The Best Recipie
Being able to get good grades is a lot like baking a cake; it requires a plan and skills, and self-discipline (to not eat the batter). What I didn’t realize back in Grade 11, was how ill-prepared I was with my study skills. It wasn’t until my math midterm mark came out that I realized something had to change. In this ‘recipe’, I’m going to show you the ingredients I used to improve my grades, and dish out my two secret tricks at the end.
- 1 cup of organization
- 2 cups of self-discipline
- 1 tbsp of inspiration
- 1/2 cup of motivation
- 3 cups of coffee
- 1 cup of tenacity
- A dash of curiosity
Directions: Step 1
- Our first step will include mixing self-discipline, organization, and some coffee to get through your hefty textbooks. First, do your readings BEFORE class! Reading the chapter beforehand allows you to identify the hardest part of the lesson, and plan your study time to focus on the difficult parts. It is very important to do the readings beforehand so you have an opportunity to ask questions. The professor will also be astonished because you were probably the only one who bothered to do the readings anyways. Ever wonder, ‘How do they even understand what’s going on to even ask a question’? That’s because they did their readings!
- Lecture time! This step involves curiosity, inspiration, and self-discipline to get through those three-hour lectures. Instead of sleeping, record your professor speaking (if they allow it). By doing this, you can jot down time-stamps on sections that you didn’t fully understand or hear properly.
- Now it’s time to study. To efficiently accomplish a successful study session, one must ensure they have enough self-determination, tenacity, and motivation. My favourite tip is to write and rewrite important concepts and literally make mini mind-maps to connect different information together. This is amazing for developing critical thinking skills that will help you make connections between different information and fully understand the content you learn.
Step 2: Repeition
Next, it’s time to use our first secret trick; spaced repetition. I use this trick by separating my flashcards into four decks; easy, medium, hard, and ‘I have no idea what this means’. I start studying for a test 6-7 days before, and each day I will review the cards and sort them into those four piles. By day 3, I aim to have only 3 sections; eliminating the ‘I have no idea what this means’ section. I then focus most of my time on the medium and hard piles, spacing those cards out across the rest of the week. My secret trick for making this easier and faster is Anki, a flashcard studying program on my computer. Try Quizlet Studying
Complete Guide to Flashcards
My last secret trick is a ‘brain-dump’. Armed with a list of all the topics, I close all my notes and write out absolutely everything I know. It’s important to do this in a quiet room, similar to the exam room. Once I have those exam room vibes (full of stress and anxiety), I know I’m ready for the brain dump. After the dump, I compare that paper with my notes, and highlight everything I got wrong and write everything I missed with a red pen. The goal of this trick is to have a brain-dump with almost no red or yellow on it on your last study day. It’s an excellent way to gauge whether you are truly prepared, or just pretending you know what’s going on so you can go watch Brooklyn 99.
These are my five easy steps to getting an A or A+ in all your courses. It sounds like a lot, but it definitely makes a heavy course load more manageable and requires only a shorter chunks of time across an entire week, instead of two exhausting days of hard-core studying. I hope this recipe will prove as helpful to you as it was for me! Enjoy!
Written by: Laila Sheather