December 10, 2022
When approaching studying for tests, students find themselves waiting until the last minute.
One of these students is freshman Jordan Powell, who usually starts studying the night before her tests and has found that it has worked well for her.
“I know that I won’t do well on a test if I don’t look at it and review it at all, but it doesn’t take much for me to do decent on a test but it was like looking over information,” Powell said.
On the other hand, senior Sophia Chang wants to start studying earlier but finds it hard to start.
“To be honest I [start studying] one or two days before,” Chang said. “I like thinking about it a week before, but then I don’t do it because I procrastinate.”
Junior Nathan Garner studies for finals, but typically does not study much for tests outside of mandatory classwork.
“For finals I’ll try and study in a more usual way; I look at the textbook and all my notes,” Garner said. “[Though,] usually I just do what the teacher provides. Sometimes they’ll provide a good practice set or a practice quiz. I’ll just do that or I’ll look at Quizlet if it’s like an important test. But usually in my classes, I pay enough attention that I don’t really have to.”
Garner understands that studying can help improve grades, but also acknowledges that for students with other priorities than school, it isn’t always necessary.
“I think if you fail a test that’s not great, but I think that there’s usually enough [other grades] in each class that if you do bad on one test; you can just do good on everything else and you’ll still get the ‘A,’” Garner said. “I mean, obviously studying more will probably lead to a better grade, but I don’t hold grades as a super high importance, in general.”
Psychology teacher Kirsten Crandall emphasizes the importance of having a mindset like Garner at times, saying that studying should not dictate a student’s self worth.
“How well you study is not going to ever dictate your success as a human,” Crandall said. “The sum of who you are is so much more than your grades. You are simply, on a test, just demonstrating what you know, not what your worth is.”
Sophomore Will Jonasson does not currently place much emphasis on grades, like Crandall talks about, and prefers to study last minute like Powell.
“A lot of times I don’t [study], but other times, I usually have note cards and I take notes. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. I usually put it off to the last minute,” Jonasson said. “I think if I had better organization, and I cared, first of all, that would take too long, but it would also improve my grade.”
Oftentimes, for Jonasson, reviewing is difficult as a result of the lack of structure within storing and taking notes.
“It looks like gibberish. I tried to organize it. But I really have no organization, system or method.” Joanasson said. “I just write what I can.”
Students have a variety of reasons to wait until the last minute to study or do homework. But as Crandall believes, simply feeling overwhelmed can result in building habits, such as procrastination.
“I think for myself, and for most people, it’s when we feel overwhelmed that we procrastinate.” Crandall said. “And so procrastination is more fear based than it is anything else.”