Study Tips to Help You Through Midterms

Bishop’s has one of the best work-play balances in the country. With many opportunities to play, it is important to remember that your primary objective sometimes must be to work. Establishing a good work and study ethic will allow you to attain great academic success. Consider the following questions when setting up your study schedule. While you answer these next few questions, be honest with yourself. It’s the only way you’ll develop a schedule you can follow.Bishop's picturesque campus

  1. How much time a week can you contribute to studying a particular subject? I recommend setting aside about 34 hours a week per subject which comes to about 1520 hours a week for students taking a full course load. Some weeks may require more or less. If at any point your extracurricular activities compromise your allocated study time, you may want to reconsider your priorities.
  1. Do you need to spend more time on a certain subject? If you are a Physics wiz and Spanish is not your cup of tea, you may want to allocate more time to practicing your Spanish verbs. Spending less time studying physics may be an option also.
  1. Are you a night owl or an early bird? This is extremely important. I spent so much time trying to convince myself I was an early bird. I’d go to bed early with the intention of waking up at 7am and getting to the library at 8 am. Although I would wake up at 7 am, I could not physically get out of bed until 8:30 am. Once I accepted the fact I was a night owl, I felt a lot better. I could go to bed without the stress of hoping to finish my work in the morning before class because it was already done.
  1. In what kind of environment are you the most productive? My roommate needs a space with a lot of light and total silence. I usually listen to music when I study and prefer long tables, which give me as much space as possible. Some need a space that has food nearby. Some like to get their work done on the couch whereas others may need a sturdy chair. Identify the best work space for you as early as possible and don’t hesitate to change spots once in awhile.

These questions are meant to aid you in identifying the study style that allows you to be most productive and able to get your work done efficiently. Your focus should be on the amount of work you get done and how well you understand the material rather than the amount of time you have spent doing work. The two aforementioned factors are your indicators that you have established the best system. Also keep in mind that your schedule is flexible and subject to change on a weekly and even daily basis. I recommend at the beginning of each week writing down all the projects, meetings and activities you have scheduled for the week. This will allow you to set up an adequate timetable that you can follow.

Now that you’ve identified your study style, here are some great places to study:

The library is great and has spaces for different study styles. The couch room is more for casual studying. People study and do readings on the couches. It is also an excellent place for light group discussions. Same can be said for the map room and graduate room located in the basementDSC_3434.For silent areas, the reference room and the deepest part of the basement (a.k.a. the dungeon) are your best options. The other areas, particularly the cubicles on the second floor are quiet spaces. What’s also great about the library is that I do not have to lug around my laptop. I can either borrow a laptop from the front desk or use the computer lab. I can also do my readings if the professor has put the required textbook on reserve. I do not have to purchase the book which saves me a couple of bucks.

Dewhurst is another good place to study if you are not easily distracted and can concentrate with noise around. One great advantage is that you are near an abundance of food.

Other great options for completing work are the lounges in the sports complex and the study hall in the Gait.

Lastly, some departments have designated lounges for their student. This is true for chemistry, biology, business, and education, as well as some other departments.

Happy studying and good luck on your midterms!

-Rhonda Boateng

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