The Idiot’s Guide to Studying: How NOT to study
Warning: the information below is not for the faint of heart. Please consult a physician if you experience such symptoms as sleep deprivation, starvation, or brain overload.
1. The first time you see the material: bring out your cellphone in class and Snapchat your buddy with the dullest photo you can think of. You may also decide that Instagram is a better use of
your life or take the time to catch some Z’s. When the exam rolls around, you will have never seen the information and it will become some sort of gambling game. Maybe try all B’s?
[In reality, however, the instructional period is the most important part of your studying. Take the time to learn it well and you won’t forget it. Ask your teacher questions if you can’t understand some of the
material. Also, don’t forget to take brief, HANDWRITTEN notes to help your brain absorb the information easier. No typed notes, folks. Research has proven that handwriting requires deeper
cognitive processing causing you to understand it better. What about taking pictures of the teacher’s notes? True scholars will enjoy note taking. Taking pictures is for those who are too lazy to care about
school—most of them will never revisit the photo to glean its information.] How to take notes
2. During the weeks leading up to the test:
Hang out with friends every evening. Shove your notes and textbooks under the table to make room for your night-long game of Monopoly. If you are feeling especially adventurous, “forget” your material in your school locker—who needs it anyway?
[In reality, you will want to revisit your notes several times leading up to the exam. Refresh yourself on the material every once in a while and make sure it is committed to your long-term memory. For most
courses, I do not suggest studying by reading the textbook. There is a lot of distractor information (unrelated to what you need to know) that will get you off track. Your notes, either from a teacher or
self-made, will be extremely beneficial in directing you to the important material you absolutely need to understand. Quizzes are extremely useful as well. They show you where your understanding is flawed
and where to study further. As a junior high school teacher once taught me; study what you don’t know, not what you know. You will also need to get a good amount of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation severely hinders your brain’s ability to function leading to forgetfulness and napping during class.] How to study notes
3. The night before the test: pull an all-nighter.
Try to cram every bit of information you never learned into your brain. When fatigue begins to set in, drink a couple of red bulls and watch a funny cat video on YouTube to fight your boredom.
[In reality, it’s too late to learn the information now. Anything you commit to memory will be short-term and likely forgotten after the test. Best thing to do here is briefly review your notes and get a
good night’s sleep.] How to Cram
4. The day of the test:
You will still be awake cramming information. Skip breakfast to buy a bit more time. If you are late for school as well, even better! You will be so stressed out and tired that you won’t even be able to think during the test.
[In reality, make sure you had a good sleep. Sleep deprivation is dangerous during an exam. You may comprehend the test question in a way unthinkable to a well-rested brain ultimately leading to the
wrong answer. Make sure you also eat a well-balanced breakfast with the nutrients you will need to keep your brain running through the test. If you still feel unsure of yourself, you may choose to do a
quick review of your notes before the test—specifically committing a couple facts or values you may not have remembered otherwise to short-term memory.]
By: Isaac Wittmeier