9 Study Mistakes You Are Making That Will Cost You Your Grade

9 Study Mistakes You Are Making That Will Cost You Your Grades

You would be surprised by how many mistakes students make even though they feel confident about their studying skills. It’s easiest to see that there is a problem when exam grades begin to drop. Continuing to use the same technique will only lead you to get similar results. Then, before you know it, you’re grades are tanking and it’s too late to save them.

When it comes to studying these days, it is not enough to just retain the information in a textbook. A lot more is tested in exams. So, to do good on your exams a lot of things may need to change. Especially for those who do not choose to be coached and instead study on their own.

Here are some of the study mistakes you are making that will cost you a lot academically!

You Always Procrastinate

You say you can’t study today, but what about tomorrow? If you continue to procrastinate, you are setting yourself up for failure. Putting off your studies will leave you with a much larger workload. Doing all your studying all at once will lead to you not being thorough or grasping all of the fundamental concepts.

Studying In A Rush

It’s not smart to approach your studies like you would a marathon. Some students pick a perfect studying environment with a desk and then stick by that place all day long. The problem with this is that you are not allowing yourself any rest time. Technically, your chances for learning a lot of material is very low with this technique. The reason for this is that the brain needs to rest every once in a while to process information effectively. Instead of procrastinating until your deadlines, schedule your course work in small bits at a time which is more digestible.

Additionally, realize that moving around helps with your brainwork. Experts suggest that moving around betters blood circulation. And better blood circulation permits your brain to sharpen thinking and higher in productivity.

Multi-Tasking

If you are taking multiple courses at one time and end up hiring online class-takers, do not forget to go through the course yourself. You do not want to prepare for an exam in a rush and end up failing. A common motivation for this is usually to get more flexibility that allows you to do other things outside of class-time. While this is a valid reason, multi-tasking is not quite the solution when it comes to studying. Trying to do multiple things at the same time will only exhaust your brain and you won’t retain as much information. You will also be dividing your concentration from one thing, which means you are not fully attentive to learn all concepts. Give your mind ample time to process the information in one project before taking on the next.

Trying To Memorize Everything

Whether you are studying last minute or you are right on schedule, memorizing everything does not necessarily help. The more times you try to master the information in your notes, word for word, the higher your chances of failing in the exams. Ideally, questions are not set to be the exact order of words in textbooks. As long as you understand the logic or concept of the content, you should be all set for any exams set in that area.

Media Distraction

Social media has become ill for students during study time. A student may be very willing to concentrate on studying, but the distractions from social media hinder them. If you are one to keep looking at your phone, then it will be challenging to focus on your studies. Technically, when studying, you should leave your phone in your bag or in a different room from the one you are in. If you can study without using the internet, then do so. If you have to use the internet, consider shutting down all the tabs concerned with social media or entertainment like video games, YouTube, funny memes, among others.

Studying Alone

Every once in a while, a little solitude is excellent when studying. The problem comes in when you are always studying alone. In the company of people, you get different perspectives from which to approach a topic. As these people help to bounce ideas off, your brain better decodes the information. It is also the perfect time to clarify confusing and complicated matters in the subject at hand. Additionally, the more ways you are studying the better a grasp of the information you will have. Try teaching some of the concepts to your study-mates. Teaching them will not help you to retain the information, but it will help them to learn it as well!

Not Asking For Help

Along with bringing along some company during the study, you are doing yourself a disservice when you do not ask for help. Your professors and any other educators have a vast amount of knowledge they can share with you. Capitalize on the office hours of these people as your opportunity to gather more information. This is especially helpful for the technical bits of your coursework. Additionally, many schools have tutors available to you. Utilize these resources if you are struggling!

Studying A Few Days Up To The Exam

It’s easy to find yourself spending all your time up to your exam watching Netflix and avoiding your studies. Then you’ve found yourself cramming and rushing around to make sure you’ve studied. The few days prior to the exam, your tension has built-up too much causing your studying to not be as effective.

Instead of letting the pressure limit you, consider beginning your studies a couple of weeks before your exams.

Poor Time Management

Some students get almost everything else right, apart from time management. Realistically speaking, it can be hard to compile a 20-page document in two hours. However, students often take studying as a pressure-filled activity that needs to be rushed through. Some students only spare 30 minutes of their day for studying, and the rest of it on other activities. That kind of schedule does not allow your mind to soak in the information you have read. As an alternative, choose a proper balance in how you spend your time so that it is not too much or too little. Set aside an hour each day to study.

Conclusion

Studying is so much more essential than many students realize. Be sure that you are studying right with these tips! Let us know how these tips have helped you to study better in the comments below!

Author Bio

This post was written by Dancun. Dancun has been working with writing-challenged clients for over five years now. He offers ghostwriting, ghost editing, coaching, and SEO writing for businesses that want to see their sites at the helm of Google SERPs. His education background in communications and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches. He especially enjoys writing website and blog content for startups and established businesses. He is also working as an academic expert, providing assignment help to students or mothers who don’t have much time to complete their tasks via onlineclasstaker.com.

Gi’s Reflection and School Bullet Journals

Here is a breakdown of the bullet journal inspired planner created for Gi. Gi ordered two notebooks; a reflection notebook and a school notebook.

For Gi’s reflection notebook the main color or theme was pastel and watercolor. Layouts involved include a title page, future log, 2018 reflections, when I am old page, when I did last, the 5 w’s of life, monthly cover pages, monthly learning plan, gratitude log, monthly thoughts log, monthly reflections, monthly memories, weekly thoughts, daily reflections, and 2019 reflections so far.

For Gi’s school notebook, the main color or theme was pastel and watercolor. Further, layouts involved include a title page, year at a glance, the 5 w’s of life, accountability, get back on track, 2019 goals, study tips, other tips, Cornell notetaking guide, semester overview, timetables, course overview, monthly layouts, a sentence a day, monthly assignments, reading log, brain dump, weekly layouts, blank Cornell notetaking pages, mindmaps, monthly reflection, vocabulary list, references list, and project pages.

