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Book squirm: Why you shouldn't make studying so difficult

Offering tips to someone on how to study isn't always the most universal advice, particularly when you consider studying is typically unique to individuals on a case by case basis.
Some students seek solace of isolation when they study and decide their best option is to spend countless hours on anything from a final exam to a simple quiz. Those types of studiers often look toward memorization as the main component of how they prepare for a test, but you have to wonder if retaining the information is high on their list.
Retention and memorization are two completely different elements as it relates to test taking. Some of the more intelligent students can memorize facts and information for an exam but recalling what they learned two weeks later or using it for practical usage often escapes even the most studious classroom individual.
Of course, you have that annoying set of students; you know the ones that sit in class, take notes and walk in for the test or final exam without having so much cracked a book beforehand to study. Instead, they retain information from the weekly classes and thus might need to read over their notes a few times at most but hardly spend nights and weekends fretting over the actual studying process.
Somewhere in between the long nights and no studying at all is a happy medium with not only how to study but to do so effectively. You've heard the phrase work smart not hard; that plays into studying as well.

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The smartest kids often can pinpoint their test taking acumen with not only simply paying attention but preparation as it relates to studying. That preparation starts with good note taking. If you find yourself struggling to grasp a particular concept or theory within a class, chances are you didn't pay attention well enough to take good, solid notes.
Beyond the practicality of test taking is the modicum of students with the wherewithal to study and think outside the box of read, remember, repeat. Some of the better test takers are the ones that are able to relate a subject to something they know and use that association to remember key dates or events that pertain to the exam at hand.
The film, "Road Trip," saw one of the main characters learning Shakespeare on a bus ride back to school to prepare for his exam. He related Shakespeare to something he enjoyed, in this case professional wrestling, and he did well on the exam.
Granted, it's only a movie but the practice of learning through association is real and works wonders for subjects or topics that aren't your strong suit.
The goal of studying should be to learn efficiently and make the material equal parts applicable and somewhat enjoyable. Including those elements in test taking is going to make that passing grade all the more attainable.

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