Opinion: Students should find effective study methods while prioritizing their mental health

With finals approaching, students may feel lost about where to start with studying; the JagWire Staff shares tips to help the process

JagWire staff

For many, the month of December is synonymous with holiday spirit. It is a time to be cheerful and generous, a happy month to end a long year of work and accomplishments. However, for high school students, this month is too often only synonymous with one thing: final exams.

Instead of being energized and carefree, spending time with friends and families, students can expect to be sleep-deprived and stressed, spending their time hitting the books and reviewing their notes. Whether students have been preparing all semester or are seeing their notes for the first time since writing them, the stress is imminent and the message is clear: passing these tests must be a priority.

The responsibility ultimately rests on the student’s shoulders to put in the effort toward their grades and studies.

— JagWire staff

According to an NYU study on student stress, 49% of all students reported feeling a great deal of stress on a daily basis, citing their main reasons as grades, homework, and preparing for college.

Students’ stress is only enhanced when there seems to be a lack of available resources with which to study. With well-known study websites Quizlet and Kahoot now implementing paywalls, this process can seem more difficult than ever. 

Sometimes, the most difficult part of preparing for finals is knowing where to begin. Even without the most popular resources being available, there are many methods students can use to help them prepare. These methods include more novel practices such as teaching material to someone else or playing study games available through websites like Blooket, which help students view material in a new way. Other methods such as mnemonic devices, study guides, seeking out help and studying in a group may also help provide some relief to the stress of finals season. Finding the method that works best for oneself is crucial to making studying effective.

While it can be difficult to find the perfect study method, having the right resources is only half the journey. The responsibility ultimately rests on the student’s shoulders to put in the effort toward their grades and studies. Students must be willing to acknowledge what material is still unknown and plan out the best way to gain an understanding of it. This shows that the student is taking ownership of their studying and prioritizing their own success.

In addition to taking active responsibility for what still needs to be learned, students should prioritize their well-being to best ready themselves for their exams. All of a student’s studying will be for naught if they end up too sick to show up to exams or are too tired to focus. An MIT study found a strong correlation between exam performance and sleep, showing that while studying is important, it is not the only factor contributing to success on tests.

With these tips in mind, studying does not have to be the long and tedious process many students now know it to be. Finding the methods that are a good fit can make the process more fulfilling and mitigate the stress, so students can get through exams with ease and enjoy their winter break.

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