Before exams, examine yourself

Contributions by: Kaylyn Hinz | Staff Reporter

Go somewhere new:

A change of scenery can help you remember more, according to the New York Times. Memory is “colored” by location, so if you study in a strange place you might remember more before that exam.


Get a study group together and get an A. You’ll make new friends, divide and conquer the work load and reinforce those long lectures. Freshman student Gayle Miller likes to study in groups. However, she believes that only four or less should be in a group or else it gets distracting. “It’s okay to study in groups. If you don’t know something then someone else will,” Miller said.

Treat yourself:

Take time out for dinner and relax—your brain needs the break.

Turn down the tunes:

An Applied Cognitive Psychology study in 2010 found that students that listened to music while studying had poor memory recall. Make study time quiet time. But for some students, music helps them concentrate. Student Kristen Williams keeps her mind focused with music playing in the background. “When it’s really quiet in the room, my mind just starts to wander,” said Williams.

Romin Amin tries to concentrate with a particular Pandora station: hip-hop. However when the music becomes too loud, it hurts him more than it helps him. “When I can’t concentrate, I turn the music off because I do get distracted easily,” said Amin.

Although there is a range of different music selections, Marquia Fisher listens to classical music, agreeing that it helps the brain more than any other genre. “If you listen to music, listen to music with no words,” said Fisher.

Andres Cruz-Wellmann | The Signal
Studying hard or hardly studying? Turn off the computer and the music and concentrate on your notes.

Turn off your computer:

Print out notes and grab a highlighter. A Science Direct study found that students spent “study time” surfing the web and checking Facebook. You will have to use the computer for some things, but if you don’t have to, turn it off. One thing students may want to keep the laptop on for is videos that help reinforce lectures and coursework. This is something Mai Tran Le does if she does not understand something. “I watch videos to help me study. YouTube is my best friend,” said Le.

Mix it up: 

Switch up what you are studying so you can stay focused and won’t get bored. Students that cram for just one test at a time may not be remembering everything they need to. Try taking a break from Math and working on English here and there.

Get some rest:

Staying up all night and cramming for your final won’t help you out nearly as much as getting some rest and waking up fresh and early. Research proves that students that are well rested have higher GPA’s.

Mike Eden | The Signal
Student sleeping in the library.

Flash cards: 

If you haven’t used this tried and true method, run to the bookstore and get some note cards. Even just writing down the material reinforces lectures. Flash cards will also be a great addition to that study group you are going to.

Plan for the unexpected: 

Your final is in five minutes and you can’t find a parking space? You can’t find that one scantron in your book bag? Getting an itchy throat the night before your final? You should always plan ahead for the unexpected, especially during finals week.