Weekly 5: How to mix up your study routine

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We have now turned the corner on the semester. With midterms mostly past, many students may find themselves in a routine. You wake up five minutes before class, rush to school in the moody Utah weather and take notes on your laptop as you scroll through social media updates all the while dreaming of a far-away Christmas. But before Santa Claus can come to town, you’ve got to make it through finals, and changing up study habits now is bound to make it a more jolly experience.

Here are five ways to mix up study routines and find greater academic success by the end of the semester.

1. Power nap

Studying when you can hardly keep your eyes open does you no good. Learn the art of the power nap. Some students find that even 10–15 minutes of letting their mind turn off can give them more energy than an off-campus can of Dr. Pepper. Just make sure to set an alarm or two to wake you up before you lose an afternoon.

2. Have a flavor for each class

Researchers have found that associating a certain flavor with each class may help to trigger memory when taking the test. Choose a class, say American heritage, and find a flavor of gum you can associate with that class, for example, cinnamon. Then, only chew that gum while studying for that class and when you take the test. Your brain will learn to associate the flavor with the terms you’ve learned, and chewing that flavor in the testing center will help spark your memory.

3. Create a practice test with other students

Once you’ve figured out what your teacher’s test question style is, get with a couple of friends and create a practice exam for yourselves. If you each create a test bank of 15 questions you can have a potential full-length practice test to help you study for the exam.

4. Use a collaborating app

You’re always connected with your smart phone, so why not use it to study? Download a flashcard app of your choosing, and start creating a list of key terms for your different classes. Whether Quizelet or Study Blue, these apps help students study smarter and achieve success.

“If you collaborate online it makes it easier,” said Beth Petty, a recreation management major from Raleigh, N.C.

So while walking to campus, or while eating lunch, review these flashcards to help master the key terms associated with class.

5. Take advantage of campus

Sometimes a change of scene is all that’s needed to help freshen up study time. Instead of going home where distractions linger at every corner, try staying on campus and finding a good spot to study.
Nea Bleker, an elementary education major from Keller, Texas, finds a quiet place in the library, with uncomfortable chairs and no cell phone service, a good place to study.
“I want to do my work as quickly as I can, so I’m motivated,” Bleker said of staying on campus until she’s done.
If you’re already a library regular, try going to a different floor in the library or exploring a different building.
Spencer Kelly, a Russian and history major, has found this to be a refreshing change.
“It’s a different environment and different surrounding so it’s not the same old thing every time,” Kelly said.

Using these or other tricks can help students finish off the semester strong and ultimately achieve their goals of academic success.

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