5 Study Hacks you’ve Been Missing Out On

 

Get those A’s.

Studying can sometimes get really tricky. It shouldn’t be hard generally but depending on the circumstances and situations it can take a toll on your brain. There are times when you can cover the hardest of subjects within no time and then there are instances where your mind lingers on and on the simplest of things. That’s all about the mood of the brain and how it wants to react to the situation. It is like a stubborn child dragging in the aisle of the supermarket.  

Take a walk

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It is said that exercise boosts your memory and brain functions. Taking a walk before studying can freshen up the brain by ten times. Exercising induce endorphins, a happy hormone, that leaves the brain fresh and healthy for that time. So the next time you are going to start studying, kick start your brain by a twenty-minute brisk walk inside a room. It’s even better that you go out and take a stroll, change of scenery and a bit of fresh air can also do the magic.   

 

Chew a gum

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Chomping on a gum doesn’t hold any side effect. It is also known to be a brain booster, of course not for its nutritional value but it keeps the brain attentive. Scientists have deduced that it makes the brain work promptly. The act of chewing keeps the brain awake and focused. The downside to this hack is this will only work for shorter periods. But if you have the stamina to chomp for hours, go ahead you have got this!  

 

Speak out loud, rather than reading

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Speak your lessons aloud! It is said that it is 50% more likely to remember something if you speak out loud instead of simply reading it over and over again. This might seem a little crazy to you but the brain processes the information quicker when interpreted at loud volumes.

 

Reward yourself with a treat

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Give yourself with a milestone treat! Assign yourselves short milestones and finish them in time. Keep a pack of gummy bears, kisses or any small treat that you like. And pop one after every milestone. That will keep you motivated and the greed of treats will keep you going. Keeping a high sugar treat will also be an instant boost to the brain.

 

Teach Yourself

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This one always works! Act like you are a teacher delivering a lesson. Think of an imaginary class in front of you and prepare the topic and deliver the lesson. You may also ask questions, give hints to your imaginary students and answer on their behalf. You may jot down the key points on board to engage your students (your own brain).

 

These are the top five hacks that have worked for us for ages. If you have any hack that works exclusively for you, feel free to share it, there is a possibility, that it could come handy for any other student as well.

What are your favorite hacks? Let us know in the comment section below or tag us in your creative methods @stcathys.

Brain Fog? These Brain Foods Will Clear That Right Up!

 

Get that brain working for you!

Having trouble with memorizing things? Does it go all hazy whenever you get to wear your thinking helmet on? Well, it is the silly brain fog taking over the thinking capacity of your otherwise awesomely working brain. You might feel trouble while concentrating and remembering things. It could be due to a number of things, but since we live in an age where we eat pesticides and inhale chemicals, diet plays the most imminent role for effective cognitive functioning. The brain needs nutrient-rich food to function properly. Cutting on bad calories such as sugars and excessive carbohydrates can lead to better and clearer functioning mind.


So when your exams are near and you feel even a slight if brain fog, switch to these amazing foods for a focused and improved mind.

 

Leafy Greens

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It is said, ‘the healthier the diet is, the clearer the mind will be’. Leafy greens are the safest stop for the healthy diet regime. A brain of a person eating greens performs as effectively as a five year’s younger’s brain. So next time when you are in doubt for what to eat? Pick a salad!

 

Avocado

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Avocados help in maintaining a healthy blood flow hence promoting an increased brain function. Avocados also are a rich source of fatty acids which help in protecting the neurons.  

 

Salmon

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We all know salmon is richly packed with omega 3 fatty acids which help in efficient cognitive functioning of the brain.

 

Beans

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An instant source of energy to your brain is carbohydrates. Beans help stabilize blood sugar levels. Research shows that lower levels of folic acid may hinder the learning process of the brain. Beans are also a rich source of vitamin B12 and Folic acid.

 

Eggs

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Choline, a nutrient, specifically found in eggs helps in retaining and improving cognitive functioning. If you have new information to absorb, eggs may play a key role in helping so. The nutrients found in eggs helps in learning and memorizing quickly.

 

Nuts

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Nuts are a great and healthy snack. Nuts high in Omega 3 is a great support to your brain as they affect instantly to boost the nutritional value to charge the mind up. Eating a handful of walnuts can improve your memory. So next time think twice before opening a bag of crisps for munching.  

 

Coffee

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All the coffee drinkers have a fair idea, how difficult it is to produce without having a mug of coffee. Caffeine makes your brain alert and pin targets special areas in the brain that are mainly involved in attention, monitoring and planning.

