May 09, 2016

Staying Awake to Study

Tis the season of AP exams, finals, and term research papers. This year has gone by so fast, its honestly hard to believe that we are quickly approaching the end of the year. That being said, it's not quite summer until we get all of the testing out of the way. Preparing for exams that cover the year in its entirety is a daunting task. Although I try to get ahead and study for the week leading up to the test, each year without fail there are certainly exams that I end up crunching for the night before. There comes a point when your best bet is to just go to bed, however there are times when you need to stay awake but powering through the material seems nearly impossible. Here are a few things I have learned over the past three years that might help you through your upcoming exams. 

Workout // After sitting at a desk for seven hours, odds are your brain is fried. So, jumping right into a study session is probably not the greatest idea. Throughout the school year I typically get some sort of exercise after school. However, when I have a big exam this is an absolute must! Personally, I find that working out helps me clear my head and feel way more motivated to remain focused and study for longer periods of time.

Coffee // This is pretty self-explanatory, but caffeine is your friend. I always have coffee or caffeinated tea in the morning, and during exams I make sure to get a second one later in the day to help me stay awake. If you're really feeling desperate I highly recommend just getting a shot of espresso-- I am not super affected by caffeine but these never fail to wake me up!

Music // When I start to get really tired I can't study in silence anymore. Adding a little music to your study session can shift your mood and give you a second wind. I love listening to John Mayer when I study, this songs are just upbeat enough without being too loud and overpowering.

Location // Location is a huge factor for me when it comes to studying and staying awake. This year I have learned that I am most productive in the library as it provides a change of scenery from my house, limits distractions, and its very quite. The library in my town stays open until 9:00 (I am so looking forward to 24 hour libraries in college) so I can get most of my studying done there. However, when I am really tired and am studying at home I need to avoid my bed at all costs. The amount of times I have passed out mid studying and woken up at 3 am with my laptop and binders sprawled out on my bed, and the lights still on is mildly concerning. So, in order to stay awake I like to sit at my desk in my room.

Paper vs. Electronic // This past year I have found myself doing way more of my studying on my phone or computer than ever before. With my increased use of technology I have realized when I need to stick to paper. I use my computer earlier in the evening, however when I start getting tired I switch to paper study guides. Screens make my eyes hurt when it starts getting really late, and recent studies have shown that staring at a screen before bed will result in a poor night sleep. By resorting to class handouts, or simply printing documents from your computer you will be able to stay up later and get a better sleep the night before the exam!

Do you have any good tips that help you stay up and cram? Good luck to everyone taking AP exams this week!


Preppy by the Sea

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