Study tip:

Use 2 notebooks when taking notes: one for in class and one for copying the notes at home. The one in class, make it messy with add-ins, subtext, etc etc! Take down as much info as you can. Then, after class, take those messy, hard-to-read notes and re-copy them into your home notebook. These are the ones you study off of so make them neat and clear to understand!

Achieving your full academic potential: Things to Avoid Doing

Things you may want to avoid doing in the future. 

 Doing, wait, not doing these things always works for me. 

  • Staying up late. 
    •  Sleep is yes.  And as my speech coach puts it “there are only so many all nighters a person can pull before they just can’t”.  Not only will staying up uber-late make the next day a battle between you an a surprisingly pillow-like desktop, if you’re tired, your work probably won’t be the your best.
  • Over-scheduling. 
    •  It’s easier to look at a schedule with 3-4 assignments than it is to look at one with 9-10.  When scheduling, if you have a plethora of assignments, prioritize.  Write down the most important assignments, and leave any others off the page or in the margins.  You only have so many hours in the day and it’s better to complete the most important tasks than none at all.

Pro-tip: The Pareto Principle.  The Pareto principle revolves around the 80%-20% ratio.  Allow me to explain, if you have 10 pieces of work, there are probably only two of them that will take up 80% of the work.  And 8 of them that will take up 20% of the work.  The key to prioritizing is finding those two assignments (or however many = 20% in your workload) and doing them first

  • Working in bed or laying down.
    •  NONONONONONONONONONO.  This is how “cat-naps” happen.  You swear that you’re going to get straight to work and then your phone on the bedside table lights up.  It’s too hard to organize a book, a notebook, and a laptop on a bed without moving the laptop off of your lap.  So why not check it?  

Working in bed helps the boogeyman grow under it.

Those are the general ones, these are a bit more subject specific


  • Falling behind. 
    •  In other classes falling behind is not recommended, but is usually fixable by reading a few chapters or asking a friend for notes.  Because of arithmetic’s complex nature that relies not only on facts, but applying them it is very difficult to master one a concept while you’re supposed to be mastering another.  Often, learning one key concept can help you with many other assignments, not learning key concepts can make those other assignments 10x harder.
  • Receiving low homework scores.  
    • In all of the math classes I’ve been in, the homework scores were more of your grade than your test homework.  Always turn in your homework, even if it feels impossible, try your best, and never leave your paper blank.  Even if you got all of the answers wrong, many teachers will give you serious credit for trying and failing rather than just failing.
  • Learn everything from the teacher. 
    •  There are a plethora of online math resources that are awesome, and math teachers usually only teach one method of solving a problem.  Try Khan Academy , For Dummies, or IXL.  Or look around a bit, there are a lot of other great sites, those are just my favorites.
  • Learn everything. (This is usually for science.) 
    •  In science (especially in biology and Earth sciences.) you are introduced to a myriad of concepts and vocabulary words that might seem like too much to memorize.  Don’t.  Look at what your teacher puts emphasis on and memorize that. Also, if you are using a textbook, there is a good chance that the textbook is filled with notes on the ‘key concepts’ or learning requirements for each chapter.  These are also things that you should attempt to memorize.

English/writing/history/ other humanities

  • Not develop an opinion. (Especially in history) 
    •  If there’s anything a english/ writing/ history teacher loves, it’s an opinionated student.  Textbooks give you facts and figures, and you can interpret them however you want.  So, do just that.  This will show your teacher not only that you are interested in his or her subject, but that you are engaged in the material that they gave you.
  • Ignore teacher comments. (No matter how small.) 
    •  It isn’t fun to read nit-picky comments about your work.  Especially on your writing.  But look at them.  Even if you receive a good grade on a paper, applying corrections on your next one will ensure that you get a better grade the next time.  
  • Staying quiet in class.  
    • I understand that for some people this one is hard, for some people this one is practically impossible.  But teachers love it.  If you can, voice your opinion and answer questions in class as frequently as possible.  I’ve even received extra credit for being verbally engaged in class more than other students.
  • Not trying to learn everything.  
    • This one is a lot like the ‘not ignoring teacher comments’.  A lot of information slips through the cracks (especially in english)  that pops back up on exams.  Because most of what is learned in an english class is not drilled into you like it would be in a math or science class, to do well, you have to drill yourself.  I’ve been told the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ plenty of times, but I didn’t truly learn it until this year when I had to study it for an exam.

