Day to Day

Take good notes. 

  • Always take the notes for a particular class in the same notebook. Spiral bound notebooks were invented because they solved the problem of keeping related information consolidated in one place. Take advantage of this.
  • Date each entry into your notebook.
  • It is usually best to keep the notes for different classes separate from each other. Spiral notebooks with built in dividers are excellent for this purpose.
  • Your notes should contain as complete a record of what the instructor said as possible. Of course, you should not try to write every word spoken, but don’t leave out ideas. When you study, your notes should call back to your mind the entire sequence of ideas presented. Take care to spell all new words carefully. It you don’t know how to spell a word, ask your instructor to write it on the board. Most will automatically do so for new or difficult terms.
  • Anything the instructor writes on the board should appear in your notes. If the instructor took the time to write it out, he or she considers it important. You should do the same.
  • If possible, try to take your notes in some kind of outline form. The organization of ideas is as important as the content of those ideas, especially when it comes to learning the material for an exam.
  • You might find it useful to have a second color of pen or pencil available for highlighting important ideas or indicating vocabulary.

Be involved in your classes. 

Don’t simply pretend you are a sponge, ready to soak up whatever the instructor says. You are there to learn, not to be taught.

  • If the instructor is moving too rapidly for you, or if you don’t understand what is being said, say something!
  • Ask questions if you are confused. Confusion is definitely your worst enemy.
  • If your class includes group activities, participate as fully as you can. Such exercises are done for your benefit, not to provide a break for the instructor.

Review your notes every day. 

This suggestion is one which we have all heard a thousand times. Unfortunately, most of us never really believe it until we actually try it. Spend 30 minutes or so each evening going over the notes from each class. There are at least two tremendous benefits to be gained from this discipline.

  • Research has shown that reviewing new material within 24 hours of hearing it increases your retention of that material by about 60%. This means that you will be 60% ahead of the game the next time you walk into class. If you want to significantly reduce the time necessary to prepare for exams, this is the way to do it.
  • Reviewing material before the next class period enables you to identify points of confusion or omission in your notes, which prepares you to ask the questions you need to ask before the next lecture. Again, confusion is your worst enemy.

It is excellent policy to give high priority to new vocabulary. Language is the most fundamental tool of any subject, and it can seriously handicap you to fall behind in this.

Keep up on your reading. 

Unlike most high school teachers, many college instructors don’t give specific reading assignments. You are expected to go to your text for the reading related to the materials covered in class. Be independent enough to do this without being told.

Using Your Textbook

Don’t expect your instructor to give you detailed, page by page textbook assignments. While some may do so, many do not. College teachers are much more likely to expect you to use your own initiative in making use of the text.

In most cases, it will be most useful for you to at least skim the relevant chapters before each lecture. You should receive a course outline/syllabus at the beginning of the quarter, which will tell you the subject for each day. You may receive chapter references (or even page references), or you instructor may expect you to be perceptive enough to refer to the Table of Contents.

  • When you first approach a chapter, page through it fairly quickly, noting boldface headings and subheadings, examining figures, illustrations, charts, etc., and thinking about any highlighted vocabulary terms and concepts. Also take note of the pedagogical aids at the end of the chapter–study questions, summary, etc.
  • When you have finished surveying the chapter, return to the beginning and read in more detail. Remember to concentrate upon understanding. Don’t simply read through the words. Any words which you don’t understand you should look up. If you own the book and intend to keep it, you may want to write definitions of such words in the margins. You may also find it helpful to make observations and other useful notes in the margins. If you don’t intend to keep the book yourself, you should carry out similar activities on a page in your class notebook.
  • On this first trip through the chapter, you should concentrate upon catching the major subjects and points of the material. Also take note of those things which you don’t understand. If the lecture on the material doesn’t clarify those points, you should ask your instructor to explain.

Following coverage of the chapter’s material in class, you should go back to the book and read it again. It will probably be helpful to skim through it first, as you did when you first looked at it. The tables and figures should be more readily read in detail. If you are a truly conscientious student, you will outline the chapter and prepare a vocabulary list of the terms which are pertinent.

At this time you should think seriously about the review and study questions at the end of the chapter. Do your best to answer all of them as if they were a take-home exam.

You may also want to develop a system of cross referencing symbols to use when comparing your class notes to your notes from the text.

Remember that your instructor will probably not use the same words which you find in the text book. nothing is more frustrating than to discover that what you hear in class is no more than a rehash of what you read in the book. However, if your instructor knows his/her subject, and the author of your text knows his/her subject, the meat of what they say should be the same. 

NOTE: Nobody is infallible. Your instructor may make mistakes. Don’t expect them to be more than human.

Preparing Assignments

Here’s another thing we have all been told thousands of times: Don’t leave assignments until the day before they are due! If you have a paper to write or a lab report to prepare, begin it as soon as possible. In most cases, instructors will be delighted to receive work early. Remember that many papers or projects require quite a bit of research before you can even begin writing. In most cases, it is impossible to accomplish the necessary preparation in one day or even one week. In some cases, instructors won’t accept late work at all. They are perfectly justified.

Another sore point: Be aware of the appearance of the work you submit. You should want to be proud of every assignment you submit, and that includes being proud of its appearance. If possible, assignments should always be typed. Never turn in an assignment written in pencil. Pages torn out of notebooks are sloppy and unsightly.Think about this point every time you hand an instructor an assignment. That paper represents the quality of your work, and your instructor is perfectly justified in taking its appearance into consideration when assigning a grade.

Preparing for Exams

Keep in mind that you want to be an active learner, not a passive one. The more you use and manipulate the information, the better you will understand it. Using and manipulating information in as many ways as possible also maximizes your ability to access your memory.

Do not wait until the night before an exam to study! Of course, you should be regularly reviewing your notes, but the preparation still takes time.

If your instructor hasn’t explained to you how he or she designs exams, ask. this is a perfectly legitimate concern. However, keep in mind that an instructor has the right to design exams in whatever fashion he or she sees fit, and in most cases you have no business asking for changes in that design. You need to learn to handle all testing styles–including the dreaded essay exam!

