3 Simple Study Techniques For The Ultimate Procrastinator

3 Simple Study Techniques For The Ultimate Procrastinator

Here's how to ace your finals, even if you just study the night before.

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I have never been one to "chunk" my studying, or in other words, study a week or so before my test or exam to ensure I cover all of the material efficiently, and not stress myself out beyond belief. Even though I wait until the absolute last minute to study, meaning, the night before or even the day of, I still manage to get well over passing grades on my exams. So with finals coming up, I figured that I would share some of my procrastinator study tips to help the other procrastinators out there.

1. Take good notes in class

This is the first step to ensuring academic success in any class. Pay attention in class and take active notes. This doesn't mean jotting down absolutely everything your professor says, but if you're attentive in lecture and write down the very salient points, you'll absorb enough information to build around you basic notes, which also tests your knowledge. On the other hand, if you just sit in class on your phone for the whole hour of lecture, first, you're not getting your money's worth (college is expensive AF), and second, there's absolutely no way you can be successful because you're not absorbing what is being discussed.

After class, review your notes and try to use the information you've absorbed to build around your basic outline of notes. For example, in math classes, a lot of the times the teacher will e-mail the slideshow out to students. Print the slideshow out and take notes around what was on the slide, even looking at different sources if you just don't understand what was on the slideshow. Take advantage of the resources given to you.

2. Think about the material outside of class 

As simple as it sounds, and as weird as it might sound, talk to yourself, friends, family, whoever about what you learned that day in school. I know someone is bound to ask you at some point what you learned that day and don't be afraid to tell them. I personally love hearing about what people have learned, because a lot of times I learn something new too. Also, if you're studying with a group of friends, reteach them the information that you are going to be tested on within the near future.

That doesn't mean getting up and lecturing them for an hour, but giving little tidbits of information to them here or there will help you deeply process whatever information that you need to know. For example, let's say I have a big exam coming up on the American Revolution. I'm studying with friends one day and I tell them a little bit about why exactly the revolution started. Here, I'm not only helping myself deeply process that information, but I'm also teaching my friends something new that they might not have learned before.

3. Test yourself 

So, it's the night before the exam, and you've looked over your notes, retaught some of the information and are feeling pretty good. Now's the time to test what you know. A lot of times, at least for math classes, the university has practice exams online, with the answer key. Take advantage of that! I can't stress enough how much that has helped me improve in my math class this semester, just because the practice exams are eerily similar to the exams (aka they have the same questions a lot of the time). If the class you're studying for doesn't offer practice exams, make your own! Gather with a few people you know from your class, and have each person come out with several different questions, then compile them into a big practice exam that you can all do together.

Not only is that giving you questions based on the way other people think and have reviewed the information, but you're also having the opportunity to discuss information that you may not know with people who probably know the answer. This is my #1 tool to success in school, and it definitely won't hurt to give it a try on your next exam.

I can't stress this enough, your academic success starts in the classroom during the lecture. If you're not paying attention in class, then these study tips probably won't help you. You're also paying a crap load of money to go to college, so go to class and LEARN!

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Transferring To My Dream University Was Harder Than I Expected It To Be

Attending the #1 public university in the nation is not all fun and games.

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Since I was a senior in high school, my goal was always to attend UCLA but back during high school, I did not have the best of grades to get in a freshman admit. I knew I was gonna attend community college so I could see if college was going to be truly the best option for me. After my first semester at my community college, I was jazzed to see where it would take me as I fell in love with school. This drive is what pushed me to work hard so I could get into my dream school. Through constant doubt and fear, I got into every university I had applied to, including UC Berkeley and UCLA.

When I got into UCLA, I cried and was in major disbelief that I had gotten in but felt absolutely blessed to have done so. I was so excited to start this new journey after working three years for it. I was impatiently and annoyingly counting down the days for the day I would move into my dorm.

Once I moved into my dorm, I felt more at home than in my actual home.

During the first week of being there and prior classes starting, I met wonderful people in my dorm building and floor that made me not feel homesick and made me even more excited for the next two years at this institution.

Once classes began, things suddenly became intense and gave me a reality check. Since I began school, everything was taught in a much slower pace than at UCLA. I had to become accustomed to the quarter system used by UCLA and most of the schools in the UC system when all my life I have been in semesters.

Adjusting was not as bad as I thought it would be but it was not the easiest thing I have had to do. This adjustment period also brought extreme stress that made my immune system weaken and I got sick for over a month. It also made me miss the easier coursework from my community college that helped prepare me for the rigorous load I have to endure at UCLA.

It is very common for transfer students to have a rocky first quarter and I thought I was going to be an exception but nope, I am another example to confirm that it is indeed hard.

Although it has been tough first, I am thankful every day that I go to this beautiful and wonderful school. It has changed my life in both good and bad aspects if I am being completely honest but I would not want it any other way.

Sometimes I joke about attending a different university that doesn't have the notoriety that UCLA has but even if I chose a different school, I would still stress about school being tough and would still have to adjust to another institution.

As my first quarter is coming to an end, I want to reflect in all the experiences I have had even if they weren't the best because they have taught me some great lessons so I avoid making the same mistakes. I worked hard to get to where I am and even through this rough time, I will keep my head up with every all-nighter I pull.

Go, Bruins!

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