Our best study tips for the final sprint
Being productive when your living room also is your office can be a tough task. In these times, with exams coming up soon, Reynaldo has teamed up with KTH's student counselors and put together some tips for spending the next exam period at home.
We are living in extraordinary times that most of us have never experienced before. When many other countries close their schools and universities, Sweden has chosen to continue with our "normal" habits as far as possible. Some people are unhappy, others think it is the right way to go but as for now no one knows.
Nonetheless, the fourth period has arrived and sometimes the motivation lacks when summer is around the corner and you have spent almost 10 months studying. A quarantine may work for some but for others it may be the last straw leading to failed exams. But hold on, in difficult situations it is important to "improvise, adapt and overcome". That is why we in the editorial team in collaboration with the study counselors decided to share some of our best studying tips and advice. We hope everyone finds their own way, maybe with some of these tips to complete the race.
Fixed study time
Staying home so often can easily be interpreted as "leisure time", routines disappear and you get a bit lazy, something that normally occurs during vacations. To avoid this, it may be good to set up fixed times to study. For example, by getting up every day at the same time, and having a certain number of hours that you study each day. Try to follow the scheduled time as much as possible. It can be, or most certainly, it will be difficult at first but after a few days on track it becomes easier.
Finding structure by putting together a schedule that you follow and thus working towards a goal "gets the motions right and the motivation will follow." For some, it works better to start with setting goals and milestones and doing the planning based on what is needed to achieve the goal.
It is better to start with a minor change than to think about fixing everything at once. "The best exercise is the one that gets done". It is better to walk around the block than lie on the couch and think about how to run 2 miles”. Study wise - it is better to get started with the studies for maybe two days a week than to plan super intensive study days that will not get done.
Some like to study at the same place every time, and home might be a good spot for some. But if you are one of those who like some change, it can sometimes be boring and monotonous. A tip might therefore be to go to the park and sit on the lawn or a bench with your books and enjoy the outdoor environment. Of course, as for now, it is important to make sure that you keep distance from others.
Stay in touch
Something that gives a lot of energy and helps is to keep in touch with each other. The study counselors advise that, for example, having a daily morning-fika or chat on Zoom for those who can, may be a good idea. If you have the time and willingness to do so - the talk could be fictitious or can vary between study-related or of a more personal nature. The counselors advise that it is beneficial to talk to each other and that it may be a good way to kick start the day.
Many studies show that exercise and motion are good when combined with studies. When you exercise, the whole body and consequently the brain are trained. In a study conducted by Umeå University, up to 90% of the test group improved their learning ability thus getting better results on tests when exercising at least once a week. The best results were achieved by those who trained between 3 - 4 times a week. With that said, what are you waiting for? Go exercise!
Forget about your phone
Being constantly connected to social media not only pulls away the focus from your studies, it also makes it more difficult to learn and memorize if focus is changed too often from the studies. One tip is to “get off the grid” sometimes or relocate your mobile phone to another room. If you have studied for a while, you can take a shorter break and then look through your phone and social media.
Contact the study guides
Last but not least, if you want to discuss the studies with someone outside of your own circle but who still has a KTH connection, feel free to contact SVL to schedule a meeting via zoom or over the phone. The meeting can be about planning the studies ahead or a more general discussion about your study situation.
Something that is extremely important! Give yourself credit when something works and remember the progress on the bad days when everything might feel worthless.
The Esset editors and study guides Tiina Vinter, Cecilia Berg, and Tuija Venermo wish you good luck with the upcoming exams.
If you want to get in touch with the study counselors regarding study-related questions but also other general matters contact them at:
Master’s programme in Civil Engineering
Real Estate Bachelor's programmes
Reynaldo Cardenas Sanchez