Reflection Notebook

Layouts Included

Title Page:

This is a pastel blue watercolor title page. In a calligraphy font, I wrote “Gi’s” then on the second line “Reflections” is in an all-caps print font.

Future Planning:

This layout features 2 columns per page. Each column features a month from that year. The header is a pastel minimal cursive.

2018 Reflections: 

This layout is mainly blank with a print and calligraphy header. “Reflection” is in pink calligraphy and “2018” in black print.

When I Am Old Page: 

This page has a yellow print title stating “what I hope to remember about my life when I am old.”The remainder of the layout is blank but with a colorful pastel watercolor blur.

When I Did Last: 

This layout is another watercolor layout. The header is in simple cursive over top of green watercolor. There is space on the left side of the page with green watercolor to note the task and several lines following it to write in dates of task completion.

The 5 W’s Of Life: 

This is an all black layout. The header is print and simple cursive lettering. The rest of the layout is broken into 5 sections: who, what, when, where, and why.

Monthly Cover Pages: 

These are simple circular watercolor hello pages. Each is a different pastel color. In black calligraphy cursive is the name of the month.

Monthly Learning Plan: 

This layout is made up of four boxes. The boxes are titled reflect, observe, plan, and act. Additionally, the header, the month is in black print font, learning is in a pastel calligraphy cursive, and plan is in a smaller print font.

Gratitude Log: 

These layouts are all different but with the same idea. They depict a yellow sunshine. Each ray of sunlight is numbered for the days of that month and “I am grateful for” or “gratitude” or “grateful” is in the sun.

Monthly Thoughts Log: 

This layout depicts colorful watercolor clouds. The headers are in black calligraphy cursive and black print font.

Monthly Reflections: 

This page is a series of reflection questions spaced out between two pages. The header is in black print and pastel cursive.

Monthly Memories: 

This memory layout has a minimal cursive header. The remainder of the page is filled with pastel watercolor circles where Gi can write in memories each month.

Weekly Thoughts:

Like the monthly layouts, this layout depicts colorful watercolor clouds. The headers are in black calligraphy cursive and black print font. This is a one-page layout.

Daily Reflections: 

The daily reflections layout was requested based on a layout created by Sublime Reflection. This layout is a three-page layout. The header is in a watercolor calligraphy cursive. The rest of the layout is a grid with a column for each day of the week. The rows include word of the day, wins, challenges, favorite memories, key lessons, tender mercies, gratitude, and <3.

2019 Reflections So Far:

This layout is mainly blank with a print and calligraphy header. “Reflection” is in pink calligraphy and “2019 so far” in black print.

Tools Used

School Notebook

Layouts Included:

Title Page:

This is a pink watercolor title page. In a calligraphy font, I wrote “Gi’s,” then on the second line “spring semester” is in an all-caps print font.

Year at a Glance:

This year at a glance features 124 months, January 2019 through December 2020, in a calendar format. The months are horizontal and in pastel colors. The main header is 2019 and 2020 in print font.

The 5 W’s Of Life:

The header of this layout is print and simple cursive lettering. The rest of the layout includes five sections: who, what, when, where, and why. Each section’s header is in a different pastel color.

Accountability:

This layout has a bold calligraphy cursive header in the center and includes 6 sections: quotes, intentions, definition, let go of, why, and invite in.

Get Back On Track:

This layout provides eight tips on getting back on track for school.

2019 Goals:

The 2019 goal layout features six sections all surrounded by colorful watercolor. The sections include other skills, physcial health, mental health, career, relationsihps, and art & hobbies.

Study Tips:

This page is full of colorful tips and illustrations to help with studying. These sections include flashcards, margins, mind maps, mini mind maps, and teach.

Other Tips:

This layout is mostly blank with a header. The header is an all-caps outlined print font.

Cornell Notetaking Guide:

This is a guide to the Cornell notetaking strategy. This page details what each section might include as well as the size and various other tips to notetaking.

Semester Overview:

The semester overview layout includes a pastel green calligraphy header. Further, the pages include four months: January, February, March, and April, Each section has a mini-calendar.

Timetables:

This layout includes two timetables. One breaks down the week in clock-like circles. Next, the second is a chart that breaks down each day of the week into 15 minutes increments.

Course Overview:

This layout is another chart to keep track of course information including credit hours, grades, etc.

Monthly Layouts:

Each month’s layout is slightly different. However, what they have in common is the use of calligraphy cursive in the header and the month laid out in a horizontal list identified by both the day of the week and the date. January is unique because of the borderlines in both black and pastel purple which are above and below the dates and days of the week. Then, February has pink watercolor splattered behind the days and dates of the month. March is nearly identical to January except the header has a shadow in pastel yellow. Lastly, April is similar to February except the watercolor is green. May is like January and March except the blue header is outlined in black.

A Sentence A Day:

This is a calendar style chart to write down a single word for each day of the month.

Monthly Assignments:

Here is another calendar of the month. This calendar is to write down assignment due dates. And anything upcoming.

Reading Log:

This log is meant to track reading and reading assignments for each month. Further, the header is a pastel-colored block print with black outlining.

Brain Dump:

The braindump layout is filled with watercolor splotches, always featuring two colors. Then, the header is done in pastel-colored block print with black outlining.

Weekly Layouts:

Each month features a different layout for the weeks. January’s weekly spreads vary by week, but each features a watercolor circle, the date, and the day of the week. For February, the weekly spreads include six sections, the 6th section broken into two. Also, I’ve used Minimal cursive in this spread. March’s weekly spreads show a watercolor cloud across the upper part of the page. Then above the columns is a black circle with the date in the circle. April’s layout is based on January’s and has seven watercolor circles for each day of the week. In the center of these circles is the date. Finally, May’s weekly layouts are just like February’s.

Blank Cornell Notetaking Pages:

These are blank pages drawn up to represent the Cornell notetaking pages as shown in the guide.

 Mind Maps:

This layout is most blank with a header. The header is in an all-caps outlined print font. The inside of the font is filled in with pastel colors.

