We’ve all had that moment of dread on a test night when you realize that since you’ve got home you’ve been nothing but unproductive. All you’ve done is procrastinate your way through half a season of The Walking Dead, scroll through the same set of memes, and snap three new people onto your best friends list, all while your binder and textbook glare at you from your desk. Situations like this can lead to frustration and giving in to slumber. But have no fear. While cram sessions can be exhausting, there are ways to keep focused in order to study last minute; and, ultimately, save your grade.
The Right Kind of Distraction
While watching your favourite show or makeup guru while you study can be tempting, take an educational approach. Watch a documentary, lectures, or a Crash Course video instead. You’ll pick up important bits of information just by listening.
Never Late For Notes
While flashcards are usually what people turn to when they want to get facts down quickly, textbook notes are never a bad idea. They insure you’re reading everything on the page, not just skimming. You’ll get the main ideas, and surprise questions won’t stun you on the test.
It’s All About Your Ink
Blue ink helps the mind retain information much faster when rereading information. Colour-coordinating your notes is an effective way to categorize the topics you need to know. Multi-toned fine tipped markers, gel pen, and neon highlighters act as a bright, cheery alternative to monotone black scribbles.
In order to stay awake, people automatically turn to caffeine. Yes, coffee can be effective, but it can be more beneficial if you trade multiple cups of coffee throughout the night for one strong cup at the beginning. Staying up with the jitters will only leave you groggy, bloated and blotchy the next morning. Keep hydrated instead; try a warm herbal tea or citrus-infused water to keep your body alert. Foods rich in antioxidants are also scientifically proven to help the brain focus. Dark chocolate chips and blueberries is a sweet way to help your brain concentrate.
Killing your back while hunched over a desk isn’t exactly encouraging you to keep working. A table and chair position can make you feel very constricted, even claustrophobic. Grab some pillows and blankets, pull them up against the wall and lay out your study materials in front of you. This way is much more comfortable, and spacing out your work will automatically make you feel more at ease.
The fact of the matter is, you should have been studying for weeks before your test. But, life happens, and when you find yourself a situation where you’re ready to throw in the towel and accept a mediocre grade, remember that it’s never too late to make a comeback.