A Guide to Studying

I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh. She hasn’t blogged in ages and now she gives us a study guide? What the hell?” And yes, I understand that. But Christmas tests have given me some ideas. Maybe I’m pompous to say that this will be different/more beneficial than your average study guide. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Anyway, let’s begin.

Introduction.

So, you got your results back but they weren’t what you were hoping for. That is OK! Now you know where you need to improve. Alternatively, maybe you were happy with your results and want to keep up the good work.

Either way, I hope that this study guide will be beneficial to you and that you decide to take at least one of my tips into consideration.

The first thing that you need to process is that what happened in the past is in the past and that nothing can be done about it now. You need to find your motivation to study and start right now.

On another note, before we really dive in, here’s a statistic that will make this blog post a little easier to understand:

We remember:
10% of what we read.
20% of what we hear.
30% of what we see.
50% of what we hear and see.
70% of what we say.
90% of what we do.

Believe it or not, that’s actually going to come in very handy in this guide.

A goals notebook.

You have to have goals. In everything in life, not just studying. Since this is a study guide (if you need me to sort out the rest of your life, I’m a waste of your time: I can barely sort my own out!), we will focus on that.

Goals have to be small and specific. Wanting to get better at German is not a goal: it’s too vague. However, promising to learn three German words/phrases per night is definitely a goal. It’s specific and you already know what you have to do.

It’s very easy to make a goal and then forget about it. To make sure that that doesn’t happen, equip yourself with a goals notebook. Write down weekly goals in it, writing the first and last date of the week at the top of the page (e.g. “Week 1: Monday 9th-Sunday 15th).

On the page, write down your subjects and what you wish to achieve with them in that week. Be realistic: it’s only a week after all.

At the end of the week, check your goals notebook. If you had achieved your goal, tick it off and enter a new goal in that subject for the next week. If not, re-enter it for the next week, maybe making it easier.

Remember, stick to these goals like your life depends on it! Work hard, but don’t over-work yourself. You know what your best is – do your best.

Note-taking.

I’m aware that not everyone takes notes when studying. Those that do might not know all the useful techniques (I have only learned how to do so recently).

The first thing we need to make clear is that just reading the chapter is not enough. Sorry, but keep in mind that we only remember 10% of what we read. Highlighting key points only makes a minimal difference. No way around it – you have to take notes.

That is not as horrible as it probably sounds. You don’t need to write out big reams of stuff. In fact, you’re not supposed to write full sentences in your notes at all. Let me explain.

Only note down the key facts. Studies have shown that we remembers numbered list better than a list that isn’t numbered. However, the magic number for your memory is seven, so keep your lists to contain seven or less facts.

This probably makes no sense whatsoever, so I’m going to use my own notes as an example.

Here are the pages in the book (ignore the state of it):

20131218-185616.jpg

20131218-185716.jpg

And here are the notes I took:

20131218-185822.jpg

OK, I admit that my notes aren’t perfect. I’m not a very keen student. But as you can see, I have the basic gist. I don’t use full sentences and I number my lists. Keep that in mind (not saying you have to use my style: everyone’s different).

Revision.

It’s not enough just to take notes. You have to revise too!

There are many different ways of revision. But you have to actively involve yourself. Reading the notes alone won’t do you much good.

You can learn notes. You can draw diagrams from memory. You can attempt questions from old exam papers without looking at the textbook. As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

That’s all for this week!

I really hoped that this guide helped you one way or another. Any feedback, positive or negative, is welcomed! Post it in the comments section below.

And make sure to subscribe to my blog where I post things every Friday.

-Krystal

Book Review – Petals on the Wind

Hello, readers of this blog! My name is Krystal and I am here to bring you a book review of Petals on the Wind by Virginia Andrews. It is the sequel to Flowers in the Attic, which my last book review was for, so feel free to check that out if you haven’t done so already. Without further ado, here we go.

The plot

After three long years of being locked in an attic, Cathy, with her siblings Chris and Carrie, has escaped. They are found by a woman called Henrietta “Henny” Beech who brings them to live with her and her grown-up son, Paul Sheffield. They are adopted by him and are given a chance to start afresh. However, even with all the wonderful opportunities at her fingertips, Cathy is still furious at the grandmother who tortured her and the mother who abandoned her. She will do whatever it takes to get her revenge on them.

Thoughts/Recommendations

Much like Flowers in the Attic, this is a pretty dark and controversial novel – perhaps even more so. I love a dark read, but there were times were this was a bit too much for me.