Pro-tip: Don’t challenge your teachers.  They determine your grades.  Momentary satisfaction is not worth a bad grade.

Hope this was useful!

Got an Essay to Write?

Here’s how to use up space when you are just absolutely done with life

-make all periods a font size or two up from the one you’ve been directed to use

-put two spaces after every period

-WATCH YO COMMAS you’re prob missing fifty of them

-2.15 space it

-MLA format the header

-use “such as” instead of “like”

-use “therefore” or “as a result of” instead of “so”

-add a space after every indent

-make the margins on your paper a TINY bit bigger

-get rid of all contractions

-see that word that’s so close to being on the next line? put it on the next line

*keep in mind that one or two of these may conflict with the essay’s instructions

*don’t forget to take a break and breathe some non-recycled air and close your eyes and love yoself <3

this has gotten me through several papers so i hope this helps. reblog this please, save a grade and some sanity

hello hello everyone so guess what yes yay this is part 2 of the life hacks post but this is the studying edition i know that you guys might have midterms and finals now and i hope this helps you with everything you need i wish you all the best and i hope you ace the shit out of this year if you have any questions about anything i’m always available i love you good luck -shakes xx 

[part 1 of this post] - [harry styles fanfic master-post] - [thirsty master-posts etc.]







Some playlists to listen to while you’re studying // doing your homework: 

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // 

nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen // fifteen // 

sixteen // seventeen // eighteen // nineteen // twenty // twenty one // 

twenty two // twenty three // twenty four // twenty five // twenty six // 

twenty seven // twenty eight // twenty nine // thirty // thirty one // 

thirty two // thirty three // thirty four // thirty five // thirty six // thirty seven // 

thirty eight // thirty nine // forty // forty one // forty two // forty three // forty

four // forty five // forty six // forty seven // forty eight // forty nine // fifty


  1. Studying in a blue room relaxes your mood and makes you more productive, which is great for finishing up assignments and homework.
  2. Spray an unfamiliar scent, and chew an unfamiliar flavour of gum while you’re having a study session. 
  3. Before you start your exam, write down the things you think you might need while they’re still fresh in your head at the top of the page such as formulas and vocabulary words. 
  4. ‘Times New Roman’ is the easiest and fastest font to read.
  5. When writing an essay, add the opposing point of view to make the read look at both sides. 
  6. When you’re taking notes, pretend you’re writing them for some else, preferably someone you care about, and imagine them not knowing anything when it comes to the class you’re writing notes in.
  7. Using colours when writing your notes helps you remember faster, avoid using only one colour as it might dull out important information. 
  8. Change your font from 12pt to 14pt when writing essays, it looks the same but increases the number of pages by 1-2.
  9. Cinnamon flavoured gum helps you stay awake, use it for your morning classes. 
  10. Speaking something out loud helps your remember, so always read your notes aloud when you’re studying.
  11. Reading the first and last paragraphs and only running over the middle has the same outcome as reading all of it.
  12. Chocolate has the ability to improve your math skills. 
  13. Always have an alternative email, you never know when it might come in handy.
  14. Cold showers over coffee anyway. It keeps you fresh the entire day, and also helps you stay focused and less tired throughout the day.
  15. Reward yourself with 15-20 minutes of free time with every 45 minutes of studying. 
  16. If you’re pulling an all nighter, sleeping the 20 minutes before the sun comes up helps your body relax and you’ll be less tired. 
  17. Replace the colour tube of your red pen with the blue one. No one steals a red pen, and no one wants it.
  18. Always say yes to extra credit, no matter what your grade is. It can make a huge different seeing as it has the ability to change one percent which can change an entire grade letter. 
  20. Writing something down is an equivalent of saying something 7 times. 
  21. No matter how much time you have left, do it earlier. You’ll be glad you did.
  22. Be friends with your teachers, you never know what can happen during the school year.
  23. Have a study group, you’ll have friends to explain things to you and vide versa, also you can share notes and finish up homework without feeling like time is passing by slow.