A good first step in preparation is to read through your notes a couple of times. While you are doing this, you might also;

  • Highlight major topics and subtopics, with the goal of generating an outline of your notes. Even if you take your notes in outline form, this is a good practice. Major topics often extend through more than one day’s lecture, and it is easy to lose track of the overall picture from day to day.
  • With a second color, highlight all vocabulary terms.

Outline the entire set of notes. When you study a large body of information, you should study from concept to detail, not the other way around. It will, in fact, be much easier to learn the details if you take the time to learn the concept and theory first. The least efficient approach to studying is to attempt to memorize your notes from beginning to end. It’s not the words which are important–it’s the ideas.

Consider ways of dealing with the information other than those used in class. the more ways you can manipulate and experience the material you are trying to learn, the more secure your understanding and memory will be. Some suggestions:

  • Make charts, diagrams and graphs.
  • Make lists.
  • If the subject matter includes structures, practice drawing those structures. Remember that a drawing is useless unless the important structures are labeled.

There are almost always types of information which you will have to memorize (eg. vocabulary). No one has ever invented a better device for memorizing than flash cards.

One of the most universally effective ways to polish off your study activities is to prepare a self test.

  • Challenge yourself as severely as you can.
  • As you are studying, keep a running collection of “exam questions.” If you seriously attempt to write difficult and meaningful questions, by the time you finish you will have created a formidable exam. When you begin to feel you’re ready for your instructor’s exam, take out your questions and see if you can answer them. If you can’t, you may need to go back and reinforce some of the things your are trying to learn.

Never, ever pull an “All-Nighter" on the night before an exam. This is a "freshman trick,” meaning that good students learn very quickly that it is futile. What you may gain from extra study time won’t compensate for the loss of alertness and ability to concentrate due to lack of sleep.

On exam day:

  • Try not to “cram” during every spare moment before an exam. This only increases the feeling of desperation which leads to panic, and then to test anxiety. You may find it useful, on the night before an exam, to jot down a few ideas or facts which you wish to have fresh in your mind when you begin the exam. Read through your list a couple of times when you get up in the morning and/or just before you take the exam, then put it away. This kind of memory reinforcement not only improves your performance on the test, it also improves your long-term memory of the material.
  • Be physically prepared.
    • Get a good night’s sleep.
    • Bring necessary writing materials to the test–at least 2 writing tools, erasers, blue books if necessary, calculators if appropriate and allowed. Be aware of what the instructor has specified as permitted for use. Some instructors object to exams written pencil; some prohibit use of tools like calculators. It is your responsibility to know these requirements; you should be prepared to take the consequences if you don’t.
    • This may seem silly, but go to the bathroom just before the exam. Don’t expect your teacher to let you leave to do this during the test! The tension which generally goes along with taking an exam may increase the need to perform this physical activity, so you may need to go, even though you don’t particularly feel like it.

Some Final Suggestions

You should receive a syllabus for each class. This is the Rule Book for that class (in my classes, we call it the Survival Manual). Know everything on that syllabus! Your teacher has the right to expect you to know and abide by any rules and stipulations on that document, and it is perfectly within his/her rights to penalize you for failing to do so. Respect dates and deadlines, and expect to lose points if you turn things in late.

Never miss an exam if you can help it. You will rarely be more ready for the exam in two or three days than you are on the scheduled date, and the annoyance the teacher will feel about having to arrange a special exam time for you can actually hurt your grade in the end. Miss exams only if you absolutely have to.

Save everything. Never throw away a handout or a returned assignment or exam. With this in mind, equip yourself with a pouched folder for each class.

Develop systematic behavior patterns associated with your schoolwork.

  • Keep your class materials together and neat.
  • Never allow yourself to be caught at school without the necessary notebooks and materials. If you develop systematic habits with respect to attending classes, etc., this will be no problem.

It is excellent practice to set aside a study area at home, and to designate a particular span of time each day as study time. However, don’t fall into the trap of feeling that study should never exceed the preordained time limits. You put in as much study time as is necessary to master the material for your classes.

How to study

A spiritual continuation to this post

Okay, so Studying is supposed to be easy and everyone’s been doing it forever but like honestly it’s hard to do so correctly. So, maybe I’m not an expert, but I just survived 4 years of college and I wanna share whatever shit I’ve learnt so far: 

  • IF YOU’RE VISUAL: Bulletpoints!!
    • You’re gonna love bulletpoints. They are life savers for big complicated themes. 
    • So next time you get a BIG test, you sit down and break it down in the big main topics. Then subtopics. Then only one or two code words.
      • MAIN TOPIC 1.
        • subtopic a: code word. 
        • subtopic b: codeword. maybe a sentence?
      • MAIN TOPIC 2… ETC
    • color code each level (MAINS BLUE/SUB PINK/ETC)
    • highlight DATES in one color and NAMES in another, since those are the kinda stuff you need to learn by heart as opposed to understanding. 
    • All this should give you visual cues to remember most of the info in each big topic. Write it by hand in a separate piece of paper that you can later bring with you to study. 
    • Hand writing them will help you learn them, and then one quick look right before the exam will freshen it all up. 
    • Honestly I’ve resumed whole semesters word of classes in two pages of bulletpoints. 
    • Study groups are your new best friend. 
    • “But I don’t understand the topics that well yet!”
    • It really doesn’t matter. 
    • Take turns to explain the stuff to each other. 
    • You’ll be surprised. In my experience, some times you don’t need to remember stuff by heart, you need to understand it. And there’s no better way to find the logic behind weird shit than when you explain it to someone else. 
    • You’ll find connections that you hadn’t seen before, and when you see the question in the exam you’ll remember how you’ll explained it!
    • History or shit? Story time! Narrate it to your study mates! Find the interesting stuff in it! Find the ridiculous stuff! It’s just a story! We all remember the stories we love!
    • Some people totally get distracted, and I get it, but if you can focus through it, this is a great tip
    • Small playlist on repeat. 
    • It gets repetitive. 
    • Yes!! That’s the point!!
    • You know how some earworms you just can’t get out of your head. That’s what you’re getting. 
    • And you’re gonna remember what you were studying while you listened. 
    • Listen to the playlist on your way to the exam. 
    • Hum while you answer. 
    • Got stuck? What song where you listening to while you studied this topic? La, la, oh my fuck that’s the answer! 
    • It works. Promise. 
  • Other things to do: 
    • Eat. Carbs and protein, get your energy up. 
    • Coffee!!!! Sorry if it’s not considered “healthy” but like, that’s how I survived. 
    • Take breaks. Ten minutes breaks. No more. 
    • Rewards! Little rewards in between finished topics. One chocolate. One short episode of a light hearted series. Texting a friend. 
    • Drink water!! 
    • Give your notes one quick check right before the exam. It’s a life saver.
  • Things not to do:
    • All nighters. I talked about it in this other college survival post. Just. Don’t. 
    • Overstudying: in my experience your brain over heats, you end up freaking out and go blank as soon as you see the exam.
    • Junk food. Sorry, gonna be the healthy voice of reason here. Sugar up. Sugar down. All your motivation dies. 
    • Cry. Don’t cry. Please don’t cry :( It’s gonna be fine. 
  • Finally, most important tip I can give you: enter the exam and tell yourself “This shit is to test how much I learnt and how well my teachers did at actually teaching me.” So like, you do your best, show what you know and that’s what the result will show. The number only defines how much you learnt. Not you.

