As many of you may have figured out from these blog posts, college classes are a bit different then high school classes. In high school, you may have tests for every chapter of the book, and then maybe a final that isn’t worth too much more then all of your other tests. There may have also been cool “buffer” points from homework or easy quizzes that will help maintain your grade. However, in college, much more of your grade is put on the midterms and final, with homework sometimes making little of an impact on the overall grade. Seems scary, huh? This just means that studying for tests (and figuring out what to learn) becomes more important then just cranking out a homework assignment!
The most important thing that I’ve learned about this new class setup is that you really have to understand what type of studying works best for you. I wish I could have written an awesome blog about the cool study spots around campus, like Cassandra or Lyssa, but the truth is that this really doesn’t work for me. I absolutely cannot get studying done outside, or even in the many beautiful libraries on campus. I love all of these places, but I honestly get the most studying done at my dining table in my apartment. I also study in the RTH study lounges a lot, because they have the same quiet and well lit décor that I’m looking for. Basically, I need to be in a quiet, bright place with tons of space and access to food (I eat so much while I’m studying, it’s not even funny). And once I figured that out, studying became much more productive and less distracting.
Another thing I realized about studying, is that practice problems are the best way for me to learn. I can read pages and pages of the textbook, but none of it will make sense without practice. But at the same time, I have friends who can just watch a problem done in lecture and know how to do it. It just depends on what works best for you. And for some classes, like Physics 151, the professor will post old midterms and finals that make for great practice! If these aren’t available, some books have an online edition that comes with the textbook, where you can find example problems.
There are obviously many different techniques to studying for midterms, and you can find some other blog posts about this here. How do you typically study for tests? Do you prefer to study with your friends or alone? Outside or inside? Comment below!