And now an inspiring quote said by my biology teacher to one of my friends who wouldn’t stop looking at the clock, “The time will pass, but you might not pass this class.“

How to relax before studying

1. Stretch and be active!

2. Sit down and get comfy but not too comfy.

3. Brain food and sugar! (Chocolates or nuts most preferably) 

4. Classical songs or something that is instrumental. Your brain will relax and get stimulated.

5. Read some quotes that will motivate you.

6. Smile for one minute (it will change your mood)

7. Have your list of goals for today.

for more “How to” stuff click here 

whenever you're feeling unmotivated and sleepy:

• drink a big glass of water
• fix your posture and sit up straight
• do some stretches to get moving
• take some deep breaths
• straighten up the area you’re in a little bit
• listen to some intense classical music or just some upbeat music!
• get working! :)

Why you should study almost everyday and do your homework the day it was given to you

  • Well, first of all: When the teacher teaches something new, this same day the best thing you should do is a revison. The new information is still fresh in your head, so to keep it this way, you need to review. Read your notes, the textbook and do some exercises and it will help you a lot. The subject will become even easier!
  • You guys already know it, but procrastination is the worst thing ever. I know when it’s finally Friday you wanna spend your weekend resting, hanging out, stalking people on facebook, playing ping-pong or whatever, but you probably have homework to do. Why? Because you didn’t do it the day it was given to you! So, when you have homework to do, just do it! Don’t be lazy, just think about all that free time you’ll have. Even if some homework was given to you on Friday, do it already after coming back from school, so the rest of your day and weekend will be free!
  • Also, studying everyday for 2 or 3 hours a day for one week and a half before a exam, it’s so much better than studying for 10 hours one day before! And it’s healthy; studying 10 hours straight (or trying to) will only give you a headache.
  • The feeling when you’ve done your homework and thinking “one less thing to worry about”. Isn’t it nice? The key to feeling better and doing well at school is being organized, so just scroll down the “studyspo” tags for a few minutes for some motivation and then finish your work!

Yooooo, these are my tips! That’s what I do most of the time, so I’m sure they can be helpful. Just stay focused, strong and don’t give up!

(I was a lazy student. Don’t be a lazy student. You really don’t want it.)