 

Complex Carbs

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Taking complex carbs in your breakfast can improve your efficiency twice as taking fats. A research was carried out and it was deduced that ‘A high fiber early morning meal taker was twice as alert than a normal breakfast eater’.

 

Dark Chocolate

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As yummy as it sounds, dark chocolate can help greatly with brain fog. A piece of dark chocolate daily can help improve concentration as it releases endorphins. It acts as an antioxidant and stimulates to help focus. According to research people who ate chocolate weekly showed better exam results and performed better in reasoning.  

 

Blueberries

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Blueberries are the king of antioxidant properties amongst all the fruits and vegetables. They are prescribed to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients as they help in improving cognitive thinking and improve memory.

 

Water and a lot of exercises can also help you clear your mind as well. An ample amount of water intake flushes out antioxidants and maintains a healthy body.  So the next time you think the cloud is about to take over, you know exactly what to pick! We would love to hear your feedback on what would you choose for reducing brain fog.

Any tips or suggestion to add? Let us know in the comment section!

6 #LifeHacks to Ace Midterms

#GrindTime

You begin with a semester and as soon as you are about to get hold of the subjects an alarm starts to buzz in the background intimating about the upcoming midterms!! But didn’t we just start? Is the first question that pops! The exam tremors start creeping up and the hysteria starts to knock the leftover sense. And the brain finally tries to sink in the reality and announces, ‘My dear! There is absolutely no escape. Therefore you better start studying before your student residence becomes a scene from a horror movie!

Midterm fever may try to take you down with all its energy but hey there, we have got you covered! Here is a compilation of some extraordinary guide points to help you get through your midterm examination!

PLAN IT AHEAD

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Don’t get carried away at the thought of Syllabus Sea. It’s alright! Make a schedule and divide the subjects or included topics and plot them against the number of days left. Making a plan will actually regain your confidence that you can still do something about it. The plan needs to be followed religiously. Do NOT just make it and let it sit inside the journal. FOLLOW! Also, your schedule should be three things. Achievable, Realistic and Crisp!

STUDY SMART NOT HARD

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Be smart in a way; that before you stick down to cram up the whole syllabus, it is recommended to gather all the hand-outs and notes taken in the class. Pile these up, and start going through these first. It is very smart to go through all the past tests and assignments to give yourself a fair idea of what your teacher thinks is important from exam point of view. However, this should not be just it; you must go through the other parts as well.

GROUPING

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Must have heard, ‘Two heads are better than one’! Well, you may ask a couple of your classmates to gather in your student residence for giving your study game a raise. This will make you feel felt and you’ll have the confidence of others being in the same boat as you. Make sure the partners that you choose must have the same targets as yours; otherwise, the whole plan can be a fiasco! Grouping can also help you with the missing notes and concepts. So do not hesitate to ask for it!

SAVE THE TIME

image 4 This one is for the people residing in a student residence. Once you start to study, you will realize how tiny things bite off your time. Do NOT skip on your meals for the sake of not wasting your time on cooking. Well, be a little organized and store your groceries ahead of time. Also, cook a few meals and refrigerate. If not this, order readymade meals.


STOMPING ON SLEEP

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This one is strictly prohibited. A fresh brain can perform thrice as better than an insomniac or worn out brain. Try not to drag yourself through the all-nighters. Take at least three to four hours of sleep before appearing for the exam.

CHANGE PLACES

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Change of scenery can help you feel afresh and can affect your retention. Try changing places while prepping. If the grouping worked for you, you may take turns in others’ rooms as well. And if not that, use the library or a nearby coffee shop for the purpose!

 

Keep yourself all collected through the midterm mania. A stitch in time saves nine. Don’t rely on the last minute preparation. Start preparing well ahead to save yourself from distress. Also, this guide works before the eleventh hour as well. We have warned you!

What are your favorite hacks to get through the midterms? Let us know in the comment section below or tag us in your creative methods.

How to Live Your Best (Academic) Life for the Rest of the Semester

You’re in the middle of the semester. Government funding and time are running out before quickly before the stress of final exams kicks in. If you haven’t said it out loud yet, you definitely will. You need to get your life together. What better time to start then halfway through the semester? Probably at the beginning of the semester, but everyone eventually starts somewhere! Luckily for you, we will provide you with many tips to help keep you organized in school and in life. This list of school tips and college hacks will be your survival guide until the end of exam season.

