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Advice on how to study?


faithrl
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I've only really developed a passion for school and learning over the last year or so. I'm a first year psychology major at McMaster. I'm still learning how to manage it all and get better along the way. I was wondering specifically what study routines work for you guys for different classes. Specifically math, biology, and classes such as psychology. 

From the first day of class, how often do you review material, how often a day/week, and which methods have you found works best. 

I find when I try to stick to a specific routine so far, I end up getting burnt out, putting stuff to the last minute, and occasionally giving up and saying "okay, whatever I studied enough for this test" \

Thanks so much for any replies and taking the time to help :)

 

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I suggest thinking about what specifically makes you feel burnt out when you stick with a specific routine.  Is it because you assign yourself a lot of tasks in a short, limited time?  Is it because your methods of accomplishing these goals may not be efficient?  Or rather is it the nature of the tasks involved (e.g. lots of multitasking is required)?

Once you understand the root cause(s), then list and prioritize your tasks (if you're assigning too many at a time), consider studying with groups/friends and get advice from them (if your methods are inefficient), and/or make a plan to balance things out (if the nature of tasks is inherently difficult), etc.

Studying for math is a bit different than other typical science courses.  Maybe this is just for me, but math doesn't really require you to study in the sense of constantly reviewing theorems, trying to memorize concepts, and so forth.  The way you study for math is really about practicing problems over and over again, and of course exposing yourself to questions that test the same concept but that are presenting the problem in a totally new way.  Of course you need to first understand what the theorems mean, but after that, it's all practice.

Don't worry about these issues you've mentioned – this happens to many people in undergrad (including myself back in the day).  I'm glad that you're trying to address them and being proactive about getting advice :).  But you have to remember:  If you're going to get better, you need to change something for the better and stick to it.

All the best!  Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.

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If you're sticking to a routine and getting burnt out, then there's something about your routine which isn't sustainable. The number one reason for burnout is a lack of sufficient sleep, so make sure you're getting enough. This shouldn't be a problem in undergrad unless you have additional responsibilities or commitments that are eating your time up.

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9 hours ago, Intrepid86 said:

If you're sticking to a routine and getting burnt out, then there's something about your routine which isn't sustainable. The number one reason for burnout is a lack of sufficient sleep, so make sure you're getting enough. This shouldn't be a problem in undergrad unless you have additional responsibilities or commitments that are eating your time up.

I just work around 25 hours. It's honestly not the biggest problem, I'm also learning to fight procrastination and laziness, but I've improved a lot since starting undergrad :)

I'll definitely try to adjust my schedule, and get enough sleep!

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13 hours ago, Neurophiliac said:

I suggest thinking about what specifically makes you feel burnt out when you stick with a specific routine.  Is it because you assign yourself a lot of tasks in a short, limited time?  Is it because your methods of accomplishing these goals may not be efficient?  Or rather is it the nature of the tasks involved (e.g. lots of multitasking is required)?

Once you understand the root cause(s), then list and prioritize your tasks (if you're assigning too many at a time), consider studying with groups/friends and get advice from them (if your methods are inefficient), and/or make a plan to balance things out (if the nature of tasks is inherently difficult), etc.

Studying for math is a bit different than other typical science courses.  Maybe this is just for me, but math doesn't really require you to study in the sense of constantly reviewing theorems, trying to memorize concepts, and so forth.  The way you study for math is really about practicing problems over and over again, and of course exposing yourself to questions that test the same concept but that are presenting the problem in a totally new way.  Of course you need to first understand what the theorems mean, but after that, it's all practice.

Don't worry about these issues you've mentioned – this happens to many people in undergrad (including myself back in the day).  I'm glad that you're trying to address them and being proactive about getting advice :).  But you have to remember:  If you're going to get better, you need to change something for the better and stick to it.

All the best!  Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.

It helps to know lot's of people experience this! Math is definitely a big problem for me, but drilling practice problems seem like a great method. I messaged you :)

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I think the biggest thing for me (not just in school) was making sure you planned a schedule and stuck with it. I remember planning in advance being like:

'the physiology midterm is exactly 2 weeks away, which gives me 14 days to study'

'there are 12 lecture powerpoints on the midterm, with a total of 316 slides to understand and *maybe* memorize'

'that means i'll need to review at least 23 slides a day, every day, starting today'

'perhaps I should study 30 slides a day, just to be safe in case something comes up'

 

I think that when you break it down like that, it can a) make the entire studying process a lot more organized, and b) make it seem less daunting as well! You can PM me if you need any more help with anything (like study methods) in particular. 

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