 Good luck on your exams! xx (ノ・ω・)ノ・゚✧*:・゚✧

how i organize
  •  one-subject notebooks. 
    • These saved my life. I know everyone’s always saying to keep your stuff in one place and keep track of it all at once, and the way to do that is (apparently) thick, 5-subject looseleaf notebooks and 3″ binders. These have never worked for me, and here’s why: the larger the notebook, the more it catches and rips and doesn’t close right. 
    • Plus, the larger the notebook, the longer you use it, and the longer it has to survive that wear and tear! (Bonus: without having to worry about the notebook being destroyed, I also don’t have to buy the more expensive and durable brands; now I only pay for quality of paper and pretty colours!)  
    • So, I use one-subject notebooks for each class and go through multiple (I’ve never noticed a significant cost difference). A single one-subject notebook lasts me 4-6 units, or about one quarter/half a semester. When I complete a notebook, I simply begin the next, and carry only the newest one with me places. The previous notebooks are kept in my study space so I can always reference them as though it’s one large book, and I rarely need the previous chapters for in-class work. 
    • I start with one notebook per class plus one notebook purely for scribbles or rip-out looseleaf paper, and keep a supply of empty notebooks at my permanent study space.
  • central grade collection. 
    • I do this because it’s easy to reference back to. Soooo many terrible teachers who simply don’t trust their students. Feels nice to whip out a test to prove you were right (and aced it!). Calculating the grade myself makes me more aware of what’s going on with my academics. My biggest downfall this year was not paying attention to my grades!
    • I used to use an accordion folder for this, but this year I’m going to try combining that with a digital file.
    • Whenever I receive a grade back, the paper copy goes in a physical folder and the percentage/grade itself goes onto a file on my computer.
    • The physical folder is organized by classes. As I receive grades back, the newest goes in the front, so each class is naturally ordered chronologically. I tried organizing it further by putting flags to tell apart tests, quizzes, essays, etc. It worked well but eventually I just didn’t bother.
    • The computer file is actually multiple files (again, one for each class). An excel spreadsheet or a simple word doc works well. I specify the material as much as possible (for example, “Unit 1: Trig. Quiz 1: Identities. Date: 7-4-2015″ using both words and numbers) so I can easily search for it later. Next to it goes the numerical and letter grade. I’m thinking of incorporating a note-taking system as well, listing what went wrong and such.
    • This sounds like a lot of work, but it takes very little time and is well worth it. Logging the grades take about 5 minutes, tops. I often find myself putting off work by organizing grades. Obviously it’s hard to log things instantly, so I keep a stack of “to be graded” on my desk until I get around to it.
    • Oh, and keep the physical folder safe in your room/dorm. Carrying it around for spiteful moments is not worth the risk of losing all your grades!
  • separate days.
    • I don’t know about you, but my school has something similar to a block schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Fridays all have the same classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays have the same classes as well. My method works for real block scheduling, too, for even/odd or on/off days. I once had a chronic problem of bringing in the wrong day’s homework. Not anymore!!
    • Basically, just keep the two workpiles separate.
    • I have two cabinets on my desk: one for MWF classes, one for TTh classes. On my desk at all times are my “daily” tools: laptop, charger, planner, pencil pouch, water bottle, etc.
    • In the morning, I always put my dailies in first so I don’t forget, then I check the calendar. Tuesday? Shove in the TTh stack. It’s as simple as that.
    • When actually doing my homework, obviously, prioritize. There isn’t a hardfast “do your homework the day you get it” rule, especially since studying is a process! But when nothing’s especially urgent and I don’t have a favourite assignment, I literally flip a coin.
  • computer files have to be neat.
    • I have so many subfolders I don’t know what to do with them.
    • Separate everything, again, and again, and again. And label it all to hell and back. You can never have a file title that’s too long.
  • You know how you can make multiple accounts on your computer? Admin vs user? Yeah, do that.
    • Make your admin account your free-time, slacker account.
    • Make your user account your work account.
    • Make all the settings admin-only accessible. Don’t get distracted by downloading random crap while doing your homework. Put restrictions on internet usage, gameplay, etc. To get distracted, you have to make the effort to enter an admin password every time you get off task.
    • Bonus: during presentations, you never have to worry about accidentally opening something embarrassing. Everything embarrassing should be in your personal account!
  • Lastly: don’t stress! 
    • When I stress, everything gets disorganized. My mind gets cluttered and so does the rest of my life. I used to stress so hard about grades.
    • If you don’t think you can make the deadline, don’t. One grade is not worth a night of sleep and mental health.
    • If the grade is super important (not all grades are like this: prioritize!) work on it as hard as you can. Don’t stress; put all that stressful energy into the work. Focus your ass off. If you can’t do that, it’s time to stop.
    • Talk to the teacher the next day. Take responsibility for your mistake. Apologize, and do not give excuses. Show to your teacher that you care more about the learning than the grade; it will pay off in the long run.
    • The day after missing a huge assignment is rough. Don’t let it get to you! Dwelling on this assignment only sets you up for failure on any other assignments you have that day. Focus on those and not on what you did wrong. Have yourself a good break, snack, jog, and get back in there. The world isn’t over!
Portia’s homework completion tips.

I’ve been told that these are pretty ok.

The top 5

  1. Start early.  Studies show that people are more productive during the day, the sunlight keeps us awake and efficient.
  2. Make a list.  Often, we exaggerate(or abridge) in our own minds the amount of work we have to do.  Get all of your assignments out on the table at the beginning.
  3. Do the easy assignments first.  It’s encouraging, every piece of homework you complete gives you a little confidence boost.  Build your confidence before you dive into the hard stuff.
  4. Read first.  If you have an assignment that you have to complete that asks you to read wether it’s for answering a specific set of questions, or studying, read it first.  Doing your assigned reading first will help you fill out a worksheet faster than trying to pick and choose out of a 2,000+ word text.
  5. Turn off your phone.  It sucks, I know, but so do bad grades.

Here are some more specific ones.

  1. Don’t get caught in the past. Looking at late assignments is stressful, spend time on current assignments and finish late work as a last priority.  If you spend too much of your time on old assignments, you’ll fall behind.
  2. Make educated guesses.  In my experience, teachers prefer a try and fail over skipping the assignment completely.
  3. Turn off the internet.  I know that for some assignments the internet is necessary, but, it’s distracting and you’ll get work done faster without Tumblr taunting you.
  4. Work somewhere new.  Working in a library or coffee shop can help you avoid distraction.  I sometimes work outside.
  5. Check your grades.  If your school provides access to your current grades online, check them often.  This motivates you to bring them up.  I usually check mine once every half an hour while I do my homework.
  6. Headphones in, world out.  Find some good study music, it’ll make the time fly by.
    1. Here are some of my favorite study playlists on Spotify:
      1. Working, by Brandon Payne.
      2. Best of 90s Alternative Rock Grunge, by Michael Alexander.
      3. Superior Study Playlist, by 1236296981
      4. Afternoon Acoustic, by Spotify.
      5. Who Run The World? Girls.  By Spotify.
  7. You don’t have to do everything.  Not always, at least.  Sometimes it’s better to complete a few very important assignments than a lot of small ones.  You don’t have all the time in the world.
  8. Eat.  Starches and vegetables keep you focused and energized.  Have a cookie or a bowl of something next to you to eat.
  9. Coffee/energy drinks are a last resort.  Sometimes you need them, I get that.  But for some people (maybe you),  sugary drinks and caffeine are followed by a nasty crash.  
  10. Breathe.  Seriously.  Stress can cause irregular breathing patterns.  Here are some breathing exercises to relieve stress.
    1. http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