12.11 pm // i made some biochemistry flashcards for carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism! they’re basically condensed notes but they’re much more convenient and organised this way as each side of the card is a different subtopic plus now i can study on the go ~~ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ 

[ from my instagram @studyingg ☄ ]


Requests: could you do an imagine where the reader is in a beauty and the beast kind of situation and he won’t let them go until they heard that her family was in danger (cause of the Resistance) and he gives her the choice to leave, but they don’t really want to leave? thanks, i love your writing! + I don’t know how to do requests, but I feel like it’d be cool to have a sort of beauty & the beast au if that isn’t too cliche lol???? + Hey so I had this idea after watching the new Beauty & the Beast movie the other day. Ben is cursed by witch lady or Snoke or something and becomes Kylo Ren, essentially UNTIL reader shows up and he goes back to the Light side. Idk. I might sound stupid…

A/N: First things first, this took me like two weeks to do bc I had others to write and this was really long. Second of all, it follows both the animated and live action versions; the characters don’t turn into things, rather, force ghosts (you’ll see), also this is based on Alderaan and you can easily tell which character is who. Anyway, thank you for the requests to those anons! Enjoy!

Warning: Mention of death

Word Count: 10K+ (oops)

The castle that sat atop of a snow covered mountain in the planet of Alderaan was long forgotten–and unheard of. No one dared to enter the land of the cold, seeing as no one was truly aware of its existence with their lack of need to travel the mountains. But, the castle was not abandoned nor was it vacant. Inside lived many souls that had been cursed, one in particular being the most brooding of them all.

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Disclaimer: I have never taken a non-science college class. Meaning, I have no idea how to take notes for humanities or social sciences. Not saying this method won’t work for that, just that I can’t guarantee it will. Also, this method is not about achieving pretty notes, only structured practical notes.

What you’ll need:

  • Notebook. I use a notebook. Most people I know use a notebook. Why should YOU use a notebook?
    • You won’t get as many handouts (if any) as in highschool.
    • Professors won’t ask to see hw in your notebook. For all they care, your notes could be a comic about the class. As long as you pass, you do you.
    • You don’t have as many classes in a day so even if you carry around notebooks, your bag won’t be all that heavy.
    • You can divide it into three sections: class notes, seminar notes/work and lab work. All in one for your studying comfort.
    • Professors WILL reference that formula from 3 classes ago and when you have no idea wtf they’re talking about, you can just flip a few pages.
    • Seriously, no one in your class wants to hear you snap loose leaf paper out of your ring binder.
    • And let’s be honest, your notes are going to get jumbled up any other way.
    • If you’re taking a continuation class and you’ll need to revise from these notes, it’s much easier to pull out a notebook than to look through the thousands of notes from all your classes and try to figure out which are the ones you need and what is the correct order.
  • Two pens, three tops. Blue for general notes, black for sections and the other color for subsections or underlining. Go for black for general note taking if you want to (I do it too sometimes) but blue strains your eyes less.

In class:

  • Structuring notes: not every structure works for every subject and professor so you should figure out a method for each one. That said, I usually start out with a basic structure and then tweak it along the way to better suit my needs:
    1. The name of the unit should be your ‘big title’. ‘ORGANELLES’
    2. Every ‘big topic’ (very easy to identify – usually the professor will make it really clear that you’re moving on to a different topic or it’ll be on the slides) inside the unit is assigned a number. ‘3. Mitochondria’
    3. Every ’big aspect’ of that topic is a subtopic. ‘3.4. Structure’.
    4. If there are even more sub subtopics, continue with the numeration system. Otherwise proceed to use bullet points for any enumerations. If there are enumerations inside these enumerations (wow enumerception), change your symbol for each level. Instead of bullet points you can use dashes, squares, spirals, Xs…
    5. The exception for this is when the enumeration corresponds to steps in a process. In that case, I number each step and circle the number.
    6. For each level you descend, indent your text. It’ll be easier to not get lost. Skip this if you’re working with a small notebook and you’re afraid of running out of pages.
    7. Sticky notes are your best friend. Does some random piece of info the professor just decided was important enough to be mentioned not fit into your very methodic structure? No problem, add a sticky note. Cute + calls attention to it, so you won’t forget.

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Study methods + tips

02.03.2017 | Day 3 of the February study challenge! 

What are my favourite study methods? 

Originally posted by intoastrangeworld

To be honest, I’m still experimenting with different study methods and finding out what works best for me. But here are some of them! 

For math and sciences: 

When I do my homework, I highlight the questions that I had trouble with, so when it comes time to review my notes, I redo the highlighted questions to make sure I understand everything. Then I do ALL the review questions I can find in the textbook. 

Ideal study music: Either have no music, or play some light jazz. 

