The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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On December cramming

As the semester comes to a close and finals begin to ominously loom overhead, students take up dusty textbooks and start to study for possibly the first time all year.

The first and largest mistake that people tend to make about studying is the panged faces that follow a quote such as “I have to study for my Bio Exam.” The point at which studying becomes painful is also the point at which one should reconsider their study habits. Also, remember that the conditions that surround you while you study are all subjective and open for change.

The idea of reading in silence is a popular requirement in a person’s studying, but one may have trouble finding such a haven. Those who strive for such a refuge might turn to the library, only to find it less productive than one would assume. The complete silence in there is less beneficial than it seems, as small factors such as faint whispers or the rattle of a vibrating phone seem to echo twice as loud against the silence.

A more productive location, though seemingly counterproductive, is a location that provides a constant din of talk. Public places are best to provide such an environment, but be careful when choosing a locale. Keep in mind that the point of a public location is to provide isolation so that your studying may go relatively undistracted.

There was an experiment in the early 1900s that attempted to prove that peppermint candies and classical music increases the scores on IQ tests of individuals. While the peppermint seems to be ineffectual, music always has had a history of productivity. If you desire to listen to music while studying, keep in mind that more productive study music is that which is both non-lyrical and new, music that you do not already know by heart. It can provide a rhythm and regularity without the intrusion of words and familiarities interfering with your word processing. As the season permits, the provocative piano solos of George Winston’s “December” are highly effective.

Though these tidbits can be helpful in your studying, the fact remains that these are merely suggestions to supplement your studying, not a replacement. Know your capabilities and don’t force studying. Allow yourself time to spread out your studies and allow them to seep into your everyday activities.

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