Sail through Midterms with These Awesome Study Tips

We’re feeling blue, too. Winter is cold and gray (though we’re so happy to finally have some rain!), you still need to find an apartment for next year (yes, the early birds have already locked up the most popular floor plans), it seems like summer will never arrive, and midterms are looming. We can’t help with your seasonal issues, but we can whip you into a fabulous Tandem apartment next year, and has some spiffy study tricks to help you cut corners so you have the time to find the home of your dreams.

1. The Link Method

Let’s start with the basics. The Link Method requires making associations between items in a list and then placing an image with each connection to remember them. In other words, create a strong story by linking items in a list. The images and story associated with the list sets the recall.

2. The Loci Method

Next, head to ancient Rome for the Method of Loci. This method involves mentally associating items in a list with familiar locations. For example, to remember a list, place the objects in your dorm or apartment, or if you’re homesick, your parents’ place.

Another form of the link method, creating a story (the more detailed, the better) and creating a clear path and interaction with the interior’s contents proves most effective. Use positive locations, and apply all the senses, adding color, smell, and texture to the locations and images.

3. The Peg System

When a specific order comes into play, the two-step peg system is the top suggestion. First, link a number or a letter of the alphabet to a word, especially using rhymes or shapes similar to the numbers or letters for easier association. Every time you use the method, use the same list. A list might look like: 1-sun, 2-zoo, 3-bee, 4-tree, 5-jive.

With that list in mind, link the words in the list to what objects need memorization. To remember the second object on the list, think of zoo, and the sentence containing ”zoo” provides the answer.

4. The Image-Name Technique

To remember names of specific individuals, focus on physical aspects of that person. This works well for history or literature courses. For example, think of listing the presidents of the United States, or pairing a person with a specific event or piece of work. Look up a picture of the person in question. Focus on a particular aspect of that person’s appearance.

One example includes associating Shirley Temple with her curly hair. Since curly and Shirley rhyme, it’s one of the easiest memorization techniques.

5. Erase-to-Remember

Willamette University‘s Dr. John Terry advises writing out everything that merits memorization in pencil prior to testing. Once committed concretely to memory, erase that information from the list. At the end of the exercise, your paper will be blank, and your mind full.

6. Keywords

Using keywords helps in learning vocabulary, especially if your GPA suffers from foreign language requirements. Choose a foreign word to memorize, then choose an English (or any other base language) word that sounds similar as your keyword, and finally, create an image that pairs the keyword with the real meaning of the foreign word.

For example, the Spanish word casa — which means house — could be associated with case, so picture a case enclosing a house.

7. Mind Maps

Drawing mind maps easily and clearly organizes and condenses information. Working especially well for understanding chapters in a textbook, draw the main heading at the center, and use the subheadings as offshoots. Then, important details shoot off from those.

8. Chunking

This technique involves breaking down or clustering information. Take a large piece of information, and reduce it into smaller subcategories. For instance, if you needed to remember a large number, say 780,592, you’d break it into 78-05-92. You’ll retain information longer with this process, as well.

9. Acronyms

One of the simplest ways to remember processes or parts of a larger picture, use the first letter of each word to make one long acronym. Remember ROYGBIV?

10. Acrostics

An acrostic takes an acronym to the next step. Instead of simply using the first letter, an acrostic takes the first letter of each word to form a poem or sentence that points to the real words. Think elementary math or guitar lines: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction) and Every Good Boy Does Fine (E, G, B, D, F).

For 10 more awesome study habits, please visit the link above.


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