Studying Tips

Since the AP World Test is a week away and everyone is overwhelmed by the amounting fear and studying they have to do, I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to share my studying tips and how i make a productive study session.

  1. Put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ or put it far away from you

A lot of people say that you shouldn’t study with your phone anywhere near you, but i feel like that’s impossible for some people especially if they’re at the public library or just not at home. Plus, many people listen to music to drown out any distractions or just as a way to not be bored while studying. I always put my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and pick a long music playlist so that I don’t have to shuffle through songs. Personally, I like hip hop beats with no words to help me focus, and you can find 24 hour playlists of those songs, even 24/7 live streams.

2. Study for certain increments of time then take a break

Many people complain that studying gets hard if you’re doing it for a long period of time, and I agree! You get antsy and bored, sometimes it gets to the point where reading doesn’t even help stick information in your head anymore. What I do is that I set a timer for around 30 minutes and work all that time without any breaks. I make sure everything is already laid out beforehand so I don’t waste time looking for something. After those 30 minutes, I get out my seat and walk around if i’m at home, or I start doodling if i’m at school and I can’t leave my seat. It helps give me mental breaks while being productive. This can be extremely helpful if you have other things to study for too since it allows you to make a schedule for yourself. I use an app called Flipd which times and keeps track of your studying. It even has a cool feature where for a set amount of time it hides all social media, game, and whatever apps are not vital to you in an emergency. This has helped me a lot since I always pick up my phone and check my notifications out of nowhere.

3. Have a full bottle of water with you

This one may sound dumb, but I find it very helpful. Whenever I study I have a full container of water near me, maybe even two. The reason I have this is because sometimes I get hungry and want to get up from my seat. It’s annoying to get up during a study session to eat and eating can sometimes be distracting. That’s why I always have water on hand. Plus, I feel like when i’m having a hard time understanding something, I take a sip of water, relax, and try and asses what i’m learning.

4. Space out study sessions

For around 2-3 weeks now, I’ve been studying history material for 25 minutes everyday. This has been such a life saver in my busy schedule.  Not only do I get my studying in, but I also have time to work on other school work, do extracurricular activities, and so much more. I don’t feel overwhelmed when I study but the material I learn really sticks with me. I’ve heard of some people studying for hours each day, but i’m not that type of learner. This also allows me to be flexible with my work. If one day I don’t get a chance to study, I can easily move it to the next day and have a 2 in 1 session for an hour with a break in between.

5. Outline your outlines

Especially for history, I like outlining my outlines. What I do is have a notebook with a blue pen and read my outlines. If there’s something crucial I have to know for a time period or I didn’t remember something, I write it down so it sticks with me. I find this more effective studying like this then just reading or writing everything down again. Not only that, but it lets you fill in some empty holes of knowledge.

6. Know when to stop

Many people go overboard with their studying and study for insane amounts of time with no breaks. They stop doing other work or rush through it to get to studying. They get so overworked that by the time the tests comes they’re so beat up and strung up that they forget everything. I know what it’s like to study under extreme stress and it isn’t fun. One thing I had to learn the hard way was to learn when to stop. Whenever I feel extremely overworked and it’s late at night, I simply put down my books and go to sleep. I know that I tried my best to study and comprehend the material in the time I had and I simply put faith in myself that I know what i’m doing. If it’s not late at night and I just need to stop for the day, I wind down by watching youtube videos until i’m ready to sleep. It’s not the end of the world if you fail a test, as long as you put it your all and made sure you did everything you possibly could, you can only go up from there.