photograph and post by Rachel Choi
We know studying isn’t always easy or enjoyable, but we aim to help you minimize that! This post will address our top curated tips on studying for tests and exams. If you missed part one on good study habits and tips for writing papers/discussion posts, be sure to check it out here.
Studying For Tests & Exams
Teacher Knows Best
Professors emphasize what they think is most important… The most valuable things to commit to MEMORY are the things emphasized in class. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by all the things you could study, but your teachers already told you what was important. Go there.
Make Your Own Study Guide
Cross reference your study guide with other people for accuracy, but making your own study guide is pivotal to retaining information. A large part of the learning comes from doing the work yourself.
Write Notes By HAND!
This cannot be emphasized enough. Yes, computers and phones are nifty and save us a world of time and trouble, but nothing beats writing out study guides and notes in your own hand. Trust all those who have gone before you: you will remember better this way.
Enjoy Study Time
Trick your brain into enjoying study time by incorporating things you like. Try eating your favorite snack, going to a nice coffee shop, or listening to your favorite music. Then give yourself a small break every hour.
Freebie: everyone has their own taste in music, but research shows that classical/instrumental music provide the optimum level of concentration and energy for your brain.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask professors questions in order to clarify assignments. They want you to succeed! There’s nothing wrong with making sure that you are studying the right information.
Work The System
If you have an open-book, at-home test, invest in a digital copy of the book. Use the search tool to look up keywords and terms. This really comes in handy, even when writing papers!
At least 20 minutes of cardio/day during finals releases endorphins and makes you less cranky and more productive. This is also great if you’re falling asleep.. Wake yourself up with a quick round of jumping jacks!
Use Mnemonic Devices
Acrostics and acronyms are a great way to remember lists of information. For example: TULIP, Every Good Boy Does Fine, Good Boys Do Fine Always, etc.
We hope these tips have been helpful!
Thanks for reading this list of study tips. We hope they help make your study time effective as well as fun. But make sure you remember that these tips aren’t the secret potion to good productivity; how much you get out of studying is largely based on how much you put in. Don’t overcomplicate it. As Amelia Earheart says, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”
photograph and post by Rachel Choi
Studying — like anything else — might not always seem fun. Studying takes grit and perseverance, and it has to be done whether we feel like it or not. After interviewing students, professors, church leaders/pastors, and educational researchers, here are some of the top study tips that will make your studying both more effective and fun!
PLAN Time To Study
If you don’t make studying a priority and actually plan time to do it, it won’t happen! Dr. Elmore addresses this in his principle “Big Rocks First”; there are always a million other things you could be doing, so be sure to prioritize what’s most important and then build your schedule accordingly.
Focus Where It Matters
If you can get an A in one class even if you get a C on the final, then focus on another class.
This might make you cringe, but remember that doing your best often involves prioritizing where you invest your time. Look at your assignments objectively to see what needs the most attention and prioritize accordingly.
Eat, Sleep & Pray
- Eat an apple or banana. They provide the healthy sugar your brain needs to function at its best.
- Sleep on it. Besides the obvious benefits of a good night’s sleep, research shows that when you sleep, you “turn off” your conscious brain and allow your subconscious to connect information in new ways.
- Pray and relax your soul. Seriously, ask God to help you study productively, remember important information, and test well!
Work First, Play Later
When Thanksgiving or Spring Break comes around, it’s easier to push through one or two extra days of homework first and then take the rest of the week off. It’s much harder the other way around.
Writing Papers & Posts
Teaching someone is proven to be linked to how well an individual retains information. Especially if you’re an external processor, talking with someone about your thesis statement will help you process what you want to say, and then writing it down will be that much easier. Afterwards, be sure to change the vocabulary/style to be academically appropriate.
Outline Your Paper
When reading and researching, keep your paper and discussion post in mind and type up any quotes/notes you might want to use. Go ahead and include the author and page number; this way, when you go to write your paper, a lot of it is already written!
Get A Second Set Of Eyes
When writing your final paper, get a second set of eyes. No matter how good you are, you may have missed a comma splice, misspelling, horrible sentence, or even the paragraph that doesn’t have a link to your thesis statement. Get someone to help you.
P.S. When editing for grammar and spelling, read your paper in reverse. Reading backwards messes up the flow of your paper and helps you catch more errors — it’s what the pros do.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Tips on studying for tests and exams!
Meet our student spotlight of the week through his answers to a few questions about his life and what he is doing right now.
What is your current occupation?
“I am the Teaching Pastor and Executive Place Site Pastor at Manna Church.”
How did GCD help you get there?
“GCD has helped me by providing sound Biblical training to assist in my vocation.”
What was your favorite thing about GCD?
“My favorite thing about GCD is that we are not just about people learning information. Rather, we attempt to provide sound Biblical teaching that helps people understand more about God, while at the same time helping them use that knowledge in practical ministry experience.”
Experience at GCD.
“I have taken classes as both an undergraduate and in the master’s program, and I have found both of those experiences to be incredibly insightful. I feel better prepared as a pastor through my involvement at GCD.”
There you have it, Pastor Jonathan Fletcher everybody. If you want to learn more about our students here at GCD and want to see more about our students’ lives let us know in the comments below.
Meet our student spotlight of the week, Daniel Colby.
Belle Szalkowski Devotional
Have you ever felt completely and utterly out of your depth? Like you are grasping for air and you can’t seem to get your head above water? Finally you wade into shore and you can breathe free and clear again. You look back at the water and realize that no matter how hard it was, you survived. You feel invigorated, you made it! You’ve accomplished something huge by just surviving and smiling! This has been my relationship with God through my life. One of my favorite verses that I keep coming back to is:
Psalm 13:6 “I will sing the LORD’s praise, for He has been good to me.”
