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Prepping for Prelims

Art by ALISHA JANA R. MORALES
Art by ALISHA JANA R. MORALES

WITH THE exam season just a week away, students are once again buried neck-deep in long quizzes, requirements, and last minute catch ups in readings. It is time to set aside those Netflix series and hit the books. So here are a couple of tips to help you transform the dreaded week into a breeze:

  1. Be attentive in class discussions. Lend your ears to your professor’s lectures and pay very close attention, as they tend to disclose the most important information and hints on the exam content days before the exam.
  2. Always take down notes. In relation to the first tip, sometimes, handouts and PowerPoint presentations miss some important data. So whether or not you have a good memory, make sure you take down notes during discussions too.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It is okay to admit that you do not understand some concepts in the lesson. There is no harm in clarifying a topic with a professor, or asking for a fellow classmate’s help. As the Danish proverb goes, “He who is afraid to ask is ashamed of learning.”
  4. Manage your time properly. It is easy to be sidetracked by the latest buzz on Twitter and Facebook, but your future self will surely be more thankful if, instead, you use your time wisely and follow your plotted schedule of productive activities. Organizing your schedule with planners and to-do lists will help ease your mind and allow you to concentrate on one thing at a time.
  5. Acads before lakads.  Perhaps some of the greater joys in college life are nights out with friends, chats in your favorite coffee shops, or abrupt food trips with them. But you have to get your priorities straight and always bear in mind that discipline is key. Hangout sessions can wait, but exams cannot.
  6. Sleep is also a priority. Going to bed at 2 A.M. and waking up early in the morning will not improve your odds of remembering those math formulas. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation is actually counterproductive as it hinders one’s ability to recall, concentrate, and be alert. So make sure you get at least six to eight hours of sleep to restore your energy.
  7. Take breaks in between subjects. Information overload is not good for your brain either. So after a few hours or so of studying, take some time to drink a cup of coffee, or take a walk or a short music break. It has been scientifically proven that students who take short, rejuvenating breaks often perform better in class.
  8. Find your “comfort zone” when studying. The ideal study zone is different for everyone; some would not mind being around people, while others would rather study in a quiet, isolated corner. The trick is to find yours and stick to it. Some studies suggest cafes and libraries with a distraction-free atmosphere where you can easily delve into and focus on your schoolwork would be perfect.
  9. Motivate yourself. Things are always hard before they get easier, so always begin with the end in mind. Find ways to motivate yourself to do better. Think of the heavy weight that will be lifted from your shoulders when you see that passing grade, or the faces of your family members when they hear the good news. Never forget to give your best in what you do. Have your mind set on a goal and hold on to it. A motivated person is an unstoppable one.
  10. Find the right balance. Balance is essential in managing your academic, extra-curricular, and other responsibilities. Make sure you don’t focus on one and completely disregard another. Your emotional state and physical well-being are just as important as a couple of numbers in your report card. Do not beat yourself up too much, and remember that grades are an indication of what you learned in school, and not your worth as a human being. F ALISHA DANIELLE M. GREGORIO

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