Tag Archives: studying

3 Ways To Take The “Dying” Out Of Studying

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It’s finally November; meaning that the first college semester and quarter of school is nearing its end. If you are like me, you may be burnt out from studying for midterms and exams by now. Don’t stress! Here are three of my favorite tricks to making studying more interesting.

1. The Reward System

I learned this studying trick back when I was in elementary school. My parents used to reward me for completing homework assignments with tasty treats like ice cream or cookies. Luckily, I have continued this habit of rewarding myself after completing long studying sessions since I learned this to be a great motivation tool. Assign yourself a certain amount to study and have your reward waiting right beside you! I usually like to reward myself with things I rarely indulge in, such as a nice Starbucks drink or yummy cupcake treat! Or you could try the most infamous studying incentive – the gummy bear tactic.

Gummy Bear Book Reading Study Trick

Photo © Life Cheating

2. Study Buddies

Throughout the past four years that I’ve been in school, I’ve really learned to love study groups! Having study buddies livens up the content that you are studying and you learn more when you study together. In previous study group sessions I’ve had, we like to play different games such as Jeopardy, Fact or Fiction, and Hedbanz. My favorite game is Hedbanz in which we use the actual game Hedbanz but replace the game cards with our flashcards. The objective of the game is for the rest of the players to define the word and the person with the word on their forehead has to guess the correct term that is on their flashcard without ever seeing it. You can mix up the rules so that the players have to explain a concept, event, theory – or whatever it is you are studying for – for you to guess.

Headbandz Study Buddy Group Game

Photo © media cache

3. Study While Working Out

I like to download my professor’s lectures and listen to them while I’m working out. If there is no podcast available, then I like to bring my notes or books and read them while I’m biking or on the elliptical. I’ve noticed that because I’m multitasking by running and reading, I really concentrate on reading the material. It really works for me, so give it a try!

Exercising While Reading And Studying

Photo © Top 10 Workouts

Hope my three tricks for making studying more interesting will help you quickly grasp the material while also having a bit more fun. Instead of just sitting and reading the material, try these out.

Good luck with studying this semester!

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25 Favorite Five Minute Study Breaks

Filed under: College Life, Digital Interns, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Study breaks keep the gray matter in your head fresh after long periods of thinking. With that in mind, the BookRenter “Digiterns” (aka Digital Interns) compiled their favorite five minute study breaks (in no particular order). So when you’re feeling the mental burn, take five and be ready to cram even more knowledge into that noggin.

Photo (C) truester

<-- Instead of this, try those (Photo © truester)

Websites

Real Life

  • 5 Minutes of Exercise

Apps

Online Games and Activities

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Everyone Loves a Sing-a-Long – Now in Study Flavor!

Filed under: College Life, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Making the perfect playlist for any situation is an art, and a playlist to study by is no exception. However, there are all kinds of conflicting data and studies out there telling us what the best kind of music is to improve focus, productivity, and retention. With all of that in mind, we’re testing our own theory; we built a playlist on Spotify of instrumental versions of popular modern songs that are either playing on the radio as we speak or you heard (read: sang) them at karaoke last weekend. No pesky lyrics will distract you when you’re in the zone, but the minute your mind starts to wander, you might really appreciate having a sing-a-long for a line or two.

Picture this: there you are, toiling away, studying for the GRE or the LSAT or the MCAT or…etc. Your mind starts to wander when all of a sudden…BOOM! You realize Sweet Home Alabama is playing in your ears. You start to sing along just to clear your mind for a moment, and then you’re ready to get back to the grind.

Give our list a listen here on Spotify and tell us if our theory worked for you!

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Keeping Cool During the Heat of Finals

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

Finals are the best and worst parts of the term. On the one hand, it means one day closer to freedom (and summer!), but it also means time catching up and cramming is beginning to dwindle. During spring term when the sun is out, the last thing any of us want to do is sit inside and read through our notes and study guides.

The best thing to do is to create a balance between losing our marbles and having a little bit of fun during some well-earned study breaks.

Take a break and play frisbee with some friends! It'll get your endorphins going and help you study. Photo by Nathan Rupert.

The easy answer to making a little time for yourself during the upcoming finals period are things we do every day that may be taken for granted

  1. Go out for coffee with friends and take it on a walk. A walk around campus, or anywhere really, will help to get the blood flowing and reduce stress. The Vitamin D in sunshine will always help to increase your mood.
  2. When you are studying try to take breaks between subjects and items on your to-do-list. Even a fifteen-minute break from a subject will restart the creative juices and allow your brain to catch a little breathing room in between all of the information.
  3. Frisbee and pick-up basketball are perfect ways to relax from studying and stress while also increasing blood flow. The exercise combined with some friendly competition will release endorphins and give you a natural energy boost that just can’t be replicated by coffee after coffee.
  4. Take some time to just lie in the sun if you aren’t feeling athletically inclined. Just as taking a walk will help give you tons of Vitamin D, so too will relaxing in the sun. The Vitamin D will help with rejuvenating your brain and will also help you to return to studying faster. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep.

Overall, the important thing to remember is that you need to fully close the books and turn off the studying part of your brain while you take a break. Reading a magazine or a novel is still a break as long as your brain isn’t working hard to comprehend the material. Getting out of your chair and moving around will also help to make the break that much more rejuvenating.

Good luck with your finals!

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The Importance of Music While Studying

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Stan Whitcomb
Stan is a freshman at Santa Clara University. He is currently undecided, but is leaning towards a major in computer science. He is new to the blogosphere but is a seasoned writer (thanks English class!). In his free time, he likes to Dougie with his hallamtes and he is an avid Frisbee player.

Studying can be hard. It is often boring, tedious, and mind numbing. Lucky for us, music has been linked to increased function in the part of the brain that controls the attention span. With the right music, a student can vastly improve the efficiency of their studying.

That’s right, you can actually accomplish more while listening to the right types of music than you would otherwise. It all comes down to the type of music and your ability to focus and multitask.

Photo by freefoto.com

The type of music you listens to while studying is extremely important. For one, the music cannot be super familiar. If you try to study to your favorite country album or the latest Billboard Top 100, you won’t be very successful because you will be focusing more on the music than on the studying.

The best type of music to listen to while studying is classical music. It has been shown to increase positive cognitive functions while simultaneously being non-attention grabbing. Why is classical music so good to listen to? Because it has no vocals. Words attract your attention just as movement attracts our vision. If you start listening to the lyrics of a song, you stop paying attention to the words the page. So if you need to get a couple hours of reading done, I suggest this playlist or any other classical music playlist (Pandora has some great ones; so does Spotify).

Focus and the ability to multitask play a large role in deciding whether or not you should even listen to music while your are studying. If you cannot adequately complete three or more tasks simultaneously, music may be a detriment to you simply because you will start to focus on it rather than the studying at hand. In the same sense, if you have serious problems bringing yourself to focus on the job at hand, bringing another thing into the picture could fracture your concentration. But, and this is a BIG but, music may also be the answer to the problems you are having. For instance, moderately fast music with no vocals, minimal drums and bass, and calm, relaxing tones will improve your ability to focus on your task rather than occupying your mind. Just don’t blast the music, play it softly. In essence, this background music should be like elevator music, except classier.

So when you are studying for a big test or attempting to write a paper, music can help you stay focused. Just make sure it’s not “We Are Young”by fun. or any other catchy tune that will take you off-task.

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