Studying Tips

Maddie Kirk, Writer

21st-century teens have adopted that stressful tendency of cramming. Cramming, as in last minute, refers to allowing work to pile up, leading to stress and light nights. Laguna Blanca’s school schedule means we won’t have the same class day after day, so this allows us to space out our homework. However, we save it for the night before or even on the day of. Along with this, we cram for tests. Cramming, obviously resulting in stress, also results in us not properly retaining and storing information. We need to learn well, but cramming results in us spitting out random words to earn a 100%. 

The American school system puts so much emphasis on grades alone that we forget we’re learning to better ourselves and not just our GPA. It starts with the students. If students can learn for the sake of learning, the school system will begin to mirror the population and hopefully eventually eliminate grades. To do so, follow these helpful tips to learn and hopefully earn A’s across the board. 

Tip #1. Try to begin studying at least three days before the test. This is what is known as the spacing effect in psychology, where we retain information better if we space it out, and obviously, not cram. Out of the three days, if not more, break up the study load. You don’t have to study for more than an hour a day, and you’ll end up retaining the information better and become less stressed.

Tip #2. Take breaks. Taking breaks in between study is shown to be very beneficial. With the information we just retained, we let it resonate with us by taking breaks rather than getting overwhelmed with information. However, if you have to cram for a test the night before, take one break that consists of a 20-minute nap, or study before bed. With the information you just studied and then sleep, you’re brain processes and think about all those words throughout the night, showing better retention in the morning and hopefully on the test that follows. 

Tip #3. Utilize your free periods. At Laguna Blanca, we thankfully have free periods to get work done in. Many students use this time to socialize, go off campus, or get an extended lunch. But if you have homework and a free period, do your homework. After school, you won’t have to worry about hours of homework and hopefully you can get an extra hour or two of sleep!

With these tips, hopefully, you can not only reduce stress but actually retain information for yourself and not just for the sake of your grades.

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