Study like a Matador

woman reading a book at a cafe
When Mayra Roxi Diaz, 24, graduate student, does not study or work, she is spends her time at her favorite coffee shop, Republic of Pie, in North Hollywood reading a book. Photo Credit: Rasta Ghafouri/ The Sundial

If it’s finals season at CSUN, the Oviatt Library is full of students using their own methods to ace their exams.

For senior CTVA television student, Miguel Flores, acing his exams means escaping the Oviatt.

“I like to go to the Oasis Center or study outside at the Sierra Quad,” said Flores. “It’s refreshing and helps me concentrate on making outlines or think about my assignments.”

Still trying to discover the method that’s right for you to ace your tests? These five tips can help you uncover your learning style and study like a Matador.

1. Change Your Scenery

Like Flores, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when students took an outdoor break or walk in the park after learning information, they remembered it 20 percent better.

“If you’re over studying at the library, studying at the Sol Center is great because a lot of people don’t know you can rent rooms just like at the Oviatt to study in,” said freshman biochemistry student, Amanda Martinez. “It’s basically a second library.”

2. Practice

 

In a Purdue University study, psychologists found that students who took a practice test after first learning information were able to retain it 50 percent better than students who did not. Quizlet anyone?

“I love making Quizlet tests for myself, but this semester I’ve also used on-campus tutoring to test myself before the real test,” said sophomore journalism student Shannon Fonseca.

3. Music

Though many researchers have found classical music to be the best study aid, sophomore marketing student Omar Alvarado studies best when he listens to music that he doesn’t know.

“If I study with music I don’t know, then I can’t sing along with it and I can focus more on what I’m learning,” added Alvarado.

4. Time It

Why cram for a one hour study session when using the Pomodoro Technique could help you ace your final? By studying for 25-30 minute intervals, you’re better able to focus and not feel so overwhelmed.

5. Give Yourself a Break

 

Don’t forget to take a break between intervals! Researchers at UC Irvine found that even two hours of stress can dampen your ability to remember information. Avoid stress by going to the Oasis Center or going for a walk around campus.