Lack of sleep
|Stay up later in order to learn material||
Have difficulty absorbing material
|Anxiety that one will fail|
An important part of successful studying is keeping one's level of anxiety under control for the reasons shown in the diagram above. (See coping with stress page) It's also very important to get enough sleep. There's no point in being so tired that one can't absorb what one is trying to learn. I once was a teaching assistant and a student of mine who usually did poorly on tests did very well on the final exam. I heard her telling her friends afterwards that she had decided to relax the evening before the exam and had gotten a good nights sleep. Ironically another student who usually did very well on tests did very poorly on the final. I wonder if he stayed up all night before the final.
Studying should be fun. I find learning a lot more enjoyable than doing chores at work. Our college years should be the most exciting. Yet many of these years are made miserable by the anxiety of whether or not we will do well on exams. We can still accomplish a lot and enjoy it if we make the effort to enjoy it and the effort not to become anxious about it.
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