Study Places and Tips

Baneen Rizvi, Editor in Chief The Nest

With STAAR tests steadily approaching in April as well as AP tests and finals in May, it is no surprise that the stress of preparation may slowly be creeping up on students. To keep up with classes and pass proficiently on upcoming exams, it is important to impose an effective study method in one’s routine. Having a go-to study routine or a study space can allow one to easily engage in learning and firmly memorize content for tests and exams. Here are some recommendations and top tips to gain some ideas and inspiration for better studying this semester.

4 Recommendations for a Study Spot

Cinco Ranch Branch Library Located on 2620 Commercial Center Boulevard, the Cinco Ranch Branch Library is a classic study spot to prepare for an upcoming test.  With its vast amount of space, one can easily tuck themself into a comfortable nook between the shelves or join a table to study with others. There are also a wide variety of sources available including computers, books and more for research and simple use.

Kona Reserve Coffee

A true classic, coffee shops are one of the most popular locations for a study session. Located on 4020 FM 1463, Kona Reserve Coffee captures all the best details of a classic coffee shop. With its comfortable seating and good lighting, it makes a perfect spot for a laidback study session. Students can easily get work done with free Wi Fi and flavorful coffee made from freshly roasted beans from Kona, Hawaii.

Willow Fork Park

Studying out in the open air can feel refreshing and more efficient for those who don’t prefer the confinements of their home or a coffee shop. There are many parks located throughout Katy with beautiful outdoor areas such as Willow Fork Park. Located just by Cinco Ranch High School, this park is the perfect place to get work done and catch some fresh air. With its pleasant greenery and serene surroundings, it makes an ideal location to study at.

At Home

Sometimes, life can find one unable to attend a group study session at a coffee shop or a solo academic retreat in the park. If so, skip the cafe and work from the comfort of home. With the familial setting and the comfortable nature of home, one can easily find themselves at ease and diligently finish work. Study in solitude from the backyard or perhaps a quiet bedroom. Studying at home can also allow one to personalize their study spot to their liking. Bring some snacks for fuel or turn on a relaxing playlist during this private study session.

Top 5 Study Tips for Finals Prep

  1. Find a Study Partner

Studying alone can become overwhelming and burdening especially when the content is difficult to understand. Instead, opt for a buddy system and pair up with a study partner to effectively review for upcoming tests. Study groups can allow for students to share ideas, effectively retain content and learn course material in depth.

  1. Explore Different Learning Styles

Reading notes word for word might seem like a go-to study method, but it is important to rotate through different study routines in order to effectively understand course content and be better prepared for tests and exams. It takes trial and error to find the best study methods personalized to one’s liking. There are study channels available on YouTube that offer an assortment of study routines and ideas for students. Some study methods include:

  • The SQ3R Method: A comprehensive technique that aids students in identifying and retaining important information in their textbooks. There are 5 steps: survey, question, read, recite and review. start off by surveying and skimming the first chapter for features such as headings, images and charts to take notes. Next, formulate questions about the content: what is the chapter about? Read the entire chapter and look for answers to the questions. After each section, summarize and identify major points and highlights. Lastly, review the material.
  • The Feynman Technique: A productive method to quickly absorb content by simplifying the material. start off by writing the subject of what they are learning at the top of the paper. Second, in simple terms explain the subject. Then, Review and identify what areas were wrong. Lastly, rewrite any areas where complex terms were used in simple terminology as if one were teaching a student who is learning the concept for the first time.
  1. Eliminate Distractions

Students are easily distracted by their surroundings, especially if it is technology or noise. Turning on Do Not Disturb and shutting off any background noise like the radio or the TV gets rid of any potential disturbances, allowing for a more productive learning environment. Location also matters as well, so it is important to find a quiet and calm area to work and study.

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Proper Diet

Studies have found, getting a full night’s sleep has a positive correlation with students’ grades. It is important to maintain a proper sleep cycle of at least 8 hours a night in order to have a good amount of energy before bulk studying or a test. Maintaining a good diet is also a key factor as well. During studying, opt for snacks like nuts and fruits rather than sugary drinks and candy.

  1. Set Goals and Reward Yourself

Lastly, setting goals is a necessary part for effective studying. It allows students to keep track of their progress and easily manage their time during the day. To set goals, Psychology Today recommends using the SMART method:

  • Specific: In order to have an efficient goal, it has to be specific. This includes setting times during the day for studying, what subjects are included during each session, etc.
  • Measurable: Plan a result of what is needed to be achieved: a certain grade in a class, a certain number of hours studied, etc.
  • Achievable: It is important to make sure that the goal is within one’s limits. This step is where students should double check the circumstances of their goal and make any changes needed.
  • Realistic: It is also necessary for students to make sure their goals are realistic. One should reflect over the outlook of their goal and keep in mind why they are setting this goal.
  • Time-Bound: Lastly, students should stay consistent with their goals. They should be able to manage their time responsibly, making time for their academic goals and keeping track of other priorities.