I actually love studying. I find it helps me get my mind off everything else and just focus on the material at hand - given I'm properly motivated and in the mood. Here are my best tips on how to study better, and how to make it more fun!

1. Stay ahead.

This is the best way to stay on top of everything. Life is going to get hectic, things are going to happen. You're going to forget about an assignment or read the wrong chapters. It happens to the best of us. But studying and reading ahead can help you avert those crises, or lessen the headache when they occur!

2. Get properly motivated.

Not being in the mood to study is a major cause of pushing it off until suddenly it's the night before an exam and you haven't even opened the book yet. Scroll through Weheartit, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc., and look at studyspo pictures! Seriously! It will get you in the mood to study or at least review your notes! Also, on YouTube, I find 'study with me' videos quite motivating too.

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3. Have fun with it.

Order some colorful pens, highlighters, paper, etc. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, and there's a lot of study supplies for a good price on Amazon. Having supplies to make your notes cuter, or even just more organized can also help motivate you to knock out some studying! At the very least, it will help make your notes or reading more organized.

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4. Read, write, review.

Seriously. If you really want to know the info, the best way to do it is to read the chapters (see item five), then write your notes as you reread the chapter, and then condense your notes into the most important information. If you have access to a study guide, condensing your notes based on this is an excellent way to focus your readings. If you don't have a study guide, make one yourself based on lectures, questions from your textbook, and concepts you're struggling to understand.

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5. Read your textbook analytically.

Put the highlighter down. If you have it in your hand, you're likely to just skim the text and go a little crazy with the highlight-ing. This makes it look like you've read something, but really you've just been highlight-ing on autopilot. Instead, read the text with a pen and a post-it. If you have a thought or question, write it down on the post-it and come back to it later. Read the text thoroughly, and pretend like you're a detective looking for clues. Seriously! It sounds silly, but it works! Then go back and highlight wherever your post-its are, and begin your notes.

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6. Make flashcards.

Either on actual flashcards or on Quizlet. This seriously helps with definitions, dates, or people. Quiz yourself on them little by little, rather than the whole, huge stack the night before. Studying by flashcard is a sort of active learning that really helps strengthen your memory!

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7. Make a concept map.

For lengthy, confusing, or difficult concepts, "mind-maps" or "concept maps" are great. It can help your understanding of a process or elaborate concept by laying it out and organizing it visually. In chemistry and anatomy this was my best study tool to understand complicated processes.

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8. Turn off the TV.

I know it's hard. And I'm the absolute worst about this. But do it! You're going to focus on the show or movie more than you're going to focus on your notes. And although we love Chuck and Blair, they're going to be absolutely no help on your chemistry final - but they'll be waiting for you when you're done!

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9. Take a break.

When you get frustrated or burned out, you're going to go on autopilot and you're not going to encode any of the info. Instead, set a timer and study for that amount of time (I usually go 30-45 minutes) then take a 5-10 minute break. Stretch, eat a bite, get some more tea or coffee, or dance it out. Take your mind off the material - especially when it gets really hard - and come back to it when you feel refreshed and ready to start again. Of course, the hard part about this is making yourself come back, so don't watch TV or take too long off!

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10. Drink your H20!

For real though, try not to drink too much coffee. The caffeine can really impede your focus and make your anxiety worse. Try to drink your coffee in the morning, an hour or two before you study, and then limit your caffeine intake during your study hours. Trust me, it will help! Staying hydrated helps you focus and memorize concepts, as well as keeping your skin looking fantastic and limiting cravings. For real though, just drink your water.

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Thank you for reading! If you have any study suggestions for me, message me or tag me in your study tip articles so I can try your methods, too!!

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Love you lots!
Mads