Monthly Reflection:

Each month finishes with a reflection page. The header is in calligraphy cursive and print font. the rest of the page is broken into 4 sections. The first section is broken into 3 sections on achievement. The second is drawn to look like a piece of lined notebook paper and is for what was learned. The third section is for memories and is a simple box. The final section is a triangle and arrow meant to feature items for the upcoming month.

Vocabulary List:

This blank page has a black print header in the top left and right corners.

References List:

This blank page mirrors the vocabulary pages having black print headers in the top left and right corners.

Project Pages:

This layout is blank and has a calligraphy cursive header in the top left corner.

Tools Used:

Check out other Notebooks HERE.

elizabeth signature

5 Effective Ways For Students To Study Smarter

Are you one of those students who tend to while their time away till the exams looms on the horizon, only then trying to cram a year’s worth of knowledge? Do you often find yourself studying much harder than your peers, yet getting lower grades than them? Are you looking to change your ways; in search of better strategies to ace your exams? Well then, you have come to the right place!

The issue doesn’t necessarily lie with your intelligence or retention prowess. You only need to change the way you study. Here are five ultra-effective, smart-studying tips to transform your academic life for the better.

Understand the Concept before Memorizing it

Comprehension is the first step toward smarter study. It may be one of the simplest tips there is; your teacher might have mentioned it quite a few times in class!

However, many students still can’t grasp its importance. And therein itself lies the problem: grasping. Did you know that memorizing without understanding is far more difficult than that with a good grasp of the concept? Go back to the fundamentals if you simply can’t comprehend the advanced theory. It will still take much lesser time than blatantly mugging it up.

Teach Someone to Memorize Better

This is a lesser-known trick with innumerable benefits. Once you understand the concepts, instead of manually memorizing them, teach them to your classmate who barely comprehended a word. You will retain those pieces of knowledge better after a couple of three rounds of teaching.

What’s more, you would also have helped your peers excel! Had each and every one of your peers understood the concept by the time you did? Call your friends over and start teaching them. Admittedly, they might just be bored to death, but that’s what friends are for, eh – a tolerant audience to your many eccentricities?

Take a Break from Time to Time

You don’t have to keep studying for hours on end without taking a single break. It’s unhealthy, physically as well as mentally. Undue stress has never done anyone any good, and stress levels heighten considerably with continuous studying. Stare at the stars twinkling mischievously bright in the heavens, feel the cool, steady breeze on your face outside the window, and ponder over things other than the next chapter on thermodynamics, for at least 15 minutes after every two hours. Draw up a time table if you have to.

Here’s a little secret! How would you like to study for a whopping 8-10 hours every weekend with more than enough time on your hands for having fun? Study for two hours each in the morning, afternoon, evening and at night before dinner. You will still have a little more than five hours for recreation, excluding eight hours’ worth of sleep. Do the math!

Outsource the more Cumbersome yet less Important Assignments

There are times when students have more work than even the most meticulous of corporate professionals. Instead of letting your homework take a toll on your health, outsource it to one of the numerous assignment editing services in the market.

Browsing through the recommendations and reviews on assignment services will help if you are unsure which editing service to pick. Handing over your less important essays and assignments to such services will considerably reduce your workload, thus leaving you with enough time for actual study.

Start a Study Group with Like-Minded Students

If you thought that a study group was nothing but a bunch of students gathered together to study individually in total silence, you thought wrong. That’s a library! A study group is something more interactive. It is not only a chance for you to clear your doubts but also to organize debates and practical excursions.

For instance, if you are pursuing a major in Geology, go for a picnic on rocky terrain on the outskirts of your city; have fun while identifying the different types of rocks with your study group members. Additionally, you can conduct tests for each other within your group, thus getting ready for exams beforehand.

A few other honorable mentions include the habit of keeping flashcards handy, developing imaginative stories comprising the concepts you learned, and making good use of non-academic reference books. The number of hours you spent studying doesn’t count as much as how much you studied within those hours. Quality takes huge precedence over quantity at any given time.

Finally, signing off with some food for thought. How would it be if you take your stress levels up so high that you fall seriously sick? Working unnecessarily hard and stretching your mind beyond the boundaries of tolerance can lead to unforeseen mental and physical complications. Take very good care of yourself, eat healthily, and stay fit. All that smart-studying you did will go to waste if you end up with a bad headache during exams.

Author Bio

Carol Duke is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on marketing-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling, taking immense pleasure from visiting new countries.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

In today’s world, it’s crucially important to continue growing professionally. For this reason, so many people try to balance work and studying at college.

If you also have chosen this challenging path, you should learn how to cope with the stress to live your life to the fullest. If you are looking for useful tips on how to improve your overall performance and better your state of mind, keep reading.

Establish Healthy Eating Habits

When you immerse yourself in work and studying, you burn lots of calories. For this reason, you should eat healthy food and control your calorie intake. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your body gets enough nutritive elements to keep functioning effectively.

Doctors and scientists state that individuals who experience physical and mental stress must avoid eating junk food and fast food. Further, it’s highly recommended to increase the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and superfoods. If you feel exhausted, you should add the following products to your grocery list:

Must-Have Groceries

  • Blueberries
  • Olives
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa

These products contain vitamin E and A, omega-3, antioxidants, copper, magnesium, selenium, and iron. Therefore, if you consume them regularly, you will boost your vital energy.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Exercise Daily

Only a person, who is physically and mentally healthy, can cope with the balancing work and study. So if you want to be healthy, you have to exercise daily.

It doesn’t matter whether you attend Zumba classes or work out at the gym – be sure that you enjoy the process. The sport will help you to decrease the stress level, and you will feel yourself much better.

Don’t say that you can’t go into the sport because you don’t have enough time. However, it’s not an excuse. You can always find at least 20 minutes a day to make some basic exercises or practice yoga at home.

Get Enough Sleep

Your mind and body require at least 7 hours for recovering after the long day. Further, a lack of sleep can cause anxiety, depression and even more severe mental health issues. So, if you want to live a happy life, you shouldn’t sacrifice your night’s sleep under any circumstances.

