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If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Study, Don't Cram!

If you’re one of the millions of students who has trouble studying come finals season, don’t fret.  Every year during finals and midterm season Twitter and Facebook are bombarded with comments like “Drinking coffee to help me stay up and study all night for my 8 a.m. Midterm...I’m screwed.”  It doesn’t have to be like that.  Other students have turned to dangerous prescription drugs such as Adderal and Vyvanse which are used to deal with symptoms of ADD.  It doesn’t have to be like this either. While schools pile the students with mounds and mounds of information, most students are never taught one of the most essential skills of learning: how to study. Help is here so you can pass this finals season without the use of drugs, sleepless nights and excessive coffee. Here is a list of effective and healthy ways to study. 1.            Study in Chunks: Don’t try to study everything at once. Break up the test into sections and chapters and study 30-50 minutes at a time. For best results try to break up the whole test into a week’s worth of studying.

2.            Switch study locations: A change in study locations has been proven to improve retention of information. If you cannot switch locations at least move around the room.

3.            Form study groups:  Study groups are extremely helpful. When you may not be in the mood to study, one of your peers will be there to motivate you. Additionally, when studying in groups, each member usually has his/her own devices to help memorize material, and sharing those can be extremely helpful. Warning: groups are for studying; do not allow the groups to distract you.

4.            Exercise:  Exercise and cardio exercises in particular have been proven to help memory. In addition a little exercise will help take your mind off your work for a little while and help with attention deficit disorders.

5.            Make your study information interesting: One way to help retain knowledge is to create mnemonic devices that relate to something you are interested in, whether it be sports, music or movies. Give the characters names or create a song out of your study information.

6.            Make a schedule: Make a schedule beforehand for all your studying. It is important to adhere to your schedule.  This will allow you to study a few chapters each day of each topic and will help you avoid cramming.

Using any combination of these methods can be very helpful. There are plenty of other methods that may work as well, but cramming the night before should never be one of them. Study hard, stay focused and Good Luck on your finals!

Check out our blog piece, "Not Your Study Buddy."

Information drawn from a Huffington Post study.