Students share their studying strategies

Finals season is upon us, and it’s time to finally take the cellophane off those textbooks and crack them open in preparation for caffeine-fueled all-nighters. But before hitting the books, fill your metaphorical tool belt with study tips to whip out and make study time more productive.

Don’t Cram
Procrastination tends to be most students’ worst enemy. Getting focused and organized makes a one’s workload much more manageable. Ramon Machuca, mechanical engineering major, said studying everyday, from class-to- class, throughout the semester reduces stress and helps him retain more information. Trying to cram a semester of information into one week will often prove to be counterproductive.

Study in groups
It has long been said that a person learns better if they teach the material they are studying. Study groups allow students to collaborate on questions they may have while better learning the information they do know. While group study can be a distraction, students in a responsible group can keep each other in check. If the professor gives a study guide, study groups also have the advantage of the divide-and-conquer method.

Take tests
As much as college students hate tests, a great way to study for a test is by taking more of them. Consistently testing a person’s knowledge not only affirms it but enhances it, according to the New York Times. Retaking tests given throughout the semester helps stay sharp.

“Redoing tests from earlier in the semester helps me to remember the information,” said mechanical engineering junior Ben Bell. “And you know that’s the information the professor will be testing you on.”

Switch subjects
“I usually try to break my work down into different sections and do it one at a time,” said Amanda Reyna, creative writing junior.

It’s important to remember that a subject cannot be mastered in one sitting. It’s best to switch between subjects every half hour or so to keep from being overloaded with information.

Oldies, but goodies
Some study tactics get ruled out too quickly simply because they’re age-old ideas that lack excitement. Diana Ocampo, psychology freshman, said she creates practice problems for herself and gets good rest the night before the test.

“I work more on things that are hard facts versus opinion,” said Traci Wilson, liberal studies senior, who also recommends typing and rewriting class notes.

Flash cards, highlighting and mnemonic devices are time-tested tactics student’s love. CSUN also offers several tutoring centers specializing in various subjects often free of charge.