Tis the Season to Study: Tips to Power Through Finals

Ah, it’s that time of the year again. You can taste the sweet sensation of summer vacation, but still have a few weeks of suffering through exams and deadlines before you’re free. We at ISR are also all students, so we understand the struggle, and have decided to collect a few study tips and share them with you to make this period more bearable!

Tip #1: Visit the New Library

Polak was a temporary study building to be used while the original Erasmus University Library was under construction. All of the work has now been completed, and the new library is better than ever. Goodbye, study space shortage! One half of the library is dedicated to silent studying, and the other half non-silent. Please be aware of where you’re sitting and respectful to other students.

Tip #2: Teach Others About the Subject

If you can teach someone a concept, it is a clear sign that you yourself have a thorough understanding of the subject. This demonstrates a complete grasp of the underlying concepts and the reasons why things are the way they are.

Tip #3: Use Food as an Incentive

Imagine this: it’s the day before your exam, you’ve got another half textbook to get through, and you’re as good as falling out of your seat from exhaustion. Try motivating yourself with a rewarding snack (like a gummy bear, a chip, etc.) at the end of a chapter, or after every ten pages or so. You’ll have something to look forward to, and the snacking will keep you awake. Win-win situation!

Tip #4: Chew Gum While Studying

Studies have shown that chewing gum while studying or taking an exam improve focus and results because the chewing movement keeps your brain active. It has also been shown that, if you study while chewing gum of a particular flavor, and if you chew that same flavor during the exam of that subject, then you will likely perform better. For example, you study math with peppermint-flavored gum, and take the mathematics exam while chewing peppermint-flavored gum. Give it a try!

Tip #5: Watch Videos for More Explanation

Sometimes, a lecture is just too early, and you decide to skip. It happens. The best way to catch up with any complex calculation processes or concepts is to watch videos explaining them. There are abundant websites offering educational videos, such as Youtube and KhanAcademy, that are nearly as good as a lecture. So if you find yourself not really understanding how to get from one step to another, look up a video!

Tip #5: Music Keeps You Going

Some people prefer music while studying, others prefer silence. Others prefer background noise, like the noise from an airplane cabin or rain falling (my personal favorite). Some even study best when they’re listening to the Top 40 pop music playlist. Although studies have shown that listening to classical music helps the brain absorb information better, it is entirely up to you. Eventually, you may get sick of your playlist, and might be looking for another source of study music. Here are some of the best playlists we’ve heard about (all YouTube, so accessible to everyone) :

Classical/Soothing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T–kWb685IE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYwqKKc1VCQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4xRlnO7-Ps

Instrumental Deep House/Chill Step

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U10L358nVP8&t=2460s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfO8C7sZq-s

White/Background Noise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArwcHjmsw3A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg5UK5y-PtM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co7KgV2edvI

We sincerely hope these tips will help you improve your studying techniques and maybe result in some higher grades. ISR wishes you the best of luck in the rest of your studies this year, and if you’re almost done, a wonderful summer vacation!

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