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Editorial
16 March 2020

5 Surefire Study Hacks Guaranteed to Get You That A+

What time is it? No, it's not summer time if that’s what your HSM-wired mind first guessed. It’s...

EXAM SEASON!

With that cues the entry of void-filled stomach pits, endless caffeine runs, and all-nighters. Your natural instinct is to bury yourself in the mountain of books and subjects. But what if I told you that there's a much more effective way?

Fret not, my fellow stu-DYING mates, we’ve cooked up 5 remedies to help conquer that memory block to get you that A+!

RELATED STAFF MEMBER
Karen Grace Prince
Guest Contributor
TAGS
STUDY HACKS
HOW TO GET AN A+
RETAINING KNOWLEDGE

THE STUDY BUDDY

You've truly struck gold because of how effortless this system is yet, it still reaps the biggest benefits, especially if you aren’t well-versed with the study material. The 'Study Buddy' system is simple

All it requires are two or more players, a sufficient amount of material, and a whole lotta focusing to be perfectly executed. Split chapters or topics between your friends, overly-revise those weak points, and take full advantage of those pre-exam quizzing sessions.

This way you not only conquer the mountains of study materials piling up but, in turn, have some company along to jazz up those lonesome solo-study sessions.

Pro tip: Amp up the fun with some unique study games, like the fastest to explain something from the history textbook, gets to finish the last slice of pizza or the incorrect answer pays a penalty prize of RM2.

TAKE NOTES

We’re not going to lie, this method would probably have the longest amount of prep time compared to the rest on the list … but the payoff is still definitely worth it!

Whether you’re jotting down notes straight from class or rewriting points from study materials, your mind is fervently working to rewrite information, allowing a higher chance of retaining key knowledge. 

Research shows that a relationship exists between orderliness and grades. Aside from making your study ethic much more organised, you could even earn a few bucks by passing them on to your juniors when you're done!

Pro tip: Colour plays a huge role in retrieving cognitive information. You finally have a reason to hoard (but don't panic buy) all things colourful to spice up your notes and make learning more interesting.

EQUIVALENT EXCHANGE SYSTEM

Have you ever been in a dilemma, where your favourite Netflix series is out, but you’re also closing in on exam season at the same time?! Cue in the equivalent exchange system! 

Nope, this is not a Fullmetal Alchemist reference (though to be fair, some alchemic powers would be real handy right about now) but rather referring to a similar give-and-take system between your desires and yourself. 

A proper study plan will help with this concept. Set a limit between revision and rest time. Like 2 chapters would equal one 25-minute episode. Figure out what fits best while not going overboard on either end. It may be longer than regular study patterns but this method does take in your interests and doesn’t overburden you with stress.

Did You Know? : Long hours of continuous studying could be counterproductive? Use an app, like Forest, which rewards you when you stay focused. 

FLASH CARDS

Some of us just want a quick and easy way to absorb our notes without spending way too much time fretting over tiny, unimportant details. What better way to categorise and compress your notes than through palm-sized, colour-coded, and categorised sheets of heaven? 

Much like the notes-taking method, this system thrives on orderliness and organisation but doesn’t exactly pay much attention to miniscule details or word-vomit. Think practical, straight-forward, and compact.

This is especially useful when trying to retain content-based information like in cases of History, Biology, Literature as opposed to Math equations or formulas.  

Pro Tip: Take your flash card creativity to the next level by making a quiz out of the subject you’re studying through apps like this one.

AUDIO ASSISTANT

You know what’d be a super extra but an equally creative way of getting those words to sit in your head? TURN YOUR NOTES INTO A SONG! Turns out that something is more likely to sit in your head when played along with a catchy tune. 

However ridiculous it may sound, this is proven highly effective and easy to undertake. Simply open up a voice memo app, demonstrate your vocal talents with a nice touch of study material, and it’s bound to be a hit (and we mean it literally!). You can even get creative with it by using anagrams and rhyming schemes to keep it light and fun!

Pro tip: A couple of tunes that you can base your masterpiece on could be Taylor Swift's ‘Shake It Off’, Rick Astley's ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ or even our good childhood ole’, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. It doesn’t have to be very elaborate. Having it simple and memorable will do the trick. 

BONUS ROUND

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR STUDY PROGRESS

A CHECKLIST ranging around the details of important topics and chapters coming out on your papers will sort you right out. Think of it as a to-do list solely revolving around each subject’s course content.

It’s most effective when you’ve got some time to spare before entering the exam hall, by crossing off all the stuff you’ve covered. Allowing you to focus those last few minutes on areas you may not be so good with. It’s super effective when done right.

BASE YOUR REVISION ON...

PAST YEAR PAPERS!

What’s better than practicing on a past paper? Not only will you be better familiarised with the format and template, you can effectively time yourself to match the duration of the real paper. Aside from the added baggage weight and printing costs (which can totally be swept under the carpet if it means getting that A+), there’s really no negative side to this.

Unsure of where to acquire them? Fret not! Online resources, library archives, or even the simple hand-me-downs available from seniors or teachers will get you sorted.

AVOID DISTRACTIONS

We’d highly recommend a SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX, at least during your crucial periods because boy, oh boy, does it work wonders!

If you’re someone who lives, breathes, and consumes social media, then this’ll probably feel like a personal loss for you but hey, it’s a loss you can totally afford to have! Not only does it clear out possible distractions and shorten procrastination periods significantly, it also gives your good ole’ me-time free from social stratifications or adherences.

Feeling ready to tackle those exam papers with these study hacks? Remember that one size does not fit all. Some of these methods may be deemed helpful for some but ineffective for others. What matters is your will and determination towards greater success.

We get it, we all procrastinate and we all get lazy as well. But even for a little while, direct your energy towards absorbing some crucial content, no matter how late or how slowly you start. How can you envision a finish line when you haven’t even started yet?

Take the first step, however small it is and give it your all.

Good luck, my fellow students!

Karen Grace Prince is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication (Honours). She is also the Director of Events Committee for the Taylor's Model United Nations Club (TLMUN) and Director of Ext. Operations for TLMUN 2020 Conference Secretariat Team.