Moreover, it’s okay to take a 30-minutes nap during the day. It will not affect your nighttime sleep but will improve your mood and performance.

Spend Time with Friends and Family

Balancing is all about setting the right priorities. First, find your priority number one:  your work, studying, family or friends? You need less than a second to answer this question.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let your busy schedule ruin your relationship with your loved ones. Further, you should always find a little time to talk to your close people on the phone or to meet them in person. Even if you live far away from your family, you can use Skype or any other services to have an in-depth conversation.

You should understand that the people whom you love provide you with great emotional support. They help you to overcome all the difficulties in your life. If you ignore your family and friends, you will not feel happy while working and studying.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Take Time Management Seriously

Time is the most precious resource, which people have. Do you agree with this statement? Try to imagine that you get 24 precious hours every day. Then, you have to decide how to invest them in building a happier future.

You should learn more about modern time management strategies and apply them to your real life. Doing so will help you to become the best employee and the best student.

The problem is that if you have poor time management skills, your attempt to balance work and study can turn to be a disaster. Further, to prevent the troubles, you should learn how to create an extra hour in your day.

Work Remotely, If Possible

If you are a waitress or cashier, you can’t work remotely. However, if you are an accountant or web designer, it’s likely that you can perform some of your tasks from home.

Be brave and talk to your boss. You should clearly explain why you would like to work remotely. If you are good at negotiating, your boss will allow you to work from home at least one day a week.  As a result, you will get a more flexible schedule and will save a few precious hours.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Sometimes, when you have to work and study all day long, it feels like your life is passing you quickly. This is a terrible situation, and you have to find a rational solution.

Don’t pretend that you are a superhero, because you are not. You are an ordinary person, so you shouldn’t feel awkward asking for help.

Do you lack time to walk your dog early in the morning? Well, you can pay $5 to your 12-years-old neighbor, and he will do you a favor.

Do you want to go to the friend’s birthday party, but have to write a research paper tonight? It’s not a problem! You can get help from the best college writing services online.

Conclusion

Professional growth is essential for your success, and it’s a fact. However, there are a lot of beautiful things around you, which makes your life better. Make sure that your work and studying at college don’t take all of your time. Additionally, be sure that you can enjoy all the beauty the world has to offer.

Author Bio:

Daniela McVicker is a blogger and writer with a degree in social psychology from Durham University. Daniela primarily focuses on writing about self-improvement. Additionally, she has authored several insightful and motivating articles like “Making The Right Choices Every Day” and “7 Steps To Open Yourself To New Opportunities & Possibilities”.

Disclosure: This post is a guest post. Another anonymous party authored this guest post. All posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

3 Useful Ways Students Can Take Advantage of Screen Recording

As a student, a screen recorder may not exactly be on your list of useful apps – but it should be. Contrary to popular belief screen recorders can be a handy tool. If you take advantage of screen recording, it could help you to learn more effectively.

If you want to start to take advantage of screen recording, there are three useful ways that you could begin to do that:

Use Video Calls to Study – And Save Them

Study groups are a great way to learn faster by working together while breaking the monotony of studying alone. But it may not always be convenient to meet someplace to study with your friends. When you can’t get together, use video calls on platforms such as Skype or Google Hangouts as an excellent alternative.

Via a video call, you can not only study together but share notes, and, show each other what you’re doing. With screen recording, you can then record the video call directly from your screen and save it. Having a recording allows you to refer to it at any point – which can help when you’re revising too. well.

Save Useful Online Streaming Videos

Nowadays, there are lots of useful online streaming videos that delve into practically every topic imaginable. Odds are you may already be watching specific videos that may be related to the topics that you’re studying.

Instead of continually streaming online videos, screen recording allows you to save it. It can be used to save any online videos – including live streams or video courses from within certain apps.


Once you’ve saved the video, referring to it will be much more convenient. You could even transfer it to other devices. Moving it between devices allows you to have access to it no matter where you are.

3 Useful Ways Students Can Take Advantage of Screen Recording

Get Help More Effectively

Have you ever been stuck with a particular software or digital problem? However, when you tried to get help but struggled to describe the issue, you’re facing? Instead of using words to describe it, you can use screen recording to capture a video of it instead.

For example, if you’re having an issue writing a report, you could record a video of the part that you find confusing. You can then share the video so that you can get the assistance you need.

By now you should be able to see how screen recording could help you out in many ways as a student. All that you need to get started is a screen recorder Mac or PC.

Once you have a screen recorder, you can explore all of the ways you feel it could be useful. Think of it as a screenshot – but far more effective and versatile.

This post was collaborative. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I may receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

How to Cope with Test Anxiety | Step-by-Step Guide

It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious about different things that come up in our lives, and having these feelings surrounding tests is nothing to ignore. No matter if you are in grade school, college, or getting your doctorate, test anxiety can affect anyone. Our education can hold a lot of weight, and knowing that something is measuring how much you know is a pretty daunting idea. Wherever you are in your education, know that you’re not alone! Here I’ve compiled some tips and steps to help you cope with test anxiety. You’ve got this!

Before The Test

Tip One: Study

Make a study plan. Prepare and write down your plan of attack. How much time will you spend each day studying? What topic will you cover on which day? Be sure to spread the studying out over time to allow yourself to soak up the information while you are feeling most relaxed.

Tip Two” Relax

Find a way to relax and take your mind off the upcoming test the night before. Maybe a hot bath, reading a book you enjoy, or simply going to sleep early. Taking care of yourself and your mind right before the test will help you be in a positive state of mind and ready to take on the world!

Tip Three: Eat Right

Eat a meal before. Don’t let your test anxiety stop you from keeping your body fueled and hydrated. Drink water, coffee, or tea to help you feel awake and ready to go. Eat a meal that has a good balance of protein, fiber, and fat to keep you full.

Tip Four: Breathe

Before you go in, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you’ve prepared for this and that you took care of your body and mind to make sure you are ready to do your best work possible. Take one last look at the information if that helps you, but you know yourself best. Avoid this if you think it will make you feel more stressed or anxious.

