Autumn is here.

Take Notes, Bobcats

By Lauren Jurgemeyer
Blog Content Contributor

Fall is nearly in here!

As of September 23rd, Autumn has begun. The recent rain storms have brought in a cold front that is making the days far more enjoyable. It won’t be long now, Bobcats, until it begins to smell like pumpkin spice and the winter holiday decorations go up on stores. For most of us though, the beginning of Autumn means the fall semester is in full swing. If you haven’t had one already, you are bound to have your first test at some point. Whether the test is for a core-class or as part of your major, it is important to know how to study for different subjects.

As a private tutor for Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC), here are some ways that I find effective in preparing for a test:

Use your resources.

Places like the SLAC and the Math CATS (please note: these are not the only resources) are here to help you. SLAC offers study groups by subject as well as private tutors if you prefer more individual attention. Math CATS are for those of us who struggle with math– Math CATS provides individual assistance as well as study groups.

Take notes using a pen/pencil and paper.

Studying
Soon tests and quizzes will begin, make sure you prepare properly. Photo by Lauren Jurgemeyer.

It is proven that you are more likely to retain information if you write it on paper. While typing may be easier, a computer can become a distraction. For example, you probably shouldn’t be on Twitter or watching Netflix while you are trying to take notes. Notes should be your style. If you want to use bullets, use bullets; if you want to do one of those styles they pushed on you in high school, then use that one. Write in colors, highlight key terms or facts because colors tend to stick in your mind better than plain black-and-white.

Make flashcards for yourself.

This plays into the first point of the handwritten notes– creating flashcards is a great way to review and memorize facts and key terms for an upcoming test or quiz. Repetition is key; don’t try to cram, make the cards early and review them before you go to bed. If you have trouble with handwriting, a great alternative to physical flashcards is Quizlet you just have to be careful to not get distracted on whatever device you are using it on.

Speak the information out loud.

This technique is best for learning and memorizing speeches. I used this method when I took communications and had to present my speeches. It is the same idea as repetition as I mentioned in my previous tip. This is better for auditory learners– you can also record yourself using your phone and replay it repeatedly.

Teach the material

A sign that you know the material is if you can teach it to someone else. Sit down with someone who isn’t in your class and teach/explain to them the concepts. Peer-learning is a great way to develop your study methods.

If these tips don’t help you, reach out to your professor or your T.A. and ask them your questions. Sometimes, your professor just restating a concept will allow it to stick in your head. Good luck on your first round of exams, Bobcats!

Featured illustration by Lauren Jurgemeyer.

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