I have spent many years of my life simply trying to keep my head above water. College is overwhelming. I’ve had multiple exhausting injuries, and serving in ministry can be draining. It is through God’s grace that I’ve made it as far as I am in life. The reason I keep going back to this verse is because no matter what point of my life I am in it applies. If I am drowning in schoolwork I can still praise God for blessing me with an education. If I am overwhelmed with my ministry work I can praise God for giving me a chance to share His glory.
I say all this because I have learned that praising God even in the midst of struggle is the best lesson I’ve learned. Even when I was homeless I thought of this verse and that God, no matter my circumstances has been good to me and is worthy of my praise.
I challenge you to meditate over this. If you truly believe God is good, then doesn’t He deserve our praise even when things aren’t going our way? Even if you feel that you are drowning, God has been good to you and is worthy to be praised.
Echo Montoya Devotional
Today I will be sharing about Psalm 23, some people call it a classic that all church goers must know. All I know is, that once I truly understood this verse it changed my life! I just wanted to share with you what I have learned through studying this chapter almost my whole life as a Christian.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The starting verse of Psalm 23 is such a beautiful reminder that as Christians, we will always have provision through Christ. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
After a reminder about the Lord’s provision; the verse going into talking about how God leads us for our good. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Not only does He calm us but He leads us there. The third verse says, “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His names sake.” A reminder to us that He is the only one who can truly bring back to life our soul. It is nothing in us, but God himself and who He is.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” The verse starts out my saying God protects us from evil. When the writing says ‘Valley of the shadow of death.’ It means that through the lowest of lows God is walking right there with you. Many people get scared or worried when they hear ‘rod and staff’ but the Shepard has both for a purpose. The rod is not to beat the sheep, but to protect when wolves or bears came near. The staff is for guidance, another example of God leading our steps. Imagine the last part of the verse saying: ‘your protection and guidance, they comfort me.’ What a beautiful image God is giving to us! “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” The beginning part speaks on how God blesses us abundantly. How even when my enemies are near He wants me, and He wants me front and center. He anoints us with oil as a sign of promotion in His eyes. What a powerful thing to even be seen if even a little bit worthy to God! For him though, to anoint us with oil, to the point where our cups overflow! What a powerful picture!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” If you choose to trust Him, these promises prevail. Know that God wants to bless us! Sometimes it is as easy as recognizing that He wants to do this for us, He never had to.
This is Norica Vernon’s devotional. She was born and raised on the island of Jamaica but currently calls North Carolina home. She is a US Army reservist, a mother, a senior at Grace College of Divinity and an active volunteer who devotes her free time to serving the Lord, whenever possible.
The one thing I’ve come to know and understand after more than 10 years in the Army is assignments. My first job as a reassignment clerk was to issue orders for soldiers and ensured that they were properly distributed. A TCS is a temporary change of station also known as a deployment. These were short intense assignments. You stayed where you were but left and came back. A PCS is a permanent change of station, a permanent assignment. These were short or long but you were gone from where you were last not knowing if you were to return there or not. Coming to Fort Bragg I knew it was my last active duty assignment. I felt it, I knew it deep within me and that was 5 years ago. The Holy Spirit told me so.
As Christians we are always on assignment not necessarily places but people. In the Great Commission, Jesus issued our orders. Some assignments are temporary could be a few minutes, months or even few years. Other assignments are permanent these are the people God places in our lives to always intercede for or for us to make a difference in their lives. In the Army we don’t always choose or like our assignments. It is the same when God gives us our orders, we don’t always like or choose the assignments but we have to follow them. And when God gives us an assignment, there is no rejecting or deleting it. I’ve been on probably my hardest assignment to date for a while now and I’ve wanted God to amend or delete it but it’s permanent, so I am going to make the most of it. I encourage you to prayerfully seek God about your assignment and ask Him to give you what you need to make the most of it. After all He did say He would be with you always and nothing can top that.
Study tips to survive the semester
Getting back into the rhythm of school isn’t always easy. With the Spring semester starting and graduation around the corner, some people just can’t wait for spring break. In light of the new semester old habits can come back. Study sessions can look more like netflix and procrastination rather than papers and dissertations. For all the students out there slogging through until May comes around, here are some study tips to save GPAs.
To get anything done right you have to set the mood. Find a quiet spot where you know you can get work done. Take away all the distractions such as Facebook, Youtube, and texts. If you are a procrastinator you don’t need any more excuses to distract yourself.
Prioritize your time
Setting specific times to study makes sure that your assignments and tests don’t sneak up on you. If you spend an hour or two a day studying you will get more than if you crammed the night before the big test.
Friends can become motivation. If you don’t fully understand the material gather your classmates and study together. You can work as a group to tackle the harder concepts and keep each other accountable. You can even get some of them to quiz you on the material.
4. Take good notes
A great way to remember the material is to briefly go back over the notes. When in class pay attention and take notes. Don’t write down word for word what is being said, jot down key points. If you don’t write fast enough try typing them on a computer. If worse comes to worse ask a classmate to borrow their notes.
5. Get tutoring
If you are just not getting the material or need some extra help, get tutoring. There are specific people who are there to help you with tests, papers, and homework. GCD offers both writing and math tutors. If interested contact Ron McBride via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Studying doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just keep your head up, hit the books, get a tutor, and you will survive the semester.