1) Create Daily To-Do Lists

Daily to-do lists are both efficient and rewarding. Whether you are using your phone, your laptop or your agenda, you can keep track of the tasks that you are responsible to complete for that day. At the end of the day you will feel accomplished knowing you completed all the tasks on your list!

2) Purchase or Create A Desk Calendar
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Having a calendar that you can see every time you sit at your desk is useful. It helps you organize your week and it also helps you focus on upcoming events and assignments. As many other students, being broke comes as a characteristic of being in university, so don’t feel obligated to buy a desk calendar. Grab some construction paper and create your own calendar!

3) Treat Yo’Self!
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Don’t get too excited. I don’t mean to go spend $500 you do not have. I’m talking about giving yourself a little bit of a break by watching a Netflix episode or taking a nap. If you’ve been working intensely on a project or have been cramming in the library for long hours, you deserve a break. Give yourself time to recuperate so you have energy to continue to work hard.

4) Get Enough Sleep!
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Don’t be that person who brags about pulling all-nighters. You need your rest! It doesn’t matter if you literally nap under your study desk in the library. No one will judge you! Study shows that 83% of students perform better in academics with a full eight hour sleep. Aim high and become a nap queen or king!

5) Save Everything!
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From the syllabus to the random surprise pop quiz you did so poorly on. It doesn’t only have to be school papers, keep receipts and flyers also! Invest in folders for each of your classes and keep everything. You won’t be spending time searching for notes and power-points during final exam season! At the end of the semester you can toss out the things you don’t need but trust me when I say you will be thankful you did this when tax refunds come around!

6) Check Your Emails Daily

University is all about communicating through emails. It is important to organize your emails so that you don’t miss important emails from professors or teacher assistants. Make it a routine to check your email either once in the morning or at night. You’ll be grateful for this when you are one of the very few who are aware about the assignment extension!

7) Stay Motivated
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Stay focused and motivated! There are only a couple of weeks left in the semester so give it your all. Looking for ways to stay motivated? Refer to 6 Motivation Tricks for Midterm Season.

There you have it! These tips will definitely get you on track to getting your life together. If they don’t, at least it now looks like you have your life together to everyone else so fake it ’till you make it?

9 Foods to Boost Your Brain While Studying

Eat well, achieve well.

While studying, most students reach for junk food and coffee to destress, however, these foods can lead to decreased levels of focus. Choosing healthy and brain powering foods can help you eat your way to success.

1. Avocados
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These green powerhouses contain vitamin K and folate, which help improve cognitive function, especially memory and focus. Avocado toast will boost your Instagram and studying game.

2. Blueberries
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Often referred to as the “brain berry,” this fruit is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants improve brain health, leading to improved memory and cognition. If you find yourself craving some sugar choose a natural sugar source instead.

3. Blackberries
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Similarly, these berries improve memory during long hours of studying. Blackberries contain polyphenols that encourage communication between neurons and allow the brain to be open to new things. In other words, these berries will help you remember the most boring readings while you cram.

4. Oily Fish
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Salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring contain high levels of omega-3 fats, which help decrease stress and improve serotonin. Plant alternatives include soya beans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. If you cry during stressful studying periods (I’ve been there) then increasing your omega 3s can help boost your mood.

5. Dark Chocolate
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Need an excuse to eat chocolate all the time? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help regulate blood flow to the brain and heart. Increased blood flow improves memory and focus. If you want an added bonus, try chocolate covered coffee beans to boost brain activity and improve focus.

6. Broccoli
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Your parents told you to eat your vegetables, and they were right. Broccoli is a nutritious source of vitamin K, iron, and chlorine. These nutrients help keep your memory sharp. Eat your greens to fuel your brain for missed readings and cramming.

7. Green Tea
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Green tea is a smart alternative to high-caffeinated products. Energy drinks and too much coffee can overwhelm your body and cause caffeine crashes. Green tea provides antioxidants and releases caffeine slowly in the body to avoid crashing and promote concentration over long periods of time. Green tea also reduces stress, allowing students to improve their sleep and rest their brain before tests. David’s Tea also has wellness teas to increase certain moods like energy and focus.

8. Dark Leafy Greens
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When reaching for salads, spinach, kale, and romaine are dark greens that are filled with nutrients like vitamin A, B6, and B12. Eating a salad a day can make your brain 11 years younger and sharpen your memory. While eating salad is a good diet for weight loss it can also be a good diet for your brain.

9. Eggs
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Last but not least, eggs are packed with vitamins B6, B12, and chlorine. Higher intakes of chlorine increase memory and mood. If you find yourself skipping breakfast and rushing to campus look for breakfast sandwiches with eggs to prepare for your day.