For arts and languages: 

I go over my notes with a blue pen and underline, summarize + annotate my notes to make sure I really understand the material. Usually on the side I will put some funny acronyms and pictures to help me remember the material. Then I just quiz myself by making sure I can explain each subtopic I have learned so far! 

Idea study music: Kdrama OSTs (Scarlet Heart Ryeo/ Descendants of the Sun anyone?) or any laid back feel songs. 

Thanks again for everyone’s support! 

Russian Language Apps

Originally posted by areweevenalive

I’ve been meaning to make this post for months, but here it is. When I started learning Russian four years ago there weren’t many apps out there, but now the app market is bigger and there are some great apps. Here is what I recommend and like. Since I am an Android user, I’m not too sure about recommendations for iOS only apps.

Write it! Russian

  • Cost: Free
  • Link: [Android
  • Thoughts: This is a nice app to practice writing cursive cyrillic letters.

Tengugo Cyrillic

  • Cost: Free
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: This is an amazing app to learn the alphabet and it is made by linguists so you know it is good. I liked their approach and it makes learning Cyrillic simple.


  • Cost: Free 
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: I think everyone knows this app. It is great for vocabulary and when first starting a language. It is fun to play and allows you to practice pronunciation. 

Mondly Languages

  • Cost: Free with in-app purchases , code MONDLY
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: This is a great app, similar to duo/Rosetta Stone. It teaches you starting with the basic themes and builds up on that. You can choose to learn with Latin or Cyrillic letters and it has a heart system if you get a wrong answer. 

Mango Languages

  • Cost: Free , need a US or Canada library card
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: This is a great app for learning languages if you are more of an auditory learner. Their approach is more conversational compared to the two above and the lessons are fun to go through. 

Russian Verbs Pro

  • Cost: $5.99, but the demo version is free
  • Link: [Paid] [Free] Android Only
  • Thoughts: This is my favorite app on this list. It has over 1000 verbs and conjugates them for you, shows you imperfective/perfective forms, participle forms, you can look up verbs in English or Russian, has a favorite function, and I just find it 100 x’s more convenient than that 555 Russian verbs book. 

LangApp Russian

  • Cost: Free
  • Link: [Android Only]
  • Thoughts: I like it as it provides different methods to help you with Russian. It has a word of the day feature, you can read short news articles  in Russian, has a glossary, and a memorizer feature to help you learn words. This is best suited for beginners that can read Cyrillic.

Yazh Russian Case Declensions

  • Cost: $1.50 for full ad-free version, free for ads
  • Link: [Paid] [Free] Android Only
  • Thoughts: If you are struggling with case endings or need some practice, this app is perfect for that. It presents you nouns, adjectives and pronouns like a quiz and you have to either choose the correct declension based on what is asks you or you can type it out if you want a harder challenge. This is great for beginners as well as advanced learners. 

Russian Idioms

  • Cost: Free
  • Link: [Android Only]
  • Thoughts: If you are at an intermediate level or above and want to know more about Russian idioms, this is for you. There are cute drawings that illustrate the idioms with the translation and definition.

Learn Russian 6,000 Words

  • Cost: Free with in-app purchases
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: This is a nice app to help build your vocabulary. The interface is good and you can choose to learn from Cyrillic or Latin-based letters. There is a large selection of themes and subtopics to learn from. You can learn from writing the words, choosing the image, matching games, and listening. My only con is the fact you have to pay for advanced vocabulary or the ad free version.

Learn & Play Russian

  • Cost: Free with in-app purchases
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: This is a nice app for learning vocabulary. It helps you learn vocabulary by presenting a word and the picture, then you can either play by choosing the right word for the picture or by spelling. This is mostly for beginners that want to improve their vocab.

Russian Class

  • Cost: $2.99, Free Demo
  • Link: [Android] [iOS]
  • Thoughts: This app is a great grammar reference.  It has vocabulary, listening exercises, phrases, grammar tips and tables. A great addition to duo or a class.


  • Cost: Free
  • Link: [Android] ios coming soon
  • Thoughts: This is another app to be able to read Arabic texts with translation side to side. The great things is that it has audio and you can choose the source language.

Also, if you don’t have them, download  Anki and Memrise.

A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas.

Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.

In a mind map, as opposed to traditional note taking or a linear text, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a much, much richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. And, best of all, it is fun!

This is a mind map about – conveniently enough – mind mapping itself. It presents, in a visual way, the core elements and techniques on how to draw mind maps. Yes, I know this may look a little too messy initially, but bear with me: once you break the ingrained habit of linear note taking, you won’t look back.

Benefits and Uses

I think I already gave away the benefits of mind mapping and why mind maps work. Basically, mind mapping avoids dull, linear thinking, jogging your creativity and making note taking fun again.

But what can we use mind maps for?

  • Note taking
  • Brainstorming (individually or in groups)
  • Problem solving
  • Studying and memorization
  • Planning
  • Researching and consolidating information from multiple sources
  • Presenting information
  • Gaining insight on complex subjects
  • Jogging your creativity

It is hard to make justice to the number of uses mind maps can have – the truth is that they can help clarify your thinking in pretty much anything, in many different contexts: personal, family, educational or business. Planning you day or planning your life, summarizing a book, launching a project, planning and creating presentations, writing blog posts – well, you get the idea – anything, really.

How to Draw a Mind Map

Drawing a mind map is as simple as 1-2-3:

  • Start in the middle of a blank page, writing or drawing the idea you intend to develop. I would suggest that you use the page in landscape orientation.
  • Develop the related subtopics around this central topic, connecting each of them to the center with a line.
  • Repeat the same process for the subtopics, generating lower-level subtopics as you see fit, connecting each of those to the corresponding subtopic.

Some more recommendations:

  • Use colors, drawings and symbols copiously. Be as visual as you can, and your brain will thank you. I’ve met many people who don’t even try, with the excuse they’re “not artists”. Don’t let that keep you from trying it out!.
  • Keep the topics labels as short as possible, keeping them to a single word – or, better yet, to only a picture. Especially in your first mind maps, the temptation to write a complete phrase is enormous, but always look for opportunities to shorten it to a single word or figure – your mind map will be much more effective that way.
  • Vary text size, color and alignment. Vary the thickness and length of the lines. Provide as many visual cues as you can to emphasize important points. Every little bit helps engaging your brain.

