Study smarter, not harder

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Sitting at a desk all weekend long and rewriting the same class notes repeatedly for hours may not seem that appealing. However, there are a few methods and apps out there that make this process significantly easier. (Graphic/Kayra Dayi)

Studying, which was once viewed as boring and time-consuming, has been further developed by Gen Z to make it more tolerable. Students have started “romanticizing” studying by making the process more enjoyable by either stepping outside to study, playing some classical or lo-fi music or writing their notes in calligraphy. Out of all the study methods available, there are a few apps and study techniques that stood out to some students. 

Study Methods:
The Pomodoro technique is especially for students who struggle to focus on their work for a long time. This technique involves focusing on work for about 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. “Oddly, when I am using the Pomodoro method I find myself gaining so much momentum that I work through my breaks or push them back, none which I used to do,” freshman Maryn Buchsbaum said. She suggests studying along with music, preferably one that is lofi, for those who get distracted easily. 

Another innovative study method is active recall. As opposed to passive recall, active recall helps students remember information faster and more efficiently. This method involves regularly asking oneself questions and testing oneself while going through the class content rather than rewriting all of the information and waiting until the end to review it. Freshman Sabrina Wakat explained that studying used to take her a long time before she started using active recall. She recommends this method because, “it shows you what you know in contrast to what you think you know.”

Freshman Alexis Negroni practices both the pomodoro technique and active recall. After applying these methods in her studying for over a year, she has seen improvement in her grades. “My biology grade was not that great at first which was very frustrating. However, once I started these methods my test grades started going from Bs to As. Due to great time management, I even started gaining extra points because of the extra credit work I completed, which was very rewarding to see,” she said. 

Apps:
As for applications, Quizlet is a great choice as it features notecards where students can write a term and its definitions. The app includes many options for various ways of studying. It has flashcards, learn, write, spell and a practice test option. “Quizlet is super effective and easy to use,” freshman Maiya Russell said. “I depend on it for a lot of studying. It helps me memorize material fast and understand it better.”

Notion is not exactly an app for studying, but it is a great one for organizing a daily schedule. In this app, individuals can make their to-do lists and even manage their whole schedules by creating calendars. Users can also add a personalized background which makes the experience more fun.

Overall, by using these study techniques and apps and a tidy and clean environment, individuals, especially those who put off their work until the very end, can expect to see a positive change in their abilities to focus and study. Nonetheless, students should not feel frustrated if these methods do not work for them right away. Freshman Emma Delgado recommends trying out studying using various techniques and not stress out if a particular one does not work efficiently. “Everyone studies differently for different subjects, teachers and exams, just find the method that works for you,” she said.

Kayra Su Dayi came here from Turkey in 6th grade and will be in 9th grade next year. She loves painting the pictures of nature or animals which she takes with her camera when she finds something captivating or interesting. Aside from art, she plays tennis and competes in speech and debate. She prefers to give informative speeches, but is still in the process of exploring the broad range of speeches. She liked to volunteer at Flamingo Gardens before the pandemic every weekend. She is a member of NJHS and interested to join more clubs next year!