Switching out junk for healthy habits will improve your focus, memory, and retention. Take your study game to the next level and choose healthy over junk. Happy eating and studying, good luck!

What are your favorite #powerfoods to eat while studying? Let us know in the comment section below.

6 Ways to Motivate the #StudyGrind

It’s that time of year again! The new school year is begining, and somehow you already feel mentally drained, your motivation has completely disappeared, and you the semester will finish you before you finish it. You’re struggling with the idea of staying driven to the very end of exams. It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel but with these 6 tricks, your motivation will be back and here to stay until the end of the semester.

1) Give yourself a break

If you’re completely burnt out, it will show in your work. You want to give the best you can possibly give and to do so, you need to be at 100%. Give yourself a break! Take a nap, watch an episode of a television show you enjoy. Remember that it is just a break, so don’t spend the entire day taking a break.

2) Airplane Mode Is Your Best Friend

It is easy to get carried away with social media apps that are available right on your phone. As exciting as it is to view photos of golden retrievers on Instagram, your schoolwork will not get done with your phone sitting on your desk. Put your phone on airplane mode and putit in a drawer. As a way to encourage yourself to get work done, place an hourly timer to use your phone for 15 minutes after every hour as a motivation mechanism!

3) Set All The Goals!

As humans, we love the feeling of accomplishment and encouragement. Think about that feeling of closing all those tabs on your laptop after finishing an assignment. Now, think about the feeling of crossing that assignment off your to-do list. There are very few things that feel as good as this! Set goals, big or small, for yourself to keep yourself motivated and encouraged to keep working.

4) Treat Your Body Like A Temple

As students, we sometimes forget that broccoli is important. Some might have not seen a piece of broccoli since they’ve started university. It is difficult to meal prep and make meals that are healthy, however, it is not hard to at least try and eat a little better. Cut back on the endless instant noodles and feed yourself some brain food so that you’re awake while you’re studying. The more energy you have, the more you will get done and feel accomplished!

5) Change Up Your Study Style

Studying can be quite boring especially if you have been studying the exact same way for as long as you can remember. Get out of your comfort zone and try group studying. It will encourage you to meet some of your classmates and will potentially benefit you as it will be numerous brains studying together as opposed to just one.

6) Don’t Over Do It

The brain can stay focused for about five to six hours. The minute you stop retaining information is the minute you should take a break. You will be wasting your own time trying to stay focused and will only result in frustration from the lack of retaining. Keep your motivation and encouragement by not overdoing it! Try to change it up with some physical activity before getting back to your studies.

What are your favorite ways to motivate yourself? Let us know in the comment section below.

7 Tricks to Ace Finals

‘Tis the Season

As finals season approaches yet again, we’ve decided to brainstorm our favorite studying tricks to achieve optimal results.  Trying to get some A’s? Follow these 7 tricks and you’re sure to bring that GPA right up.

 

Study with Someone

Working with a study partner is sure to help you process the information you’re trying to memorize. When you explain concepts to a partner, you’re forcing your brain to process the information instead of just regurgitating it.

 

Make Cue Cards

A great way to force yourself to think critically is by making cue cards. This way you not only get a review of the information while making the cards but also get a mini practice exam that will help you memorize your answers.

 

Eat Healthy

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Give your brain and body and extra edge by eating healthy and fueling your body with good foods.

 

Get Sleep

As helpful as cramming can be, a study republished by Huffington Post shows that students who get sleep before an exam typically perform better.

 

Set Goals

A sure way to get all of the lectures and readings needed for review in is by scheduling your time and setting study goals. This will ultimately help you avoid cramming and lead to better performance.

 

Stay Positive

Studying can easily wear you down, but by remaining positive and keeping your goals in mind, you may find that little bit of extra motivation you had previously been lacking.

 

Take Breaks

Another great way to maximize your performance is actually by taking breaks! After an hour of studying, going for a walk and clearing your mind will ultimately help you come back to your work with a clearer mind (needed for memorizing notes and working out hard problems).

10 GREAT ONLINE AND MOBILE TOOLS

Living in that 21st century.

With the need for efficiency in life today, it’s important to know of great tools to facilitate just that. In this list, we’ve incorporated our favorite management and daily efficiency tools for the everyday student:

 

Boomerang

With Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Gmail, Hangouts, and so much more, Google platform management has never been so needed! Boomerang is exactly that, it allows for easy management of all your Google platforms.