Final Thoughts

Mind mapping is an absolutely fascinating and rich topic – this post only scratches the surface. If you want more reference material now, Wikipedia is always a good starting point.

In the meantime, please give mind mapping a chance – try it out. Follow these handy tips and see the results for yourself. Don’t worry too much about doing it the “right” way – just make it fun.


I said I would do a little post with tips for revision as a thank you for 300 followers! ~ Xx

1. Just do it - if you’re anything like me, you complain more about revision and exams than actually revising. Pull yourself together and get started! Woo!

2. Start with a clear working space - but don’t spend hours tidying up your desk/study area. I simply place the folders and papers on my bed/ to the side and get started.

3. Write and rewrite notes - these don’t have to look good, they just have to become more and more condensed and concise. By the end of it, having a few key words can prompt the rest of the information in your brain!

4. Posters - make a poster per topic, each subtopic a different colour. Flipboard paper is ideal for this and can be really cheap! Then you can hang them up on walls, this can help you associate a topic with an area of a room.

5. Breaks - what works well for me is working for 45 minutes and then have a 15 minute break. However, don’t go on your phone! If it’s nice outside go for a short walk/ run. Stretch, draw, write - it doesn’t matter as long as you stick to your break times and you leave your seat/ room.

6. Association - have any quotes/ steps to memorise? Take an object (one you can visualise in your head or you can take into the exam) and for each phrase, associate it to a part of the object. Go around the object in the same specific order each time. Eventually, if you are stuck in the exam, visualise/ look at the object and you’ll be able to recall the quotes/ steps. Check out this video if you’re confuse!

6. Memorise a generic introduction - If you are doing subjects such as English, you’ll probably have to write an exam on books you have studied. Write out and memorise a generic introduction incase you blank out on the exam! Check out the post I made about this!

7. Stairs - This is great for memorising statistics. Take post it notes, on one side write the key words of the stat, on the other side write the stat/ numerical value that goes with it. Place a post it note per stair and start at the bottom. Read out the key words and say the stat that goes with it. Each time you get it right, move up a stair. If you get one wrong, back to the bottom!

8. Keep focused - If you’re having trouble focusing, try moving room. If you can’t, try a different revision method. If you’re not being productive at all, go for a walk, listen to some music, comeback and try again.

9. Past Papers - This is the best revision method for maths, do as many past papers as you can, highlight questions you can’t answer and ask teachers/friends for their insight. Once you’re comfortable with the topics, time yourself and grade it afterwards.

10. Read the textbook - I do this when I’m unsure about a topic. Highlight keywords in one colour, the definition of said key words in an other and additional information in yet another colour.

Remember that if you try your best, that’s all people can ask for! ~ Xx

drugstorxperfume  asked:

best tips for cramming? i haven't done much over the past two years in regards to study (thanks, procrastination) and now i have finals in just over a week and i'm so stressed


I cram a whole lot- it’s ok if you’re down to cramming all the info in roughly a week!! Here’s what I usually do:

  1. Don’t waste time creating an actual study plan, just have one in your head so you won’t stress more from not being able to stick to it. 
  2. Instead of aiming to finish an entire subject within a set amount of time, try to finish units or subtopics within that subject; this makes it seem more achievable and breaks your course down so you know what you know or you’re not familiar with when you look through it
  3. Learn/revise at all the things that you’re most unfamiliar with first!! Don’t spend more time trying to write notes when you only have a week left. 
  4. Watch tons of youtube videos of whatever you don’t understand, or study with a friend so you can try explain it back to them to practice the info!
  5. Sleep is important, however if you only have 7 days left- sleep for your normal amount the first 3 days, and start to sleep less (if you’re someone who’s able to stay awake through the day) towards your exam date so you can cram more work in 24 hours!! This is definitely not good if it’s frequent, but losing sleep is temporary and you can sleep for eternity once your exams are over!!
  6. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of food to power yourself, super super important imo

I hope this helped!! Let me know if you wanna know anything else specific!


{ Useful App #1: Eggbun - Chat to Learn Korean. }

Eggbun is an app where you can learn basic Korean for free, in a mobile-friendly, chat-setting! Yes, the lessons will be set like you’re chatting with someone~ Of course, you don’t have to worry because it’s all bot stuff. (I can’t even talk to real people on HelloTalk, and that’s where Eggbun comes in.)

This app is available on the Play Store here and the App Store here. I’ll be explaining each screenshots one by one. Please bear with me, hehe.

  1. That’s the app on the Play Store.
  2. The list of courses available! There are hangul lessons, number + counter lessons, classroom settings, even basic beginner conversations (of TTMIK)!
  3. The front page of a course you tap on. There are many subtopics/lessons on each course, and you can see your progress as it will be displayed on each course/frontpage (given that you sign in with a Google account first.)
  4. That’s how your lessons are taught; it’s as if someone is chatting with you! 
  5. Useful Culture Notes to help you learn more about the Korean culture and formal etiquette! They’re bite-sized but very informative.
  6. And that’s the front loading page. I just thought it looked nice, so I put it there, haha.

You can use this app for free, of course, but there are paid options as well. The option menu (which is not included here) will let you change the keyboard settings, buy the app pass if you’d like, or even to read about the creators of the app! 

I just found this cute app recently and I think it really needs more love. It’s very good for Korean beginners, but it can also act as a ‘test’ thing for some lower intermediate learners as well! Also good for people who are scared of real conversations (…people like me…), and I shall not mention why, haha. 

I’ll be making more of this ‘Useful App’ posts in the future as well, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading, have a nice day and happy learning!

{ korean language resources // japanese language resources }


Happy National Tea Day! I drank enough tea to float an armada this morning at a tea festival where I got oodles of loot, and highly caffeinated. I started doing a bit of work with my friend at 4, and have waffled around a bit, dabbling in answering some questions for a different course than the one of the above notes, but since my friend and I keep discussing Molecular Reaction Dynamics, I thought it would be best for the both of us if I switched over to that. 

