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Author Topic: so overwhelmed
cool87
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How do you guys function for your studies ? Like right now I got a big test that arrives and I have like a whole lot of things to study. I have to study like from 7 am to 10 pm or so or I won't be able to make it really. It's like a huge test and I didn't had time before to start studying for it with all the other homeworks I had. So I'm in a rush of time.

I just feel like so tired. I would like work for three hours and take a break because I'm tired. But when comes like 2 pm I totally loose my motivation. I take small breaks throughout the day but let's say the afternoon work is really less productive and I when comes the end of the day I feel like I can't study anymore, so I stop. But at the same time, I regret that after because I lost some of my time.

So do you guys have any ideas, any tricks ? I feel like as the exam arrives, I will have to spend more and more time at night to study.

[ 10-08-2006, 12:36 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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KittenGoddess
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One of the big things in higher ed is that you MUST work ahead. As silly as it sounds, you've got to block out parts of each day to study for each thing...just like an hour each day to review the notes and readings for each class. And if you do that, you won't feel so pressured when your big test comes up.

I've also had luck with making flash cards to help study for tests (though in recent years I've had very few in class tests -- in my area, we generally have take-home exams or don't have exams at all in favor of final papers). You are reviewing the material as you write it on notecards and then you can review it again more easily with the cards. I'll generally write a question or a term on one side of the card and then fill in the information about it on the back.

Also, notecards allow you to move your studying from one location to another more easily. If you know that you start to drag in the afternoon, then move from your house to a coffee shop or to your campus library. A change of venue can really help.

Allow yourself those breaks without feeling guilty. You've got to take breaks in order to stay sane. In fact, you might even be better to take a few short breaks at shorter intervals. You are only really "learning" material for the first 45 minutes or so...and after that your brain sort of checks out. So maybe study for 45 minutes, then get up and take a brisk 5-minute walk. After three hours or so of that type of cycle, take a longer break...maybe 20-30 minutes. Take a nap, have a meal, make a phone call to a friend...just anything to get your mind completely off your work. That should help make you productive for longer periods of time.

Finally, you may want to consider what time you are really "freshest" for studying. For many years, I studied best at night. So I'd stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning, sleep for 3 hours, and then get back up and study (or take the exam). That worked fine for me for a long time. But now I'm better in the early morning and need a bit more rest. So I'll go to bed really early (like 8 or 9 pm), sleep until 4 or 5 am, and then get up and study or write.

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Sarah Liz

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ASargent42
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Like KittenGoddess said, it is very important to study as you go along. Studying in one big chunk, all day long, can be very hard, because the longer you go at it, the less your brain can digest at a time. If you take a few weeks, and study the information as you learn it, it will become natural, and you won;t have to study as much. Just refresh.

You could also use post-its and write little notes on them, and stick them in places you'll see them (bathroom, fridge, car). That way, whenever you see one, you'll remember the information.

Good Luck on that exam!!

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Amanda
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cool87
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My test is like in 4 days and I have like 12 subjects to study : pharmacology, genetics ....

It's an all new environment so I have to adjust. Normally, when I was in high school, I was way ahead of time but now it's simply impossible. (well it will because possible when I will all be settle down). I'll really try to do that next time, I know how important it is.

But now, I simply don't know what to do. The thing is I'd like to study at night but I would need coffee or I'd become sleepy and nothing would work. Did you need coffee or something like that when you studied at night ?

Also, how many (the least) hours do I need at night ? I normally sleep like 8 hours but I have to cut down a little on those hours in order to be prepared for my test.

[ 10-08-2006, 08:37 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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KittenGoddess
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How many chapters do you have for each of your 12 subjects? Do you have study guides or any other helps? Are you needing to memorize, or is it more application-oriented?

At this point, I'd suggest trying to put in like 1 hour a day on each subject (and maybe an extra half an hour or so on the areas where you are REALLY weak) up to the day of your test. Realistically, that's about the best that you can expect to average. Your best bet is probably to break up that time throughout your day rather than trying to study all of it in one stretch. Try to work in three subjects before breakfast, three subjects between breakfast & lunch, three between lunch & dinner, and three after dinner (or something like that).

Be careful about using coffee or other stimulants to help you stay up. Too much and you may end up jittery or you may not actually retain the things that you are studying. Remember that getting sleepy is your body's way of letting you know that it's time to shut down. So once you really start to get sleepy, it's unlikely that you're going to retain much. Going to sleep and getting however many hours you NEED is better than struggling to stay up.

If you haven't talked to your instructor(s) yet about your concerns, then do that first thing tomorrow. It's better if you know them before the test rather than afterward. They may be able to help you prepare or suggest specific areas to focus on right now.

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Sarah Liz

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cool87
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I have to read my notes for each subjects which are about 20-25 pages each. Not reread all the references. (I had like about 100 pages for each subject so that is a good thing) Except I have to reread about a particular subject which I didn't really understand, I'm all mixed up in it.

But the thing is I have to memorize a awful lot of things like enzymes names and things like that.

I'm afraid I can't talk to a teacher or something like that.

[ 10-08-2006, 09:10 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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KittenGoddess
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Well, were it me...

The very first thing I would do is re-read the area that I didn't understand.

Then I'd do the notecards. Reading over notes is an ok way to go, but if you actually re-write, you'll retain more. Putting them on flash cards will help with the portability and help you break the info into more managable chunks.

For the things you have to memorize, come up with some kind of memory-trick to help. Maybe cute sayings or something like that for the lists.

This should be reasonably managable if you break your studying into chunks rather than trying to sit up and do it all at once. A little here and a little there will help you learn and remember the most possible in the time you have.

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Sarah Liz

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cool87
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'll try that.

Really, thanks a lot KittenGoddess for all the help and tricks you gave me. That's really appreciated.

I just hope I will do okay on my test.

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