’ve still got one more week of finals week before summer break officially starts. 
I have told you my plan for the summer, in previous post, which I am excited about. However, this semester has not ended yet, and I still need to study a little bit more.
I sometimes feel too lazy to do anything (studying, reading, whatever), and I have come up with something that will hopefully help you preparing for your finals.
Turn a distraction into a motivation.
It works effectively for me. “If I am done studying this chapter by 3 p.m. today, I will reward myself a nice walk outside for 10 minutes.”
Small bits > big chunk.
Plan to study in small bits: “I will study about chapter A for my class B, until 1. And then I will work on my paper for 1 hour until 2, and continue studying for class B.” The sense of accomplishment that you get from doing small bits is bigger than doing the big chunk of your work. Similarly, setting up specific target for every bit of your time is also really important.
Falling asleep when you are reading your notes? Rewrite them.
Ok, this idea is not really earth-friendly (using more papers? No, no, no). But I like re-writing my notes (specific for engineering/ science courses: redoing the problem sets), and it’s a good way to refresh your memory and keep yourself awake when studying. In addition, you sometimes scribble really fast when you take notes during lectures. Aim to rewrite your notes more legibly, so you can use it later.
My beautiful handwritten notes, haha.
After you are done with your classes, or at the end of the term, compile your important notes/ test papers, and keep it. I start to scan some of my important course notes, since I know that I am going to use it in the future. Bulky notes is so immobile, and files on Dropbox are much easier to ‘carry’ around.
A glass of water, light snacks, and earphone/ ear buds always help.
You don’t want to make up excuses, “Oh, I am going to get some water first,” and then you disappear for one hour because you meet a friend on your way. No. Prepare everything you need around you. Well, except if you need a toilet break.
Turn off your internet, put away your phone/ electronic devices.
Or, you can turn them into your reward after finishing some parts of your studying session. Not during your study time, though. Again, it’s not really earth-friendly, but if there is a course material that is online, I usually just print that out to minimize distractions. In addition, actively writing and reading, and using physical papers, always help.
Hopefully this short list of studying tips will help you. Give the best last push. You have done a good job up to this point, so you only need to finish it beautifully, to make sure you won’t regret the effort you have put into this. Good luck studying! 

6 thoughts on “Last Push: Tips for Studying

  1. Assalamualaikum..Mbak Noor

    Wah mbak, after read your article…jadi teringat waktu kuliah elektro, mirip dah catetan itung-itungannya, hahahaha…

    berhubung mumet, akhirnya aku pindah kuliah, yang gak ada ilmu ngitung seperti itu.

    Salam kenal mbak. keep posting


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