Switch Up Your Study Routine So It Doesn't Get Boring
With summer break around the corner, many students might find it challenging to sit indoors and crack down on those end of year AP Exams, projects, and finals. Since it is important to stay engaged for the entire academic year, it’s important to think outside of the box and brainstorm ways to make your test prep and studying less of a chore and more of something to look forward to!
Whether it’s a classmate, a sibling, or just a friend, find someone that can encourage you to put the time and effort into your studies. While it may seem cliché, having an accountability partner, or “study buddy,” can be a great way to create a study plan and stick to it. Having someone to share your academic goals with allows you to engage with another person about your studies and gives you someone to bounce ideas off of. Given that studying can also be monotonous, for certain students it’s also beneficial to have someone to connect with over what can feel like an overwhelming workload.
The concept of having a study buddy is beneficial in multiple ways. For instance, it can be a person you physically go and study with (or video chat with while studying), or it can just be a person that holds you accountable on different deadlines/tasks you’re hoping to accomplish. If you are someone that gets distracted easily, you may want to opt into just sharing your academic goals with someone for the week and having them check-in on your progress. For others, you may like the company of having another person to study with (even if they’re not studying or working on the same projects as you!)
For some students, their tutors can act as accountability partners. Tutors can help establish study plans, and they also work with students on: study skills, academic goals, and establishing deadlines for homework. Since a tutor engages with students through the study process by explaining new techniques and troubleshooting any errors, this is just one way to help make your studying and test prep more engaging.
Switching Up Study Routine
To stay engaged with your academic studies, and prevent them from being boring, it’s important to engage your brain with a series of different studying methods. For our tutoring students, we encourage a series of different approaches to innovate and stay engaged. Especially when handling preparation for large standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, it important to test your brain to think and handle problems in a series of formats.
- Online Resources: It’s great to break up your routine by incorporating some online, interactive problems from Kahn Academy or ACT Academy. For SAT, ACT and AP Exams, these resources should not be overlooked! You’re able to access databases full of questions, answers, and content explanations.
- Innovative Apps: With technology being so engrained in our everyday lives, why not utilize some neat apps for your studies? Quizlet, Duolingo, Vocabulary Builder, are just some that we have highlighted previously.
- Supplemental Readings: It’s great to incorporate primary documents and literary passages to give you an edge on the reading passages of the SAT and ACT. An example of this would be reading select passages from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, or a historical document such as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
- Supplemental Videos: Depending on your learning style, you may be interested in learning content by watching others or living the history. Historical documentaries on BBC, PBS and Netflix are great ways to prepare for content-specific sections on the history based subject tests. There are also numerous instructional YouTube videos available that act as complementary learning instruments that can reinforce instruction techniques.
- Writing It Down: While there are options of using technology to type up notes and study electronic vocabulary flashcards (Quizlet), it is important to recognize how you best learn and retain information. For some students, it is more impactful to hand write notecards and use them to study vocabulary. Or perhaps doing a written outline in a notebook or loose-leaf paper is your way of learning. Whatever works best for you – do not feel obliged to use technology as your main format of studies.
Ultimately, it is important to spice up your studying to make sure you are staying engaged and focused. Whether it’s studying with a friend, adding supplemental materials, or writing down your notes (instead of typing), you can customize your approach based on your needs!
If you’re looking to improve your test prep strategy, first make sure you’re on track with your test prep timeline! Download our free Tutoring and Test Prep checklist below!