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How to study less, get good grades, and retain more

by Reenie Young, Opinion editor


HPU students living in Hawai‘i have a lot of fun extra activities to keep them distracted from studying: beautiful beaches, Waikiki nightlife, warm sunny days and star-lit nights. With all these distractions, studying usually is one of the last things on a student’s mind.

However, there is hope for those students who want to study less and still get good grades. With the help of some techniques and tips, students can learn to retain more in less time.

First, college must be viewed as a business; like any business, it requires neatness, deadlines, and knowledge of the business materials. The appearance of your papers counts, because professors often make a judgment just by looking at it that your paper deserves an A, B, C or other grade. Consider this: What if all the students in your class presented a paper that was neat and free of visible flaws, but your paper had whiteout all over and was crumpled up a bit because you dropped it on your way to school. Your paper will stand out, and not favorably. It is to your advantage to reprint a corrected copy, instead of taking a chance on your paper being negatively judged against all the other flawless papers.

Second, sit in the front row in your classes. People in the first row usually get the most attention and are less likely to get distracted by others, therefore, they learn more in class.

Selecting courses tailored to your interest is another way to help get better grades. Choose courses you like, and take tough courses at other colleges because credits transfer, grades don’t. Make sure to first check with your advisor before doing this, because some colleges won’t let you transfer in other classes once you have been established there for a certain length of time.

Other ways to help improve your grades are to audit difficult courses by purchasing the book first and reviewing it, then taking the course the following semester. Talk to students who are currently taking the course for their opinion. And test professors before they test you, by selecting instructors as carefully as you select courses.

While reading your textbook, study by using both sides of your brain, visual and auditory: read out loud. If you are left brain dominate, take some music classes to help stimulate the right brain. You could even record your reading and listen to the tape when driving in your car or playing at the beach. Take notes while reading by abbreviating everything, because we think in short words. And read actively with a pen in hand to jot down questions and answers.

During mid-terms and final exam week, you are sure to have brain burnout, a condition that can be reversed by propping up your feet while keeping you head high and blood flowing to the brain. Other helpful hints are to eat a little bit of something sweet like chocolate, breath deeply to help oxygenate your brain, and study in bright light. And remember, when taking tests go with your first impression: it is usually the best answer, because it is your right brain working.




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