Again, it is excellently written. All of the characters are so wonderfully human. It’ll make you smile at one point, and then it’ll make you cry.

There are more mature themes in this and there is a lot more sexual behaviour. This pretty much centres around Cathy, because she grows up in this one. However, some relationships she gets herself into would be frowned upon by some – fair warning.

The climax is much more shocking and action-packed than that of the first book, but the ending is also a little more hopeful. It makes you believe that there is hope for the characters in the upcoming novels.

Overall, another great read, but more controversial and disgust than the first book. You have been warned!
image

Coming next

If There Be Thorns by Virginia Andrews.

Book Review – Flowers In the Attic

Why, hello, dear readers. Today, I have finished a book called Flowers In the Attic by Virginia Andrews and I have decided to give you all a review.

The plot

Cathy Dollanganger is twelve years old and lives happily with her family. She has a fourteen-year-old brother called Chris and five-year old twin siblings called Carrie and Cory. They’re all content until their father is killed in a car accident. Their mother takes them to live with their excellently rich grandparents. The children are locked up in the attic, hidden from sight. They eagerly await their release, but as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, they slowly realise that it may never happen.

Thoughts/Recommendations

OK, this is honestly unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s very much an adult/young adult novel and I wouldn’t recommend it for any young teenagers unless you’re into dark reading material (as I am). It’s quite macabre at times. Again, if you’re not into that kind of stuff, I would strongly recommend you steer clear of it.

Anyway, it is a very well-written book and you can empathise with the characters very well. All the time you can visualise the horrors happening – if you have any imagination. It’s as if you can feel the fear that the children are feeling – especially Cathy, since the story is told from her first-person perspective. It’s very real and vivid – almost disturbingly so.

There are some mature/sexual themes which is another reason it’s not a suitable book for children. Again, I wouldn’t advise that you read it unless you are comfortable with that stuff.

Overall, it’s a brilliant book. As long as you don’t mind controversy and like to read dark stories, go for it!
image

Coming next

Petals on the Wind by Virginia Andrews.

Suicide

Something has become quite clear to me. Bullying has entered this world and has become even more prominent than it already was. It’s getting harsher, more horrible and more hateful. People come home and cry themselves to sleep every night, feeling horrible about themselves because of these bullies. But worst of all, people are committing suicide.

That’s right. Teenagers and eve children are choosing to die, to take their own life. They want to end the pain. They are living such a miserable life that they don’t want to breathe air anymore. How is this acceptable? How is it acceptable that people are killing themselves?

What is just as disturbing is that people are going online and telling people to commit suicide. Encouraging already insecure people to kill themselves. Maybe they think it’s a joke. Maybe they think they won’t take it seriously. But what if they do? What if, as they slash their throat, pull the trigger, or swallow the bottle of pills, all they can think of is that someone hates them so much that they want them to die?

No one ever deserves to be told to kill themselves. Ever. I don’t care what mistakes they’ve made in the past, which people they’ve offended, no one deserves to be told to go and kill themselves. And no one deserves to be put in a situation where they want to kill themselves.

For anyone out there who is suicidal, please read. You might think that no one cares. But they do. Even if you’re not getting on well with your family at the moment, they’d be so shocked and heartbroken if they found your body lying on the ground next to your suicide note. Think of them. Think of your friends. They’d all be sobbing. Even the bullies would blame themselves. You have a reason to live.

You are all beautiful and lovely. Go to the mirror and look at yourself. Look past everything physical and look into your soul. Shining out through your scars is an amazing, amazing, amazing person. It doesn’t matter if you’re not as skinny as other girls, or if you’re not as tall as other boys. It’s what’s on the inside that truly counts.

You have your whole life ahead of you. You can finish school. Go to college. Graduate from college. Make new friends. Fall in love. Get a job. Get married. Have kids. The possibilities are endless. Suicide doesn’t stop the chances of things getting worse, it eliminates the chances of things getting better. In a few year’s time, you’ll look back on this and you’ll be so glad that you didn’t end your life.

Promise me something. If you are ever thinking of suicide, don’t do it. Find someone, tell them what’s happening. Your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your best friend. Whoever you love most in the world. Talk to them and explain. They will help.

That’s all. I just want to say, remember this in your darkest times. And there’s one more thing…

You are worth it.

=K

“Hey little fighter, soon things will be brighter.”