Study hard!  

20 Websites College Students Need to Know
Every day, during the school year, I find myself on the edge of a panic attack when I think about all of the things I need to get done. This moment usually hits after I’ve finished scrolling Tumblr or watching Netflix—time spent watching Parks and Rec...

Check out these awesome websites to help you survive the school year! 

How to start your homework

1. Stay in a comfortable (not too comfortable or else you might doze off) and quiet place.

2. Take out your planner and number your homework you have to accomplish first.

3. Turn your internet off but if you need internet for your school work, refrain yourself from going to websites that may distract you.

4. Turn your phone off or don’t let it connect to internet.

5. START and TIME up until when you should end your project / homework.

The moment you get assigned homework, immediately go check out what it entails.

It will take you maybe 30 seconds to skim through. But doing so will give you a rough estimate of how long it will take you to complete. That way, if you need to schedule to do it later, or you end up putting it off, you have comfort in knowing what you’ll be facing.

While you’re at it, if there are any questions you can answer immediately, answer them. Or if you have ideas on how to solve them, write them down.

It’s all in the preparation.

Studying for Math

For the Anon who requested it. :)

I know lots of students struggle with math, so hopefully these tips will help some of you! Most of the tips will also apply to subjects like physics and chemistry

I’ll start with something not very pleasant, but very important. Math is the kind of subject where you need to know the whole material in order to go further. It’s vital you understand every concept - if not, the problems will continue to build up. So first, a way to learn the more basic things without which you can’t solve more advanced problems. The key is revising.

  1. You’ll get the best results if you schedule 15-20 minutes each day for some time (until you grasp the concept) for revision
  2. During these 20 minutes, revise not only the material you did this year, but also in the past; eventually, you’ll find the topics you don’t understand
  3. Focus on these issues; do lots of excercises, review your notes and don’t ever hesitate to ask your teacher, even if it’s a thing you should have learned a long time ago; remember: teachers are there to help you understand things, they want you to do well
    Since you’re revising, even your friends should be able to help you figure things out

Now, for those have all the skills needed but still can’t solve problems:

FIRST METHOD - if you don’t understand the task

  1. Ask yourself a few questions: have you ever done a similar excercise? If yes, look through your notes. What’s the difference between the two tasks? What’s makes them similar?
  2. Write all the information you have in one column, in the other - all the things you need to find out to solve the problem
  3. If possible, try to draw a simple scheme; it makes the problem less abstract, which helps lots of people

SECOND METHOD - if you understand the task, but still don’t know how to solve it

  1. Just as in one of the previous points, write all the information you already have and what you need to find out
  2. Write all the additional information you may need, such as formulas etc.; find the missing piece of information, without which you can’t solve the problem
  3. Optional: studies show, that students are more likely to solve a problem if it’s written like a question; try to formulate it in several ways
  4. Again, try to picture the problem, draw a simple scheme
  5. Have you already done similar excercises? If yes, how did you do it? Can you use any of the methods in this case?
  6. If you can’t, write all the possible ways to solve the problem that come to your mind, but don’t judge them as right or wrong
    After that, take a break. Do the task after some time and after that time choose the method you think is the best. It’s possible you won’t be satisfied with any of the methods, but you’ll find another one. 

General tips for homework:

  • Check each operation after you do it - helps to avoid making stupid mistakes 
  • Check the whole excercise once again and if possible, compare the method you used with a friends to find the most efficient one
  • Solve the problems you understand first, possibly the day the homework was assigned 
  • After some time, try to do the rest
  • If there are still some excercises you can’t do, do them in the morning (never before going to sleep) - that’s when most people work best

You CAN do it! As absurd this may sound, math can be fun and rewarding if you understand it.