How to Cope with Test Anxiety
Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

During The Test

Tip One: Stay Positive

As soon as you get your test, take a few deep breaths. Affirm yourself with positive self-assurances such as “I can do this,” “I have prepared for this,” and reminding yourself that your worth does not come from your performance. Close your eyes and take another breath before you open the test.

Tip Two: Look It Over

Before you start answering, flip through and read the question types and understand what lies ahead. This way, nothing on the test will surprise you, and it will help you to realize that you will tackle it one question at a time. Read through the directions, read through all answer choices on each question, and if it is open-ended, take your time. You are smart, and you are capable!

Tip Three: Read It Through

Once you have finished the test, read through it once or twice. Be sure that you answered each question and check your answers again to be sure that you feel confident. Hand in your test with confidence knowing that you did your best.

How to Cope with Test Anxiety
Photo by Wadi Lissa on Unsplash

After The Test

Tip One: It’s Out Of Your Control

First off, you’re done! It’s important to recognize that you’ve completed the test and that at this point it is out of your hands—it is no longer something you can control.

Tip Two: Stay Distracted

Distract yourself if necessary. If you can’t stop thinking about how you might have done, or still feel anxious, distract yourself with activities such as spending time with friends, exercising, or watching your favorite TV show. Try to keep your mind off the test and focused on what lies ahead.

Tip Three: Reflect

Once you feel completely at ease, try looking back and assessing how it all went. Ask yourself, “Is there anything you can do next time to help yourself feel more prepared?” “Were there any tools that helped you, in particular, to retain information or feel more confident about it?” You can also prepare for the next test by coming up with a new study plan based on what worked or did not work before.

Thanks for reading!I hope this helped you as you tackle your next big test. Don’t let your test anxiety win! Good luck, and you’ve got this!

prefer to use your own binder and add printables? let me make them for you! Click here

This post was written in collaboration with Caroline Pitarque Johnson. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

A 3-Layered Study Plan to Green Light Your Education

The fact you’re reading this post suggests you’re struggling to get your head around college organization. Fear not. A shocking number of students feel as though they could drown under that pressure. And, it’s no surprise when you have teachers telling you that how well you do here will dictate your life. Talk about stress! Read on for more on our 3-layered study plan!

3-Layered Study Plan

One of the main things we struggle with as students are finding the time to study. Sadly, that’s about the most critical part of your college career. Even if you attend all the lectures and their extras, not making time to study could see you struggling to survive your first year of college.

But, that knowledge may leave you asking, how can you find the time? If you’re already struggling (and most students are), how can you create space for even more work? It might seem like an impossible task, but trust us; it isn’t. In truth, all you need to do to get on top here is a bullet journal and a three-layered study plan like this one.

Layer 1: The Time You Don’t Have

The blank page is the most daunting thing about starting a bullet journal. How do you even begin to section your life into a workable plan? Well, jotting down the times when you know you’re busy could be a good start. This will help you develop at least some idea of your timetable, and that’s most important of all. So, step one is to create pages which outline everything from your class times, any educational trips you have in the pipeline, and even planned social occasions. After all, meeting up with friends is also essential if you want to keep your sanity. Use a red pen for these areas to show that they’re no-go’s. You won’t need to worry about those hours because they’re taken and accounted for.

laptop notebook candle

Layer 2: The Time You Could Have

Next, move onto the time you could use for study. By this, we meantime which isn’t strictly free but could still be put to good use. You know the type of stuff; lunch hours, commute times. These are periods of your day which are taken, but only loosely. Fill these in yellow. Then, you can leave aside quick-fire study tasks for occasions like these. If you have an activity which will only take half an hour, set it aside and don’t pick it up until there’s a yellow square on your study horizon.

Layer 3: The Time You Do Have

The hard part is out of the way. You’ve separated the time you spend doing stuff in your day. Now, grab a green pen and get into the body of your study plan. If there are white squares left on this journal page, consider using them for your studies. Of course, we all need downtime. Make sure to leave yourself at least one blank space a day. But, the rest of your schedule should be used to get your studying done!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Easy Steps to Create a Stunning Home Study Space

I don’t know about you, but I always found it easier to concentrate when I’m in a pleasant environment. In fact, being comfortable, and having an organized and personalized space around me seems to help me keep my mind focused and get much more done. With that in mind, you may be considering creating a space dedicated to study and work in your home. However, before you do check out the advice below for some help.

Choose A Location

Before you can put in a study space, you need to pick where it will go. You have to be pretty smart about this as well. You want to be smart because you don’t want to be stuck getting distracted all of the time. To this end, an area such as the attic or basement can be the perfect spot. These secluded spaces make it more difficult for people to find you and distract you. This more private space means you will get left alone most of the time to concentrate.

However, before you go ahead with installing your study space, you need to ensure that the area is suitable for long periods of time. That can mean installing basement waterproofing, heat, and light into a subterranean space, or cleaning out an attic room. Also, remember to make your that the floor is sturdy enough to hold the furniture you need.

Easy Steps to Create a Stunning Home Study Space

Pick Furniture

The next step on most folks’ lists when creating a study space is to pick out the furniture that the will need to get work done. Usually, this is a desk and chair and sometimes some books shelves and draws to keep things organized as well. Find your space becomes cluttered fast? Check out these tips.

Make sure that the items you pick are not only fit in with the decor you want but are also comfortable and sturdy. After all, you will spend quite a bit of time in that space. So, the furniture you pick needs to fit the space.

Otherwise, you could end up with a painful back for being in a chair that isn’t supportive of your posture, or even developing RSI if you don’t have your desk at the right height for your computer keyboard.

Add Personal Touches

To finish off your study areas and make it your own it’s nice to include some decorations and personalized touches. What you pick is entirely up to you of course, and many folks are happy enough with a few photos of their family and pets on the desk.

However, if you want the space to have a more cohesive look, you could choose colors that fit in with the broader scheme. Plants in metallic pots are in style this season. Additionally, hanging decorations like the paper pom poms that you can DIY are an easy decor choice.