Fun tip- if you have a problem with writing concise notes about a subject, limit the paper size you can use and tell yourself that you have to keep the notes brief. Here I’m using giant flashcards that are about A5 size, and splitting them in half and trying to use one card or one size per subtopic. Making them really helped me with this course, since I didn’t know enough to make full-on notes, and the course was not very loosely structured so I needed extra flexibility.

how to learn meaningfully

learning should be about gaining knowledge for a lifetime advantage rather than just for a good grade, and I know that we all don’t learn meaningfully all the time but here a some general tips on how to do so:

1. take notes, you need to have a source of information for any topic that you would like to learn 

2. read your notes, practice problems, begin to master all related to the topic 

3. don’t have expectations to be completely knowledgeable on a topic in a few days, this takes months even years 

4. don’t stop studying your resources or notes , they will be a solid source of information for as long as you keep them

5. if you are attempting to really learn a school subject, don’t stop studying after you get a grade that wasn’t up to your standards, no one is perfect at learning, it’s called trial and error

6. practice the subtopics you’re bad at, you won’t every truly learn the material until you push through everything related to it, the good and the bad

7. if you’re a high school or college student, do not stop learning and studying when the school year ends 

8. remind yourself why you wanted to learn in the first place, remind yourself of the motivation that you began with 

9. as you become more skilled and informed, start to learn variations of the topics you started in to become even more well-versed 

10. be confident in what you have learned and studied, it’s taken a lot of hard work to learn something meaningfully, what an amazing feat 

hope these are helpful! 


Check out some of my other masterposts below the cut! 

Keep reading

May Masterpost Challenge! 10/20 Masterposts

May Masterpost Challenge by @educatier, the goal is to make 20 Masterposts in May!

How to: Revise for Exams

I know this is a little late for a lot of people’s exams, but I hope it helps those of you who have exams in the next few weeks!

Organising Revision:

  • Make a list of everything you covered this year. Split it up into topics and subtopics. 
  • Identify the topics with information that is needed in order to understand other topics, and mark them so you know. 
  • Identify the topics you struggle with the most, and the topics you struggle with the least. Mark them so you can tell quickly.
  • Make a study schedule. Try to leave enough time so that you don’t need to rush, but if you’re really short of time, focus on covering as much content as possible. Make sure to cover all topics necessary for understanding other topics, if you can, and then focus on the smaller topics so that you’re more familiar with more content.

What to revise:

  • If you’re studying for an exam like English, History or Modern Studies (essay subjects), and you already know several quotes or examples, focus on practicing questions. You can know everything about the topic but lose marks because you’re answering the question incorrectly, or you aren’t familiar with how questions are phrased so you don’t understand what the marker is looking for. However, if you don’t know enough quotes and examples, divide your time between memorising quotes and examples and practicing questions. You can use practice questions to test how much you actually remember. 
  • If you’re studying for Music theory, focus on memorisation and listening to examples. If your exam is 2 weeks+ away, practice listening to audio clips and picking concepts out. If your exam is next week, just memorise. Memorise the concepts and what time period and type of music they’re used in. If you suck at picking out concepts from a piece of music, focus on identifying what kind of music it is, and memorise the concepts that are used in each kind of music. (This saved my grade in Higher Music, trust me.)
  • If you’re studying for a Science exam, spend a lot of time practicing questions. Like, a lot. If you can’t answer questions even though you know the content, practice until you can answer them. If you can’t answer questions and don’t understand why the answer is what it is, spend more time on revising content.

When you have more than a month:

  • Study a little most days. Make a plan to revise everything in the course and estimate how long each topic will take to revise.
  • Set aside time each week to go back over everything you’ve revised that week.
  • Set aside time at the end of the month/each month to go back over everything you’ve revised so far.

When you have 2 weeks or less:

  • Revise every day, for a fair length of time. 2ish weeks isn’t very long to cover everything in the course, but it’s fairly doable. 
  • Schedule time to review daily and weekly - about half an hour daily should suffice, and a few hours each week to go back over everything you covered that week.

When you have a day left:

  • Accept now that you are not going to cover everything, but you can still improve your grade.
  • Get up early, study as much as possible, but please don’t pull an all-nighter.
  • Review after each break, to make sure you still remember everything. If you don’t remember something after the break, you won’t remember it during the exam - try looking at it from a different angle, or memorising it a different way. 
  • If you’re studying for a science exam and you don’t know the formulas by heart, memorise them now
  • Make summary sheets/flashcards. Don’t just rewrite out your notes as it’s too time consuming - instead, try to condense the information as much as possible.
  • If you can’t answer questions, instead of practicing, try to figure out a “formula” of sorts for answering different kinds of question, and memorise it.
  • Otherwise, focus on covering as much content as possible. If you don’t have time to go in-depth, just focus on touching on as many topics as possible.

I hope this helps! If you have any other tips let me know. :)

Since I’m preparing for a big exam, I’m trying out new study techniques. It’s microbiology so it needs lots of memorization and it’s driving me crazy. Rereading is not enough so I had to try different study techniques.

1. Rewriting. This is option but for my case, my class notes were really messy so I had to rewrite them to make them more organized and pretty. Pretty notes motivate me!

2. Color designation and proper subheadings. Check your outline if the professor provided you one before the start of the class so you won’t get lost while you are studying. In my case, I chose one color for all topics and same color with the subtopics. This makes your notes pretty, too!

3. Highlighting. I’m using pastel highlighters but you can opt for darker colors or fluorescent ones. It’s all up to you. I highlight those stuff in blank ink which are the definition of terms or anything that relates to your topic or subtopics. Your notes must have a neutral color, so there’s something to highlight while you study.

4. Sticky notes! After I highlight, I formulate questions so whenever I review my notes, I don’t have to read all of them. I just quiz myself. If I couldn’t answer them, that’s the only time I read my notes again.

I hope these tips would help you. Good luck!

