200 IQ studying strategies to ace your finals

Helena Zhou, Staff Writer

Cue the antsy fidgeting, last-minute cram sessions and nervous breakdowns because finals season is here! While your friends may suffer through the agonizing pain of reviewing notes and pulling all-nighters, you can ace the tests without the stress by following these scientifically proven strategies for effective studying. Remember, work smarter, not harder.

Simulate the testing environment. Do the 30-page homework packet, reading notes and graphic organizers the morning of the test. After all, what better way to prepare for finals than to simulate working under the pressure of time? You’ll be ready for any stress that the test brings, and while taking the test, you’ll find that the material is fresh in your mind from 3 a.m. that morning. Plus, with every day, hour and minute that goes by comes with age and therefore wisdom. Might as well capitalize.

Try new reading strategies. A unique approach to reading dense works like Shakespearean plays and metaphysical poetry may be the key to understanding them. You’ll often find yourself dozing off when your eyes lazily follow each word left to right: THIS IS THE WRONG WAY TO READ! In order to truly keep your mind engaged, you need to stray away from conventional reading methods. Instead, read right to left. Only look at the first letter of each word. Maybe even play Word Hunt with the letters on the page. This way, you can also discover secret meanings within the passage that even the teacher (and possibly the author) didn’t even think of…

Conduct DIY science experiments. Some of my favorite physics experiments include driving your car into a brick wall at 70 miles per hour to observe Newton’s Second Law and pushing your sibling down the stairs to verify kinematic equations (don’t forget to conduct multiple trials to reduce error and round to the appropriate sig figs). This method will guarantee an A, as those experiments will be unforgettable even under testing anxiety.

Make the most out of your mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, and they can teach you valuable life lessons. For example, committing tax fraud and misreporting your parent’s taxes is a hands-on learning opportunity to familiarize yourself with America’s tax system for your government or history class.

Anjali Mittapally

Become an aspiring rapper. Life should always have balance, and getting involved in the arts is a great way to achieve this. Hop on to Soundcloud and begin your career as an educational rapper. Create songs that cover major physics and chemistry concepts, and make sure to explicitly include the most complicated chemistry formulas. While the process of creating music itself will help you study tremendously, becoming saturated in the music is just as important. Go to your local Best Buy and purchase a $12,000 home speaker system with individual units in every room. Then, blast your songs at full volume the entire day before the test to make sure you gain all the knowledge you possibly can.

Utilize the power of art. Although music is a great way to learn, visual art may be more effective for those who prefer to learn by seeing. Grab your paintbrushes, dig deep in your garage for rusty paint cans and fish out an apron from the kitchen. Although the masterpieces will vary, a good starting point is to paint your entire house black to resemble a chalkboard. You can then use paint splotches of different colors to symbolize different concepts on your AP Biology test. If you wake up the next morning and remember what each color means, you’ve succeeded.