Study Tips (Nerd Alert)

I found an awesome new way to fall asleep at night.  All you have to do is lay there and try to name all of the muscles in the body, from one end to the other. 

The other night, I couldn’t sleep, and I tossed and turned for quite a while before I decided I might as well be somewhat productive while laying there.  I began at my feet and started moving upward, naming off all of the muscles that might appear on my NASM exam. 

Anterior tibialis, posterior tibialis, gastrocnemius, soleus, rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, biceps femoris…

That’s all it took… out like a light. 

I don’t remember getting past my hips. 

Not only do you get a little extra practice in studying this way, but I also read once that if you study right before bed, you retain the information better.  I have no idea if that’s actually true or or just some urban legend, but all through college, I always made sure to at least go through my notes one more time right before I went to bed on the night before a test.  Maybe it was just superstition, but I really thought it worked! 

Something I didn’t know about in college that I seriously wish I had is Quizlet.  I’m not even sure how I came across the site, but I sure am glad I did because it has lent a whole new dimension to my studying. 

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Quizlet is a free online learning site that helps you generate flashcards and other study tools.  (You can pay extra if you want to upgrade, but I’m not sure what features that includes.)  I had initially written out all of my terms both on flashcards and in Microsoft Word, but that quickly became both boring and ineffective.  I then put the terms into Excel to try something different (I’m crazy, I know), but that’s when I found Quizlet. 

It took me all of five minutes to upload twenty chapters worth of terms using the site’s easy upload feature, and then I had twenty beautiful sets of electronic flashcards to work with. 

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Ahh…the joys of the Internet.

There are so many different way you can use the flashcards alone, like seeing the term, seeing the definition, or seeing both at once.

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And in addition to that, there are all kinds of other features which take your terms and build them into all sorts of different tests and games.   You can even browse by topic and use other people’s sets if you want to. 

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I mean really, why didn’t I know about this years ago?!  Learning every muscle in the body can be a little boring and repetitive, but playing a game using the muscles of the body?  There we go. 

(Gosh, I am such a nerd.)

Anyway, the important thing is that I know about it now because it has made my studying a breeze.  So for any of you out there who find yourself needing to do some studying of your own, I highly recommend it!

Questions:

Are you studying for anything right now?

What are you favorite study tips and techniques?  I used to build these massive, color-coded study guides in college.  Those things were a work of art.  But seriously, my favorite way to study is to use what you’re learning in your everyday life.  It might annoy people to hear you interject bits of political science history into your dinner conversation or point at and name their different body parts, but at least it helps you remember things! 

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