Buckle Down and Concentrate!

Laura Cafasso

Winter break has slipped away from our grasps, leaving us students in the “in-between state”, the antsy period we go through waiting for February break. We become tired and moody, and while some of us find it easy to get back into the swing of things, some of us crumble from anxiety.

Most of the time the hardest part about returning to school is doing well on quizzes, tests, or projects you reviewed just before the holidays. You begin to wonder, especially with midterms and finals approaching, if your good old studying techniques help or hurt you.

Here are a couple of tips to help you try new ways of studying for different types of classes!

For English: If a upcoming exam involves vocabulary, there are many ways to memorize the copious words. Of course there are flash cards, but a new twist could be sorting them into categories (noun, verb, adjective) or color coding them by difficulty, or which ones you already know, and which ones that need more reviewing. Another way is to create easy but creative sentences for each word, or writing the definitions out a couple of times.

If there is a reading exam, based on a book or play you’ve been reading, it helps to reread the passages the night beforehand. Jotting down key events, some essential character personality traits or quotes, or any symbolism will usually help you understand what you are reading and also prepare for tough questions. Times like these may call for homemade study guides!

For Math: Math is a very difficult subject to study for. Some people find it helpful to read any notes they have taken in class, or make up their own problems. If you need extra practice, it can never hurt to ask your math teacher for some extra worksheets or ask a friend to make up practice problems. As long as you re-write or memorize theorems, a math quiz or test can turn from sinister to simple.

History: History can be very similar to English in the ways you study, for example, making flashcards of events or historical people can definitely increase your knowledge in preparation for the test. But what also helps is not only reviewing notes or re-writing them, but researching the person or event. You never know when a small detail you decided not to further look into might appear! Another tip could also be watching History Channel movies or series on a specific time in history, or a profile on a famous leader (make sure they get their facts straight!)

Foreign Language: Now there are no specific studying tips to divulge here, since Latin, French, and Spanish are so diverse. Although, if you have an online textbook, try using the self exams they offer or click on vocabulary words to hear how to pronounce each word correctly.

Science: There are again a broad range of science classes students may take at Franklin High School. Many times teachers hand out homework packets, save those! Often they have questions you didn’t realize may appear on a test or quiz. Usually, a teacher may use a slide show to present material from a chapter. If they are not up on a its.learning page, try asking the teacher to print the slide show for you. Flashcards can also be used to study with in this category.

While all of these tips may help you improve your studying techniques just in time for midterms or finals or just in general, everyone has their own way of doing things.

But one more thing: make sure on the exam day you get a good night sleep (no social networking into the early morning hours) and eat a breakfast that will give you energy, not empty calories that will make you instantly crash (Dunkin Donuts may be a stretch). Also, have confidence! If you worry and cram so much information every second, odds are you might blank under pressure.

So, Franklin High, if you follow these tips it might help you get out of a funk or prepare for midterms and finals. Leave a comment below!

Check out this website, it has video tutorials for basically anything you do not understand!