You Asked: A complete guide to studying (part 2)
Welcome back, friends! If you didn’t catch our previous post, this two-part guide is meant to cover many of the most important aspects of studying, and really, learning in general.
We thought the popular YouTube channel Crash Course did a fantastic job breaking down the different aspects that contribute to our learning and academic success in a miniseries all about studying. We recommend watching the whole series, but you can definitely start with the areas you feel weakest in and build from there.
Part one of the guide went over taking notes, reading assignments, memory, planning and organization, and concentration and focus. So if those areas interest you, make sure to check out part one.
Why we procrastinate and how to overcome it
Do you feel like you’re caught in a loop, only accomplishing things that seem immediately necessary, never truly experiencing the relief of getting ahead? Lucky for all of us, procrastination is not a personality trait or part of our genetic makeup — it’s something that we have the power to affect. If you’ve experienced chronic or even mild procrastination, you might think that this is just the way you are, but we’re here to tell you there’s hope. Check out this video to learn the motivation equation, how to diagnose the reason for your procrastination, as well as practical advice for facing your motivational challenges head on.
Studying for exams
Exams are a constant in college — even if you’re in a degree that doesn’t test frequently or traditionally, you’ll still encounter enough exams with your general required courses to justify learning the ins and outs of studying. This video will go over where to study, different practice methods for different types of tests, how to ask for help in a way that your instructor will respect you for, and surprisingly enough, when not to study.
Every test, every exam is a new challenge to face, so it’s completely reasonable to experience some fear or anxiety around it. Students experience this in different ways, but if you consistently do better during study sessions and practice tests than the real deal, you might want to look into strategies to overcome test anxiety. In this episode, you’ll learn how anxiety can contribute to issues with memory and recalling information, tips for using your past testing mistakes and difficulties to troubleshoot what went wrong, reframe how you view past failures, and explore how to overcome the three big fears that test takers often experience.
Writing papers and essays
Like tests, essays are another one of those college facts of life, and many students struggle with writing compelling papers. Not only is it a pretty complex process to go from ideas and investigations to a refined piece of writing, but it’s also notoriously difficult to move past the often-cited writer’s block once you’re in it. If you’re noticing a theme in these videos so far, you won’t be surprised to hear that thinking about the task in the right way and breaking up the work into different steps can help streamline this process and keep you from getting stuck to begin with. Highlights from this installment include a super smart tip to reduce the amount of time spent researching your topic, how to use Wikipedia in ways that won’t upset your instructors, and advice for ensuring that your editing process brings you to a well-considered end product that you feel comfortable submitting.
Exercise and learning
When we get stressed or caught up in the day-to-day of school obligations, it can be easy to put off physical activity. But what if I told you that by cutting exercise, you might be missing out on a key learning hack? This final episode makes a compelling case for maintaining or starting an exercise habit, because research is suggesting that a brain in motion will actually learn better. You’ll learn the three ways that exercise contributes to healthy brain function, how to exercise specifically for brain performance and learning, and how to start small.
So there we have it — your complete guide to studying. This is a pretty good starting point for anyone, because while you might get pieces of this here and there, most high schools just don’t cover this stuff. If you have additional questions, you can reach out to us or take advantage of ASU’s academic support resources as well. Happy studying!
A library of helpful advice, tips and answers to questions from students to Sunny.
ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.
Welcome to the Hey Sunny blog – a library of advice for students from Sunny and the team supporting the bot.