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Mental Health Resources

Test taking strategies

Good Study habits will help alleviate anxiety

Maximize your study time with these resources. 

  1. What kind of learner are you? 
  2. Staying focused
  3. Strategic reading
  4. Improving memory 
  5. Time management
1. What kind of learner are you? 
2. How to stay focused
  • Get organized with a short to-do list
  • Silence alerts and keep open Internet tabs to a minimum
  • Make sure to eat!
  • Find a good spot with a comfortable chair
  • Time yourself
  • Break big projects into small pieces
  • Use music and headphones to cut down noise
  • Study buddy? They can help you stay on track. 
  • Find the best environment for efficient studying
  • Take a minute to breath and focus. Stare out into space for a few minutes before tackling your materials. 
  • Clean up and organize your work space. Clear desk = clear mind
  • Dogs or cats? snuggle!
  • Sleep!
  • Reward yourself for accomplishments
3. Strategic reading
  • Scan the intro and conclusion to focus on arguments, theories and methodologies
  • Select the chapters that focus on the material you need to know. 
  • Skim through chapters to focus on the main ideas
  • Summarize important ideas in your own words after every paragraph
4. Improve your memory

Use SEE - SAY - DO to improve memory

  1. SEE - See the information by reading or watching.
  2. SAY - Put it in your own words, either by writing it down in your own way or saying it out loud, or (better) both.
  3. DO -  Do something interactive with it: if it's a new skill, practice it, and if it's new information, try explaining it to someone else.

1. Study when sleepy. Bedtime stories are for wimps. Instead of reading The Berenstain Bears, try studying for a few minutes right before hitting the hay. During sleep, the brain strengthens new memories, so there's a good chance we'll remember whatever we review right before dozing off. Just try not to bring work into the actual bed, since it can make it harder to get a good night's sleep. And though bedtime is primo study time, it might also help to crack open the books after cracking open those eyes in the A.M. - In the morning, the brain still has lots of room to absorb new Information. 

2.  Space it out. A relatively new learning technique called "spaced repetition" involves breaking up information into small chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time. So don't try to memorize the entire periodic table in one sitting - instead. learn a few rows every day and review each lesson before starting anything new.

3.  Tell a tale. Turning the details you need to remember into a crazy story helps make the information more meaningful. For example, remember the order of mathematic operations PEMDAS this way: Philip (P) wanted to eat (E) his friend Mary (M) but he died (0) from arsenic (AS) poisoning.

4.  Move your butt. Research suggests studying the same stuff in a different place every day makes us less likely to forget that information. That's because, every time we move around (from the library to the coffee shop, or the coffee shop to the toilet seat), we force the brain to form new associations with the same material so it becomes a stronger memory.

5.  Switch it up. Don't stick to one topic; instead, study a bunch of different material in one sitting. This technique helps prepare us to use the right strategy for finding the solution to a problem. For example, doing a bunch of division problems in a row means every time we approach a problem, we know it'll require some division. But doing a series of problems that require multiplication, division, or addition means we have to stop and think about which strategy is best.

6.  Put yourself to the test. Quizzing ourselves may be one of the best ways to prepare for the real deal. And don't worry about breaking a sweat while trying to remember the name of the 37th U.S. president (fyi, it's Nixon): The harder it is to remember a piece of information in practice mode, the more likely we are to remember it in the future.

7. Write it out. Put those third grade penmanship lessons to good use. Research suggests we store information more securely when we write it out by hand than when we type it. Start by recopylng the most Important notes from the semester onto a new sheet of paper.

8. Make me wanna shout. Reading information out loud means mentally storing it in two ways: seeing it and hearing it. We just can't guarantee you won't get thrown out of the library.

Study habits

Check out these books on study habits and skills

If you're deep in a subject you're studying and want to know more, contact one of the librarians. They can help point you to all kinds of relevant and interesting materials. Stay curious!