Study smarter not harder

Study smarter not harder - top tips from your former VP Science and Engineering Bilge Kacmaz

Top tips from your former VP Science and Engineering, Bilge Kacmaz

Your VP Science and Engineering, Bilge Kacmaz, has gone through her fair share of exams and assessments. She’s done an undergraduate degree, then a Master’s, and now she’s doing a PhD. In this article, she shares some of the study tips that she has found helpful.


Create the right work environment

Research shows that temperature, sunlight, colours and air quality have an impact on efficient study. For a study area, pick a room that provides maximum daylight and strong light sources that are reflected from the wall or hidden in the ceiling.


Use technology

Technological developments have enabled smartphones to offer convenience in all areas of life. You can make studying easier by using different apps like alarms, planners, and note-taking apps.


Study with the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique is a method that allows you to perform activities systematically and make better use of your time. The Pomodoro technique includes 30-minute periods consisting of 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break. Set your timer to 25 minutes and make sure to take a 5-minute break at the end!


Prepare a study plan

One of the best ways to stay organized while studying is to prepare a study schedule. In order to prepare a good study schedule, it is necessary to set the time well and to think realistically. It may be useful to determine a priority order for a study program. The study program should also include a section reserved for lesson repetitions and problem-solving. Students who are preparing for exams need to be able to read quickly in a short amount of time. One of the effective ways to use time efficiently during the exam is the TIZEY strategy. This strategy consists of instruction, review, time, easiest and re-examination stages.


Eat well before the exam

A healthy diet is essential for students to complete their physical and mental development and to have a healthy education period. It is necessary to stay away from fast consumption foods such as biscuits, which can raise and lower blood sugar quickly. The most common mistake students make is to consume plenty of tea and coffee and reduce their water consumption. Make sure you drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.


Identify a motivational reward

Situations such as exam anxiety and not being able to complete coursework reduce motivation. In such situations, the most effective ways of motivation are to include objects or notes that remind you of goals and dreams. Using your favourite food or drink as a reward or maybe going for a quick walk can help you to stay motivated.


Get into the habit of effective note-taking

It is very important to take notes in order to generate ideas, remember key details later, and learn effectively. One of the most effective note-taking methods was the Cornell method, a note-taking method developed at Cornell University in the United States. In this scientifically proven method, an A4 paper is divided into 3 parts. Details are written in the first part, symbols and abbreviations are written in the second part, and a summary is written in the third part.


Move and Breathe

In many experiments, it has been observed that exercising increases the learning capacity of the brain. Doing exercises before going to class will be good for your body and mind. It has been observed that practising yoga has many positive effects on working both physically and psychologically. Breathing exercises also help reduce your stress.


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