Tips on Writing a Research Paper

As I usually state in my posts this is just what I do to make the process easier, it is not going to work for everyone.  This is the process I use when writing a paper (yes it takes some time to do the organizing part, but I have found that writing is much less daunting when done in this way).  Start your paper as early as you can.  Usually, since I suffer from A-motivational syndrome as well, do your paper piece by piece and it will seem less daunting and stressful. 

1.)  Review your syllabus:  Look for requirements including page number requirements, paper format (APA vs. MLA), number of resources needed, what type of information to include, and list any questions you have regarding the paper.  If you have any questions, ask your teacher MONTHS BEFORE it is due.  You do not want to be stuck writing your paper with no direction and waiting on a response from your teacher the night before it is due. 

2.)  Identify your topic:  Get a simple, basic idea for the topic of your paper.  Have some idea of what you want, but be open-minded to changing it as you do your research and find more information. 

3.) Searching for Sources:  I always start the writing process for a research paper with actually finding the sources I want to use.  If you start your paper and then look for sources, you may find yourself changing various aspects of your paper and having to eliminate some of the previous work you’ve done.  By doing your research fist, you can give yourself direction on where you want to go with your paper and get ideas of various things you can include in your paper.  I will do another post on finding sources in the future, but there are tons of studyspo blogs that have this information.

4.) Type your notes:  I know that some people love taking hand-written notes when doing research, if you prefer this then I guess you could write then type it out.  I found it easier to type because a) I type fast than I write and b) some PDF files and other sources allow you to copy the quote you want to use and paste it into a word document so you don’t have to type it out. 

5.)    Format: (title – citation – each quote followed by in-text citation)  For each source I find, I format it in the word document in the following way:

           Title of the Article/Source – Author

           Citation (done in MLA or APA format depending on requirements)

           “First Quote” (Author(s), Page Number)

           “Second Quote” (Author(s), Page Number)

I do it in the above way with (Author(s), Page Number) because usually my papers are supposed to be in APA format.  This way, it is quoted and cited in a way that I can copy and paste it into my paper where I need it and it is already cited in the proper way for in text citations. 

6.) Note page numbers: It is so much easier to note the page numbers as you are taking notes (whether it be hand written or typed).  Trust me, if you have 15 sources and don’t note the page numbers as you take notes you will spend hours searching through your previously read research trying to find a page number just to cite it properly and it will be frustrating.  It is much easier to just quickly note it in case you use it later. 

7.) Assign a color to each different source:  I do this so that the next few steps are easier.  You will see in a minute as you continue reading that I combine my research by topic, so keeping it color coded allows me to know which source it originally came from.  I am a visual learner, if you are too this step can help you tremendously.  If you aren’t a visual learner and you find this step to be futile, then feel free to skip it.  (I’ve included pictures below, but in this paper did not color-code as I was unfortunately racing against a time limit). 

8.) Open another word document

9.) Outline: Now that you have done your research and notated your sources, it is time to start an outline of your paper.  Personally, I find it easier to outline my paper by paragraph or by topic (sometimes each topic will need to be broken into 2 paragraphs).  This is an example of how I do it:

       I. Introduction:

       II. “Topic 1”:

       III. “Topic 2”: (and so on with as many paragraphs/topics you have)

       IV.  Conclusion:

After each “topic” I have sub-points of what information I want to include in that specific topic/paragraph. 

10.) Copy and paste: Now that you have an outline, open both word documents and line them up so that they are side-by-side so that you can see both documents.  Below I have included a screenshot of a previous paper that I have done and how I set it up.  Go through your notes and copy and paste each quote under the topic you want it to be included in in your final paper.  You can also see an example of this in the screenshot if this is confusing. 

11.) Add any more points you want to add:  If there is more information you want to touch on in a specific topic, make a brief bullet point of the information you want to add. 

12.) You are now ready to begin writing!!:  Start typing, I usually do this under the list of bullet points in the outline.  By doing this you will not be totally concerned about your page/word limit while you are composing your paper (which I feel adds so much unneeded stress).  As I write each paragraph, I include the quotes noted.  As I include the quotes I use the “strikeout” font in word to remind myself that I used it already.  Once I have written all of my paragraphs, I copy and paste them into a third word document (your final paper) in the order that I want them to be in, then fix the formatting (double spaced, 12 inch, times new roman, etc.).  If you are under the word limit you can then read through your paper and add information where needed, or you can identify a part of your paper where you can add a new paragraph and explain something further.  If you are over the word limit, congratulations, just take out the information that is the least necessary. 

13.) Avoid Fluff: No one likes to read useless information.  Don’t waste your time or your professors time.  If you find yourself “fluffing up” your paper to reach a word/page number limit go back, rethink your subtopics, and do some more research. Including fluff usually means that you need to go into more detail or have more subtopics instead of repeatedly explaining the same thing over and over and simplifying something you already said. 

If you have questions, shoot me an ask at TheOrganizedCoyote at

a masterpost solely dedicated to notes part 2: actual types of notes

Heyooo everyone!

I am back with part 2 of this masterpost series yaaayy so let’s gooo notes are waitiiiing

Check out part 1!

There are so many types of notes and methods how to take them and I’m not gonna lie, covering all of them would be impossible, especially when most of these types are not known cause human everyone is different and has different needs and do stuff differently yaaay I love differences wait how did i get here *looks around in confusion* Anyway, I’ll make a deal with you here ‘kay? I’ll sum up the types that are mostly used in terms of  how you do it and for which subjects and I might add some personal experience with the type and if you have your own kinda method or like something that you do, please do send me asks and messages and reply to this post and tell me more about what you do! I think it would be really interesting to compile all of your methods in a big post afterwards! So please please??

