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What is studying?

As mid terms approach for some middle and high schoolers and finals approach for college students, many people are preparing to study excessive material and don't know where to begin. Teachers and parents say to study, but what exactly does studying consist of? By definition, studying is "to apply oneself to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or practice" (Dictionary.com). Let's be honest, that doesn't tell us much. So today, I'm going to do my best to help you prepare for studying.

First of all, and most importantly, pay close attention in class so you're aware of the material that will be on your exam.

Study guides: If the teacher or professor provides you with a study guide, don't only know the simple answer to the question. Know details surrounding that topic or the given word. Review the surrounding material until you comfortably understand the concept.

Vocabulary: Some students do not like flashcards or think they're of no use, but personally, I have worked with several students and created a countless amount of flashcards so I strongly believe flashcards are a great help. I think the reason students think flashcards are boring is because they don't use them well. Of course it's boring to look at 75 words and their definitions one right after the other. A more exciting way to use flashcards is if you write the definitions on flashcards and use a sheet of paper with your word bank. Lay all the definitions out, choose a random word, and see how long it takes for you to find the definition among all the definition cards. As you get to the end of the list, this "game" becomes much easier because there are fewer cards to choose from. Once you know a word move on. There is no need to practice something you already know frontwards, backwards, and inside- out.

Group work: Another study suggestion I want to offer is studying in groups. Studying in groups can be distracting if you don't focus on the material and go off talking about your weekend. But it can be so beneficial as well. Ever heard the phrase "two heads are better than one"? It's true. Maybe a peer has a better understanding of something you just can't remember at all? They can help explain it to you step by step. Several people contributing ideas is always better than one person becoming bored studying alone a bunch of material they have no clue about. Time constraints: We all have a certain date for our tests and exams. This can be a hunch if you're involved in extra- curricular activities or sports, and studying a lot of material can be quite overwhelming at times. The solution for this is to divide the work. Divide the material (or chapters) by the number of days you plan to study plus one. The extra day is to go over any material that you may not fully understand. Each day, make sure to go over the designated material or chapters you assigned yourself. No excuses!

Finally, get extra rest the night before the test, eat a healthy filling breakfast, and more importantly, be optimistic. Don't go into a test or exam saying "I know I'm going to fail. I may as well not do it." If you are well- prepared like you should be, go in saying "I've studied this and I'm here to try my best. I know I'll do great." instead.