Follow these tips and you will have the perfect study space to encourage productivity in your studies.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies & Tips for College

Note-taking is by far the most difficult part of reading for college students. Note-taking is tedious, boring, doubles the time it takes for you to read a chapter, and you generally cannot understand them later. We all know how reading can benefit us. Below are some ways to efficiently and effectively take notes. These strategies will make studying your notes easier and will keep your notes organized.

This post may contain affiliate links

Textbooks and Plants

Skim

The first note-taking strategy is to skim. I mean two things when I say skim. The first is that I recommend an extremely brief skim of each section before you read them. During this initial skim, take mental note of any bolded or italicized words. These are the words you are going to want to pay particular attention to when you’re reading.

Second, by skim I mean skim instead of in-depth reading. The more important bits of the reading is the beginning and end—the begging and end of the chapter, the sections, and each paragraph. That doesn’t mean ignore the middle bits. Just don’t spend all your time focusing on the middle of each paragraph.

How is skimming a note-taking strategy you might ask? Well when you are spending less time reading every single word, you have more concise, accurate, and organized notes!

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies and Tips for College Students

Utilize Headings

Headings are very important when it comes to note-taking. Headings not only give you a brief idea of what you are about to read, but they can be used to organize your notes based on content. You might try organizing your notes based on headings or a general idea the text focuses on in the section following each heading.

prefer to use your own binder and add printables? let me make them for you! Click here

Create Outline

An outline is an easy way to organize your notes as you go. This is particularly easy because most textbooks are organized with headings that give you an outline before you’ve even started taking notes. If you prefer not to outline your notes based on the headings. Create a brief outline when doing the initial scan that makes sense to you.

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies and Tips for College Students

Color Coordinate

I cannot stress enough about the importance of color coordination in note-taking. Even just alternating colors when you start a new idea can help you to navigate your notes quicker when your studying. Planning Pineapple mentions choosing 5 colors to organize your notes. A different color for headings, subheadings, vocabulary, main notes, and big points. This is an amazing idea that I utilize in my own note-taking.

If you don’t like worrying about colors while you are taking notes, trying highlighting after the fact instead!

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies and Tips for College Students

Splitting your Page

Another highly recommended way to take your notes is to split the page. Draw a line or fold your page about two inches from the left side. That left column should include cues and questions. The right column is where your notes will go. Then, about two inches from the bottom of the page (or even just at the end of each section), summarize your notes. This strategy is the best when it comes to taking in-class notes, but it can also be used effectively when you are reading your text!

Now that you have 5 more note-taking tools under your belt, you are sure to succeed! Which strategy is your favorite? Let us know if the comments!

elizabeth signature

What’s in My Backpack!? Backpack Essentials for College Students

As a college student, it is essential to pack our bags strategically because you have to carry it around with you all day. Without an alternate place to store all of your things (like lockers for high schoolers), you need to maximize the space in your backpack while still having everything you need for class and the day as a whole. Below I talk about my backpack essentials!

The Backpack

Naturally, for this post to make any sense you’re going to need a backpack or another larger bag of your preference. I have a bad neck and back, so I opt to use a backpack with good support to lessen my physical discomfort. I also find it to be essential that your bag of choice has many pockets to aid in the organization of all of my things.

My current backpack has lost its support and needs to be replaced, however, I cannot seem to find one with pockets that I like within a decent price range. It has two large compartments, a medium compartment with smaller zipper pouches in it, a small front compartment and two water bottle compartments on the sides. I utilize each of these sections.

Everyone is different, so when choosing a bag, make sure it suits your needs!

What's in my backpack

Textbooks and Binders

In many cases, the largest contents of a backpack are the textbooks, notebooks, folders, and binders. I generally take one to two textbooks at one time because of their weight and how it affects my neck. If you can fit and can carry more than two and you’d like to, go for it!

In addition to the textbooks required for my classes, I take the binder that is associated with the class I will be attending for the day. I use binders instead of notebooks and folders for multiple reasons. The first reason is that I have hundreds and hundreds of pages of loose-leaf notebook paper and absolutely no notebooks. So, having a binder gives me a place to keep the paper.

The second reason I use binders instead of folders is that the binder organizes everything I will need for the class including the loose-leaf paper, handouts, a folder for the handouts, folder compartments for projects that need to be turned in, and a clear area to put the syllabus or course schedule on the front. This way I am not digging through a cluttered notebook to see what is due next. The downfall of using binders are the bulk. Again, use what works best for you!

prefer to use your own binder and add printables? let me make them for you! Click here

Planner / Scheduler

My next backpack essential is potentially my favorite part—my planner. Personally, I use a bullet journal (check out my bullet journal here}}). I keep my journal in a pouch to protect it from spills and page damage, though this is not necessary.

I HIGHLY recommend that you get an agenda or planner if you don’t already have one. It is essential to keep all your due dates, classes, appointments, and other events organized in one place. Plus, there are a million different types of planners so you are bound to find one that you really like.

Laptop

This next backpack essential isn’t really essential but for some people, it is immensely useful to have on you. I keep my laptop on me because I work on campus and use it at work. However, it is also extremely helpful in between work and class when I do not have time to go all the way across campus to go to the library, or if there are no computers available in the student lounge in my building. I am able to pull out my laptop and work on homework or even complete blog work in my free time instead of sitting around playing on my phone. If you choose to carry your laptop around you need to be mindful that it takes up a lot of space, requires protection, and will probably need you to have a messy mop of cords in your bag too.

What's in my backpack

Writing Utensils

You can’t be expected to take notes in class without writing utensils, so these are a MUST. I keep my pens, pencils, and highlighters in a zipper compartment in my medium zipper section, though you can also opt to keep them in a pencil case or makeup bag. I always keep a plethora of colors on my person because I like to take notes in color, but this is not something that you need to have, a few black pens and a pencil are good enough.

What's in my backpack

Water Bottle & Snacks

One of the most important parts of the college student’s backpack is a water bottle. By keeping a water bottle on you, you are more likely to stay hydrated without having to use public water fountains. Water is good for you, so don’t forget to bring your water bottler!