Anyway let’s start~~


This is a method which is used mostly by visual learners. Basically you write your main idea/topic in the center and then make kinda branches from it to expand it and add other subtopics and ideas, of course with using as much color as possible. Mind-mapping is an awesome technique for connecting ideas - you can do this to get a better understanding of the links between the topics you have. I’m not a big fan of mind-mapping, since it unfortunately looks like a mess to me, but I do use it and that’s when I write essays. I put the topic in the middle and think of ideas/arguments that I can use in the essay. It’s cool cause it doesn’t get as messy as if I was writing actual notes and also, I can see how many ideas I got and what I want to cover in my essay. Anyway you can use mind-maps in biology, chemistry, but also like almost anything else :D


Flashcards are the key to mastering vocabulary. Like legit. You put the word on one side, turn the card and put the definition and examples on the other side. Easy as it is. Actually, you can use it to summarize topics, too, which is awesome and you can quiz yourself by reading the term and then explaining it and things like that. I don’t use flashcards that often, but they really helped me a long time ago, when I took a law class and it was full of weird words :D so this method is useful in any subject which uses terms - biology, law, languages (I was learning kanji with flashcards), physics, history… anything really


This is a notebook version of the flashcards system and it’s done like this: you take a smaller notebook and on the left page, you write your term and on the right page, you explain it. Easy. Or you can also take a bigger notebook and split the page into two columns and do the same thing – in the left one you write your term and in the right one you explain it.


This one is the easiest thing you can do. You take a piece of paper (or a notebook) and a pen, write a heading, make a bullet point and just write. That’s it guys that’s everything. Actually not really, because you can make subheadings! And extra types of bullet points and lists and everything! And not only is this the easiest method, it’s also the most effective one. You can use it in any subject and it’s just really fast to write your notes. I actually use some kind of an outline method with additional things like adding a column for more stuff and textbook notes etc. and tbh after trying the cornell method I can say that I prefer this one better and I’m going to tell you more about why when I talk about the cornell method.


Here it is, the famous cornell notetaking method! What you do is that you basically split your page into three sections - a column on the left for questions, topics and subheadings, a section at the bottom of the page for the summary and a section in the middle (basically what is left of the page) for your actual notes. And here it gets creative. 

You can write your notes either in a format of question-answer, so you put the question in the left column and the answer in the notes section. That means you write in sentences and if you remember what I said in part 1 of this masterpost series, please do this only when revising at home.

You can also write your notes in bullet points, which means you can actually use this at school. Then you write your topics/vocab in the left column.

And now let’s focus on the summary section. This is basically the reason I stopped using the cornell method. The summary section is cool when your topic perfectly fits in one page. But when your topic is on ten pages and you kinda have to summarize every single one, it gets first of all annoying (at least for me) and secondly, I just get confused about how should I summarize it? Should I sum up every single page or can I just mix it? But wait can I write about a completely different thing on this page?

Basically, I got confused and omitted the summary section and kept the column on the left for like additional notes from my teachers. But then I took away the column, too, and that was simply because the outline was enough for all of my subjects (almost, except for czech, i was just lazy hahaha rip me) and most of my professors don’t say additional stuff so… that’s how I ended exactly where I began :D

That’s everything for this part! Make sure to reply/send messages and asks with how you take notes, I’m really looking forward to those and I’ll be making a post from these!



Other masterposts by meee~~

Study tips masterpost

How to bullet journal masterpost

Study methods

How to kickstart your new semester

And so recently, I’ve gotten myself into Norwegian teenage hell (heaven?) – Skam.

I was scrolling through my Twitter and once again, I discover something that’s invest-my-whole-fucking-life material. So before anything else, I just want to say: “Fucking hell, Skam is so beautiful.”

For those of you who don’t know, Skam is a Norwegian coming-of-age TV show that is centered on different main characters for each season. (If you’re wondering: yes, the seasons are connected with each other. Same characters, same universe, different main.) The first season follows Eva, the second Noora, and the third Isak (who were both introduced Eva’s close friends.) I think this concept is actually pretty clever. It emphasizes the fact we all feel like the main characters in our lives (obviously) and feel like everything is thrown to us whenever we experience problems. What we’re sometimes unaware of is that we only play as side characters in other people’s lives, moreover someone close to us. What do they feel about us? What role do we play in their lives? It’s interesting how the personality and vibe of each main changes when the…main changes (Sorry for the redundancy).

The opening sequence to the first episode was straightforward, and in my opinion, letting the audience immediately cross out what I’ve mentioned above. It is not just ’that’ show. As the show progresses, it just gets better and better. Sure it doesn’t involve major conflicts where you have to find out who the killer is or the main character finally accepting his fate as The Chosen One™,  but it reels you in. The shots, the dialogue, and the story in general that may appeal tedious if you don’t look at the minor details. The authenticity of this show is what makes it special. The camerawork (and the cinematography in general), was especially my favorite. I found the camerawork rather awkward and shaky but later on I interpreted it as a way of making it seem like the audience is actually watching the events happen with their own two eyes. Another thing I’ve noticed is how there are these times where they focus on a character making a certain expression that lasts longer than usual. It was super awkward at first but it’s just so fascinating how it imitates the way the expression of doubt, the little breaths, gazes, blinks, and gulps when we try to process our thoughts. I’ve also heard that Julie Andem, the creator of the show, casted actual teens who have no experience in acting whatsoever(?) Oh, and their official website releases clips of episodes released in real time. A timestamp is shown in an episode to indicate this. Example is when a timestamp shows that it’s Sunday, 1:00 PM, both the setting of the show and the release of the clip are the same. (They even have their character Instagram accounts, for fuck’s sake.)

Another thing I loved about Skam is that in contrast to the whole upperclass, utopian-like lifestyle and carefree vibe the show promotes, it tackles on social issues such as racism, sexism, and various political issues. Not just that, but its subtopics. Never have I seen a show where they discuss Islamophobia and internalized homophobia and misogyny. The thing is, they don’t just parade these issues around to gain the title of being “woke” , but rather actually educating people of their ignorance (which is rare in American and Philippine television, let me tell you.) Skam has captured both the gritty nature of reality - acknowledging the struggles teenagers go through and the prejudice the minorities face but at the same time showing us how to accept this and live in the moment. It’s a show that has great character development and at the same time sheds some light to major issues we tend to neglect or be unaware of.

It’s too good to be fucking true. We do not deserve this gem. Where else can you find a good show like this? Damn you, Norwegians.