Study Tips For College Exams

Study Tips For College Exams

Because we could all use the help.

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Being a college student can be many things such as fun and exciting, but all students feel stressed about exams at some point. Preparing for tests in college can be difficult because you may not know what to expect from each professor. I find multiple-choice exams easier because the correct answer is right in front of you, all you need to do is find it. On essay-based tests, there is a chance of not understanding the question and you receiving a negative grade all because the test is open-ended. Studying smarter and more worthwhile leads to more academic success than trying to cram for a test the night before. Below are different ways of studying that can help on your next college exam.

1. Flashcards

As elementary as it may seem, flash cards are a good way of memorizing important terms and concepts. They are easy to make out of any kind of paper and add a sense of repetition to a study session. Repetition is a well-known important aspect of learning and improves memory performance. For students of the digital age, there are online versions of flashcards which can just as beneficial.

2. Practice Tests

Taking your study materials and designing your own exam is an excellent studying method. If you can understand what answers come easy for you and what content you struggle with, you will have a better idea of what you need to review a little more. Another factor of this study method is if you try and teach the concepts to another person, whether that be a roommate or a friend. If you can successfully educate someone on the subject you're learning, then you should be comfortable enough with the material to take a test.

3. Study Guide Outline

Many college professors do not give out a study guide like teachers at a high-school level do. It is up to the student what information should be a roadmap to satisfactory test results. The reason making your own study guide is helpful is it gives you a space to break down a bulk of information into simpler concepts and to learn the content more efficiently. Making a list that includes the main points and important terms are crucial when creating your own study guide.


Accurate representation.

All of these studying techniques have a productive impact on learning and show higher levels of engagement with the content. After the first exam in every class, you can gauge how well you do on a particular type of test and which way of studying is best for you. These methods all have beneficial factors that can aid in helping you earn the grade you need to get the degree you want.

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Why You Actually Don't Want To Be Prescribed Adderall

ADD isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
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As I'm writing this, I can feel my concentration slipping. Noises have become enticing, I feel distanced from my phone, and every time someone walks by me in the library, I turn around seeing if it's someone I know. My extended-release Adderall is starting to wear off and my brain is starting to relax back to its natural state. My ADD is climbing out from underneath the blanket of focus I had for 10 hours today.

ADD is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, we get prescribed the precious Adderall so many people want, but at what cost? Let me put this in context for you. You know when you're at the library and there's a one really, really loud girl talking on the phone? You know the one. The girl that, for some reason, thinks it's OK to have a full-fledged conversation with her mom about her boyfriend in the middle of the quiet section. The girl that's talking so loud that it's all you can think about, occupying all of your focus. Well, that's what every single person in the room is like when you have ADD.

Distractions that are easy to ignore to someone without ADD are intensified and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, I'm listening to the girl three seats down from me eat her barbecue kettle chips. When you have ADD, it's not just schoolwork you can't focus on. You can't focus on anything. I tried to watch a foreign film one time without my medicine, and I forgot to pay attention to the subtitles. I realized about halfway through the movie that I had no idea what was going on.

What almost everyone that asks me for my Adderall doesn't understand is that I take Adderall to focus how you would normally. When you take my Adderall you feel like you can solve the world's problems. You can bang out an entire project in one night. You can cram for an entire exam fueled by this surge of motivation that seems super-hero-like.

You take my Adderall and ask me, “Is this how you feel all the time?" And, unfortunately, my answer is no. I'll never feel like a limitless mastermind. When I take Adderall, I become a normal human being. I can finish a normal amount of work, in a normal amount of time.

My brain works in two modes: on Adderall, and off Adderall. On Adderall, I'm attentive, motivated and energetic. Off Adderall, I can barely get up the motivation and focus to clean my room or send an email. And it's frustrating. I'm frustrated with my lack of drive. I'm frustrated that this is how my brain operates. Scattered, spastic and very, very unorganized. There's nothing desirable about not being able to finish a sentence because you lost thought mid-way through.

The worst thing that you can say to anyone with ADD is, “I think I should start taking Adderall." Having ADD isn't a free pass to get super-pills, having ADD means you have a disability. I take Adderall because I have a disability, and it wasn't a choice I had a say in. I was tested for ADD my freshman year of college.

My parents were skeptical because they didn't know exactly what ADD was. To them, the kids with ADD were the bad kids in school that caused a scene and were constantly sent out of class. Not an above average student in her first year at a university. I went to a counselor and, after I was diagnosed with ADD, told me with a straight mouth, “Marissa this is something you're going to have to take for the rest of your life."

When the late-night assignments and cramming for the tests are over, and we're all out in the real world, I'm still going to be taking Adderall. When I'm raising a family and have to take the right kid to the right place for soccer practice, I'm still going be taking Adderall. And when I'm trying to remember the numbers they just said for bingo at my nursing home, I'm still going to be taking Adderall.

So you tell me you're jealous that I get prescribed Adderall? Don't be. I'm jealous that you can drink a cup a coffee and motivate yourself once you lose focus. I'm jealous that the success of your day doesn't depend on whether or not you took a pill that morning. The idea of waking up and performing a full day without my medicine is foreign to me.

My brain works in two modes, and I don't know which one is the right one. I don't know which mode is the one the big man upstairs wants me to operate in. So before you say you want to be prescribed to Adderall, ask yourself if you need and want to operate in two different modes.

Ask yourself if you want to rely on medicine to make your entire life work. If I had a choice, I would choose coffee like the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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10 Ways English Majors Are Figuratively, NOT Literally, Ted Mosby

To write or to read, that is the question all English majors must face when working on homework.

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Rather you're an English major or lit major or a writing major, there are a few things that we all have in common. And if you watched "How I Met Your Mother," you probably related to Ted Mosby more than you wished to.

1. Restraining yourself for correct people's text

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It's you're not your and it irritates me to no end.

2. Not understanding the difference between an English major and an English writing or English literature major

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My friend from another school is an English major and I'm an English writing major. I still don't know what the difference is.

3. Having one grammar rule that you care a lot about

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Whether it be "your vs. you're," "affect vs. effect," or "literally vs. figuratively," there's a good chance you go crazy throughout your day.

4. Writer's block

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Especially because your grade counts on it. Although, it won't be fun when it turns into your job depending on it.

5. Having to write all genres in one class

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Even though you prefer one genre and hate the others.

I don't care for nonfiction tbh.

6. Workshops

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Not your best moments.

7. Knowing how impossible it is to have a favorite book

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It's like picking a favorite child... but worse.

8. Feeling bad when you forget grammar rules

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Are you even an English major???

9. People telling you your major is the easiest one

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I get it, but at the same time, we can have a lot of work to do. We just drown in papers, reading assignments, research projects, presentations and portfolios. I still prefer it to exams and labs.

10. Figuring out life

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Honestly, there's too many things I want to do for a career and I can't pick AND each one is under my major. It is a nice problem to have. But hey I can run away from making a choice until the time comes.

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