 

Hootsuite

Social media stars, this one’s for you. With this comprehensive management platform, you can manage multiple profiles, post on multiple platforms, view analytics, schedule posts, and more. This is easily one of the most beneficial social media management platforms used by individuals and business alike.

 

Wunderlist

This application will allow the best possible control of your to-do list.

 

Quora

Quora is the 2016 version of Yahoo Answers- only better. Get reliable answers to all of your questions with the help of this question forum. Although you can’t use it as a source in papers, it is much more accurate and reliable than other question forums such as Mr. Excel, Yahoo, and others.

 

Kahn Academy

Don’t struggle with integrals (or any other concept) anymore with the awesome teachers at Kahn Academy. From their app to their youtube channel, Kahn Academy teachers will become your charismatic private tutors.

 

Onedrive

Don’t slack on your storage needs and ensure your documents are accessible from everywhere with Onedrive.

 

Powtoon

Don’t limit your video projects to IMovie editing when Powtoon is at your fingertips– creating captivating videos has never been so easy. With Powtoon you can create masterpiece videos without being an editing pro.

 

Thinglink

Your slideshows and photo projects have never been so hype. Thinglink allows users to add content to photos, which can be helpful in presentations. An example of this can include adding a video, text, a website link or snippet to a photo of a map, statistics photo, and more.

 

Poll Everywhere

In a stats or research class that expects the collection of empirical data? This tool allows the creation of questions that can be accessed through any device with response available through text messages.

 

Study Rails

Procrastination nation- this ones for you. Study Rails is an app that allows you to schedule study time and is embedded with text and push notification when it’s time to study, but more  notably allows you to block out certain sites and apps during scheduled study time.

10 EASY WAYS OF BEING AN EFFICIENT STUDENT

D’s get degrees, but A’s are much better.

 

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Not caring about your GPA is all fun and games until we realize it actually determines a lot. With a low GPA sports teams, activities, societies, case competitions, associations, exchange programs, and even some jobs may deem you as ineligible. To help ensure your GPA stays sky-high and that you can enjoy your post-secondary experience to the fullest, we have created a list of 10 easy habits to becoming an effective student:

 

 

Don’t cram

Because forcing your eyelids open isn’t exactly considered studying.

 

Plan out your study time

Like budgeting, planning out your study time tends to lead to higher performance among students, this is because designating specific time for each course will not only allow you to build a routine, but also allow for excess course-review time when you’re actually caught up with your studies.

 

Set Goals

If you set goals in each course or during each study session,  you are sure to pinpoint the important areas of focus and study effectively by setting clear direction instead of spending time on a topic that may or may not be of serious relevance to your course.

 

Start with the Most Difficult Subject

Since motivation is at it’s all-time highest when you actually begin a task, start with your hardest subject first, that way it only gets easier as the session progresses.

 

Initiate Group Work

Group work forms a highly effective study session for a few reasons; first off it’s nice to have someone else there in case you don’t understand a concept, you complete assignments more quickly, and as you reiterate or teach lessons to one another, you’re also internalizing the subject matter which ultimately makes for a better understanding and an easier time remembering certain concepts and information.

 

Organize Yourself

The key to efficiency is organization, and although this may seem like an initially time-consuming, tedious job, after the initial organization having your notes, computer files, assignments, and books organized will aid in maximizing efficiency, having ready access to information, and handing in assignments promptly.

 

Take Great Notes

Instead of shuffling for course notes right before an exam, take great notes in the first place! This will surely make studying and organization easier due to the accessibility of your course notes, but will also aid in accumulating actual course knowledge as you’ll be rewriting concepts now and at the time of studying.

 

Don’t Procrastinate

It’s insanely easy to ignore that above mentioned study schedule, but if you do a little bit of studying daily, you’re sure to remember the course better, have an easier time building and connecting subject matters.

 

Live Healthily

Ok, not to go all elementary school on you, but getting approximately 8 hours of sleep, maintaining a generally healthy diet, and getting some regular exercise, are all immediate factors of  how much brain power, motivation, and stress- relief your body is ready to output, all seriously important components to maximizing efficiency as a student.

 

Read your Course Outline

I can’t stress this enough!! Not reading your course outline can be detrimental to your grade. Not only are all your important due dates and corresponding grade percentages included, but profs tend to include very important information on these sheets that they may not bother telling you in class, even if you make it to the intro lecture. An example of this may be the amount of classes you can miss without failing or whether or not neglecting to hand just 1 assignment can lead to automatic fail (this is actually a thing!).