The student news site of Chino High School

The Lariat

AP Made Easy: Study Tips

Processed+with+VSCO+with+a6+preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Nalie Borihane, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






REGARDLESS of how long you cram the night before a test, studying has proved to be ineffective if not done right. With the following tips and suggestions you’ll learn not how to study hard, but how to study smart.

Self-Control. No, not the virtue, the computer app. It is available for Mac and PCs with Google Chrome. It has saved me from myself on a multitude of occasions; we have a love-hate relationship. With this app you are able to blacklist and block certain distraction-websites (Tumblr, Youtube, and Twitter to name a few) for whatever period of time you deem necessary. Try it out.

Take notes by-hand. Writing things out and over-again will help with memorization. Also, contrary to the scoldings you’d get from your elementary school teacher for drawing in the margins of your paper instead of taking notes, doodling is a good thing. Particularly for visual-learners, flowcharts, shapes, or even little comics of Teddy Roosevelt holding a giant stick so you can remember his “Big Stick Policy” can seriously help when it comes to retaining information.

Don’t highlight everything! This, again, is adverse to what some teachers may have taught you. Over-highlighting strains your eyes and tires out your brain. Minimize highlighting to vocab words, key terms or phrases, and math formulas.

Bullet points save lives. While you should thoroughly read the textbook chapter, by no means should you thoroughly copy the textbook chapter into your notes. When studying, looking back on a massive body of text is going to be overwhelming and unhelpful. For a little refresh on the chapter, simple bullet points are more likely trigger knowledge than a monotone essay.

Studying the most isn’t always studying the best. After about 90 minutes of non-stop work, your brain will be too tired to work efficiently. Ivy league students speak admonishingly about the notorious “autopilot brain”. If you’re doing work in a robot-esque fashion, you’re probably just going through the motions and not really learning. Take breaks every 45 minutes, and make them active breaks too: get up from your desk, socialize, go talk to your family, step outside, and keep blood flowing. Take care of your health first: shower, bathe, eat, and stay hydrated!

Provide incentives for yourself. “If I finish Mr. Schumann’s Econ worksheet, I’ll let myself go downstairs to get a bowl of grapes”. Little things like “I’ll go to the restroom after i finish this calculus problem” or “I’ll watch that new episode of Game of Thrones as soon as I finish all my homework”. Personally, I find the greatest incentive for me is having new school supplies; nothing beats a crisp, brand-new notebook, cute little Muji highlighters, or a newly-purchased pencil pouch from Sanrio. While, admittedly, weird, it works.

Put on a playlist. Constantly unlocking your phone to change the song is a distraction. Try and find a playlist that is completely instrumental, with no lyrics to take your mind off the work at hand. Even if you’re not listening to music, keep your earbuds in or your headphones on to shut-out distractions. Some instrumental playlist recommendations can be found at the end of the article!

For memorizing formulas and vocabulary: do not sit there and read the list over and over again. Make flashcards, have friends and family quiz you, create sing-songs and acronyms, and say the definitions out loud. This will combine both visual and auditory learning to really cement the information into your brain.

Don’t learn every little detail. Yes, it sounds absurd, telling you not to learn; however, learning every fact in your textbook will simply exhaust and overwhelm you. Understand big themes, pictures, and concepts: all classes have them. Understand what point the author is trying to make and be able to summarize the chapter in few words. Knowing that the McCulloch v. MD case took place in 1814 and was between a bank teller and the state of Maryland is useless information if you can’t see how it strengthened the federal government. Prioritize information, your brain only has so much room.

Environment is everything. A clean desk is a clean mind. If you like to work in your room, tidy up your desk a little before you start work and Stay. Away. From. Your. Bed. Your brain associates your bed with sleep, sit up at your desk, keep your blinds open in the daytime, and keep your brain awake. If you can’t work at home or just have exceptionally rowdy siblings, get out of the house. Go to your local Starbucks or, if you’re on a budget, go to the Chino Library. If you’re surrounded by people working hard, you’re more likely to do the same: it’s a rare, positive instance of peer pressure. Wear comfy clothing, if you have long hair tie it, and buckle up and in for a long session of work.

Lastly and most importantly, don’t stress out. It’s October, Chino Cowboys. A bad grade on a test won’t kill you and you probably won’t even remember it two years from now. I know it might be hard to believe amidst high-strung peers, cut-throat teachers, and helicopter parents, but your grades do not equate to your worth: they’re just numbers in a computer. If you are overwhelmed with a certain class you just can’t seem to grasp, talk to your counselor or teacher about it; they are there to help. It is okay to drop classes, sports, or extracurriculars and put yourself and your health first, ultimately only you know what’s best for you.

Good luck on the upcoming school year Cowboys. Reminiscent to what the announcers used to say each and every morning: to make it a good year or not, the choice is yours.

Playlist Recommendations
Piano + instrumentals:
http://8tracks.com/idril/le-reve
Fantasy soundtracks:
http://8tracks.com/fiertia/the-witch-s-workshop
Jazzhop instrumental:
http://8tracks.com/epha/mellow-vibes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Chino Cowboys become UCLA Bruins

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Coffee and High School Students

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    The Winter Rally: Magical or Monotonous?

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    How Does CHS Choose Its Valedictorian?

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Has Halloween been DYING out?

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Students Face Sleep Deprivation

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Culture Appropriation in Halloween Costumes

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Travel Abroad Summer 2k17

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Happy Columbus Day?

  • AP Made Easy: Study Tips

    Opinion

    Young Love at CHS

The student news site of Chino High School
AP Made Easy: Study Tips