As October begins and the semester continues, the reality of exams, assignments, essays and, of course, procrastination begins to set in.
Many students have lost the fresh sense of motivation that August holds, and have found themselves staying up into the early hours of the morning studying for a test the night before, even though they knew about it for three weeks. In hopes of discovering some advice on better studying techniques, The Brand staff went back to 1985 to see what they could find.
In the Feb. 26, 1985, edition of The Brand, the late Dr. Ray Johnson, former professor of psychology and religious education and counselor to students, gave students valuable advice on how to be more prepared, study effectively and achieve good grades. According to Dr. Johnson, creating a calendar and “listing deadline dates” can help students by giving them a “bird's eye view” of what to expect for the semester. Students can make use of the calendar throughout the semester and plan their weeks accordingly so assignments and exams do not come as a surprise.
Additionally, Dr. Johnson mentions the importance of becoming aware of your professor’s “testing styles.” Some professors are more essay-heavy, while others test solely over what was taught through their lectures. Becoming familiar with their preferences is crucial to “help you focus your study,” according to Dr. Johnson, as it gives you an idea of what to prepare for.
Another common issue when studying is the environment in which you do it. As fun as it sounds to gather a group of friends to study before an exam, it may often lead to a big social hour and no productive studying. Dr. Johnson recommended that you “Study by yourself until you feel quite well prepared,” before getting together to review with a group of friends. Once you get together with friends to study, you can dedicate that time to “asking each other questions,” which can help “highlight some information” that you may have missed.
Dr. Johnson crafted an insightful list of advice that is relevant for Hardin-Simmons University students today as much as it was back in 1985. If we spend the time to apply some of his strategies, we can beat the stress of the semester and rise up more prepared and equipped to succeed.