Regardless of how long you plan to be on campus, you will need snacks. Snacks are an awesome way to remain focused, refuel energy, and if you’re on campus all day—you will need to eat. I am generally on campus all day because of work and class, so I not only pack a lunch but also keep granola bars and various chips or crackers in my backpack. My small pouch of my backpack is designated for snacks.

What's in my backpack

Umbrella

It’s not a necessity in some places, but I always keep my umbrella in my second water bottle pouch in case of rain. Where I am from random bouts of rain are not uncommon, and I prefer not to have to run to my car with my bag over my head.

What's in my backpack

Wallet

If you have any interest in having an ID on you, student card, money card, cash or anything else you probably keep your wallet on you. This is easy to add to your backpack because it probably does not take up much space.

What's in my backpack

Charging Cords

The final backpack essential is charging cords! This might not be a necessity for you, but if you have your laptop or phone on you, you probably do not want it to die in the middle of the day. I keep my cords in the pouch with my snacks for ease of access.

There you go! Those are my backpack essentials, what do you keep in your school bag??

elizabeth signature
What’s in My Backpack!? Backpack Essentials for College Students

How to Survive College | A Guide For College Freshman

I have been there…heck, I am still there! College is hard! The constant, never-ending piles of homework and assigned readings. It’s nearly impossible not to get behind! Plus, you’re always feeling sleep deprived and exhausted from pulling those all-nighters. College is hard, but it can be made super easy by following these Tips to Surviving College!

Get Enough Sleep

Believe it or not, all-nighters aren’t all that helpful. When you’re sleep deprived your brain functioning decreases significantly and your metabolism slows! This is especially important during finals, everyone is feeling the need to stay up all night studying. But If you begin studying enough in advance (keep reading to learn more about this), you will be able to get enough sleep to be fully functioning come test-day! Nothing is worse on test day than being sleep-deprived.

“Sleep is essential for optimal learning and memory function.” -Harvard.edu

Eat Right

I know, I know, you’re poor, I was there. I understand you must eat on a teeny-tiny budget. Just make sure you’re eating! Don’t skip any of those key meals. Be sure to get a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prepare a meal that you can eat on the go the night before if you know the next day is going to be busy. You can also save money on meals with meal planning and coupons.

“Healthy eating has been linked to higher grades, better memory, more alertness, faster information processing…”  Livestrong.com

Avoiding meals or eating primarily junk foods can significantly hurt your learning and your mood. So make sure you are eating and eating well!

Avoid Binge Drinking

The typical “college experience” includes partying, sure, go for it (YOLO, right?). NO. Drinking not only drains your bank accounts but it leads to poor decisions that can and will affect your schooling! I’m not saying you can’t go out and have some drinks with your friends every now and then. But, if you are doing it all the time your school work will suffer, your health will suffer, and you’re spending a lot of money on alcohol that you could be spending on REAL FOOD.

So, this goes with healthy eating and the financial topics I talk about below. Partying all the time does you no good if you are at school to get a degree (and if you don’t wish to gain a ton of weight, yeah, alcohol can cause weight gain). If you’re partying all the time, sleep deprived, and inevitably stressed from being poor and far behind on your work, obviously, your body isn’t going to be in very good shape. And if your body isn’t doing well, neither are you. Take care of yourself.

Try to avoid binge drinking, it’s not good for your college survival.

Make Friends

Having a social life is important, if you’re isolating then you are bound to burn out faster. Resilience. Resilience refers to a person’s ability to bounce back from traumatic or difficult situations. One way to help build your resilience is to have friends. I’m not saying you must go out and find a ton of friends (you can if you’d like). But really all you need is a couple close friends, people to count on and who count on you. Having a place to belong is super important!

Be careful, if you’re only socializing and you never study, your grades will suffer.

Build your resilience to difficult situations, make a friend. #Friendship

Time Management

Time Management

I cannot stress enough the importance of time management! Without time management, you are more likely to forget about assignments and be generally stressed out and behind! Having good time management can help you to not only feel better but to raise your grades as well! Track your time for a week and see where you are spending your time!

“Time=Life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein

Get a Planner

Using a planner is a great way to practice time management! Use a planner to track your assignments, events, set aside study time, track your meals and water intake, track your habits, and be prepared for upcoming tests and projects! You can also track group assignment meetings, club meetings, and anything else you are involved in! I highly suggest creating a Bullet Journal, check out these printable planning pages and homework trackers to help you out!

myHomework.com

This website and mobile app will help you to track your assignments and it saved my education! It’s easy to use and incredibly useful! Here’s how you use it! (Not Sponsored)

At the beginning of every semester set aside a chunk of time to add all your assignments from the syllabus. You’ll be thankful you did this when you never forget an assignment again!

MyHomeworkApp survive college

myHomework.com allows you to input assignments based on classes that you’ve added.

survive college

You can set the importance, add a description, set a reminder, and more!

You can also add the widget to your cell phone’s home screen to view your assignments at a glance

myhomework widget screenshot survive college

Once you’ve turned your assignment in, check the assignment as done and move on to the next one!

Prefer to write it down? Check out my printable homework trackers!

Get your Books in Advance

As soon as your textbook lists become available, email your professor to make sure those are the required texts, then get them! Coming to the first few weeks of classes unprepared will set you back! No one likes playing catch up, you’ll never feel like you are ahead of the game.

Once you’ve bought them track them! Keep a spreadsheet detailing the book’s information so that, come to the end of the semester, you will know which ones are rentals and when they are due. Plus, if a book doesn’t show up, you will have all the information you need handy to get a free replacement!

CheapestTextbooks.com

I absolutely love this website and I recommend it to everyone I know who is searching for textbooks. This website automatically compares pricing on textbooks all over the internet to help you save money. This website saved me hundreds! (Not Sponsored)

Once you’ve typed your ISBN number or a keyword or phrase into the search bar, you get to choose how you want the book (Rental, New, Used, etc.). Then it’ll lay out all the sites you can buy the book from and the price! How easy is that??

