Whenever I had a big exam or assignment due as a student, I usually relaxed and did something fun the night before. I tried to distract myself from obsessing over what was coming and enjoy myself for a few hours.
This might come as a surprise to you. A lot of people cram for tests the night before or pull the “all nighter.” I never found this very effective myself, and recent studies have vindicated my theory. Rereading the same material over and over again or losing sleep the night before the due date are generally poor approaches to studying.
Studying hard is not the same as studying smart. In my years as a classroom teacher, I found that the following strategies seemed to work the best for my students:
- Find a study partner. Two minds are better than one.
- Highlight your notes and textbook by topic, and link your topics to the study guide. Focus on what you need to know.
- Devote a few hours each day to study, but do not lose sleep or neglect to eat or otherwise take care of yourself. Maintain your health and your serenity, and you will do well.
- Do something relaxing the night before. Get plenty of rest.
- For written assignments, revise your work. If you are not happy with your current draft, sleep on it and take it up the next day.
- Study in a quiet place, free from distractions. One thing at a time.
Take school one day at a time, but also think ahead. Pace yourself. You will like the results.
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