Textbook Pile survive college

Do Your Homework

Once you’ve got your time management all settled, you have your books and your assignments all figured out, you have no excuse for not doing your homework. Doing your assignments is literally the easiest way to ensure a passing grade. You can’t fail if you do everything that is asked of you! Chances are, you will do pretty well!

Simple as that!

custom bujo ad

Skim

You don’t have time to read every single reading assignment in detail, I get it. So instead, learn how to skim. This can take practice, but I am sure you’re already a pro.

Always refer to the discussion questions and key learning points presented at either the end or the beginning of the chapter. These will give you an idea of what you are about to read and also give you information to focus your attention on. If your professor gives you a set of discussion questions or an assignment, thoroughly read the instructions and questions before delving into the chapter. Again, this sets you up to read the information with a goal.

Pay close attention to the beginning and ending of every paragraph, as well as anything underlined, bolded, italicized or in a bubble on the page.

And Lastly, TAKE NOTES! Taking notes while you are reading is a sure-fire way to improve your learning. Simply writing down the section titles and subtitles, along with a few key points, definitions, or some of your thoughts will increase your attention to your reading. This, in turn, helps you to memorize the information for the test later!

Easy!

Textbooks and Plants survive college

Do Your Work at the College Library

Sometimes the most distracting place to do homework is at home… Whether you live in the dorms, an apartment, or with your parents, you are more likely to watch Netflix or spend countless hours on your phone when you are at home. Doing your homework in the library lessens the chance you will be distracted and you will get a lot more done in a shorter period of time.

If you don’t have access to a library try designating a spot in your house for work only. In this spot, you cannot watch TV, sleep, or lounge. Having an area that is only for school will help you to sit down with the mindset that you are working, and help to lessen distractions.

studying

Start Studying Early

You don’t need an all-nighter to be prepared for a test if you’ve already been studying! Doing a little bit of reading or note card review every day starting at least a week in advance could be enough to prepare you for the test!

Study while you are waiting in line at the grocery store or while in the waiting room at the doctors. Doing this instead of browsing Facebook will increase your chances of passing!

Being prepared for a test feels way better than cramming the night before, promise!

Get a Study Buddy…. Or Two!

Studying with other people is so great for learning because teaching is a really great way to reinforce memorization. Plus, if you are stuck, maybe your buddy can help!

Not only are study buddies great study resources, but they keep you accountable. Accountability is huge. If you have no way of holding yourself accountable for doing your work, why would you do it? Now maybe your parents or the teachers keep you accountable. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have someone there to work out the difficult problems with. Plus, maybe you’ll make a friend while you’re at it!

Take Advantage of College Writing Centers and Tutors

Your school provides resources such as a writing center and tutoring services for a reason, USE THEM! There is nothing to be ashamed of, everyone needs a little help sometimes.

If you are struggling with one of your classes, get a tutor. A tutor is someone who has been in the class or knows the subject particularly well. Why wouldn’t you want the help of an expert?

Writing centers are also amazing resources. Every student at one point has to write a paper or two, it’s inevitable so you might as well accept your fate now. No matter how skilled you are at writing papers it is always smart to have someone (or multiple someones) read your paper for errors, structure, flow, etc. The people in the writing center happen to be particularly knowledgeable in writing. They can catch those pesky mistakes you keep reading over, and the ones you don’t know your making. Make an appointment and have them read it! What can it hurt?

“Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it means you’re smart enough to recognize when you’re struggling.” Elizabeth Ghekiere

Take Notes

Take Notes!

As I mentioned before, writing things down helps you to learn and memorize information. Even if you have access to the notes online, taking your own notes is a form of studying. So, by taking notes you are becoming better prepared for the test.

Taking notes in class is huge because many professors add questions to the test that are based on lectures instead of just the reading, assignments, or their provided notes. Forcing yourself to take notes also forces you to pay attention and you are less likely to wonder, “Did we actually learn this” when it comes to test-day! There were so many times in my undergrad, where I would hear other students complaining that the teacher didn’t teach the information that was on the test. However, I would look at my notes and see clearly that it was a topic of discussion. Paying attention and taking notes helps!

Ask Questions

If you are stuck or confused ask questions! Raise your hand in class, approach the professor after class or during office hours, ask the writing center, ask a tutor, ask a classmate. If you don’t know something, ASK, don’t leave yourself hanging.

So often I find myself confused or wondering something but am afraid to raise my hand and be embarrassed. This is normal. However, after forcing myself to ask questions I found that I felt more confident in both myself and my work! Not only did I feel better, but I was able to build really helpful relationships with professors and peers. These connections are incredibly useful in the future when you have more questions, or in the job-world when you need a recommendation!

“Don’t be afraid to ask a question, it might lead to a mutually prosperous relationship.” Elizabeth Ghekiere

Start Paying on Your Loans

I know, I know, you’ve been trying to avoid your loans, not pay on them early! But trust me, you will be saving your own butt if you start NOW! Even if you just try to keep up with the interest, you’ll thank yourself after you graduate! I started paying on my loans my freshman year and was able to pay off two loans completely before I graduated, leaving another two with only a couple hundred left. Crazy right!? I didn’t even make monthly payments. Imagine the damage you could do with monthly payments! Whenever you have extra money, throw it at your loans, you won’t regret it.

Avoid Credit Card Offers

Those pesky credit card offers will be the death of you. They sound intriguing now, and they try to tell you it’s the only way to accrue credit. But they are lying. I haven’t used a single credit card and I have great credit!

Credit cards are tempting because you’re poor in college, but unless you are able to pay them off RIGHT AWAY, you will only build yourself into a deep debt-hole. The deeper the hole, the harder it will be to get out of, and the longer it will take to get financially free.

Pens

Take All Those Free Pens

You just never know when you or a friend will need a pen, might as well take one…or three!

I hope these tips and tricks which helped me survive my undergrad are helpful for you! Enjoy what you’re reading? Sign up for a ton of FREE stuff HERE.
elizabeth signature