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u/pizzzahero · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Hey. I'm Canadian so I can't comment in depth on your SAT/ACT situation, I'm sorry. BUT. I do have some words of advice for you.

Have you heard about fixed vs growth mindsets? People with fixed mindsets believe in things like innate talent and giftedness. They say things like "I'm not a math person, and I never will be." If they fail at something, it's because they aren't good enough and they won't be - so it's time to pack up and go home. On the other hand, people with growth mindsets acknowledge the value of hard work. There is no such thing as innate talent or giftedness, and you can learn anything or become good at anything if you put in enough effort. "I don't have a solid foundation in math right now, but with enough practice I can eventually learn differential equations." Here is a link for you about changing your mindset.

Here is a link I found regarding the ACT/SAT thing. You might not go to Harvard right away, but it might be in your best interests to start at a community college and transfer to a big 4 year uni after a year or two. You'll save money and probably benefit from smaller class sizes, which will help your GPA. As far as I understand, once you have so many college credits under your belt, your high school isn't taken into account anymore. I think, anyways. Do some research on that.

Ok. Look. You are very young. Your life is not over or far from salvageable. You can fix this, and achieve the things you want, but it is going to take some discipline. Pick a date when you are going to write your exams, and create a study schedule going backwards. IE. You want to write in May, you have X amount of topics to cover, figure out how long you can spend on each topic if you start next week and leave time at the end for practice exams.

First, in order to do well, you need a really good foundation. Develop good sleep hygiene, eat well, exercise once in a while, drink enough water. Meditation can help with focus. There are lots of guided meditation videos or apps available.

Other things that really helped me study are Cal Newport's blog and his red book. You want to avoid "pseudo-working" (blankly reading over your notes for long periods of time) and instead focus really, really intensely on solving problems or mapping out concepts for a short amount of time. It's hard to do which is why a lot of students shy away from it. Cal talks about this everywhere, definitely worth a read.

You're gonna be fine! Best of luck!

u/tennis1216 · 13 pointsr/GetStudying

Previous post but I hope this helps:

With books containing chapters long and complex, I don't think the average student is capable of reading them like fiction (just get through the material once). I usually forget even major points very easily after hours of reading. If you have an exam to study for, repetition is the key and you can't always go back and read everything over and and over. This is why I do a summary. When you write with your hands and draw, you are engaging more of your brain in an effort to understand. The most important thing is asking yourself questions. Questions force you to stop, think, explain what you read. This is true learning. So close the book after a few minutes of reading, and explain back to yourself what you just learned. It is best not be be writing as you are reading because at that point you are just exercising your ability to copy down material (I have done this alot and usually feel that I ended up with very little comprehension). If it is possible at all, answer questions or solve problems from the chapter using the material you have learned as soon as possible. The struggle and the pain involved in solving problems using new information is to me like lifting weights, you will get stronger and stronger until you have mastered that level.

You could try reading the chapter 2-5 times with short breaks. You will get faster with every read and your retention eventually goes up. I saw several kids do this in med school but they were ridiculously smart...They never took notes. They just asked themselves questions as they read.

If you can find people to study with, it would be great. Apparently the #1 way our brain learns is by explaining a topic to someone else. If you had a partner to study with, you can take turns explaining each small section to each other, then quiz each other from memory. Great way to stay motivated.

Note taking while studying:

Mind-mapping is something that is really popular to keep you engaged while reading.

How to read a book if you have any time and you are bored:

Don't forget about the [forgetting curve] (

After understanding the material, it is important to retain this new fragile memory. I use [Anki] ( for continued repetition throughout the weeks.
Hope this helps, Good luck!!

u/zaphod4prez · 2 pointsr/GetStudying

/u/tuckermalc and /u/pizzzahero both have great comments. I'll add a bit. Go to /r/stoicism, read [William Irvine's book] (, then read [Epictetus's Enchiridion] ( follow their guidelines. Also check out /r/theXeffect. The most important thing is controlling your habits. If you're in the habit of eating healthy, getting enough sleep, going to the gym, etc. then you're set.

Now for stuff that's harder to do. Go see a therapist. Or a psychiatrist. Try to find a [therapist who can do EMDR] ( with you, it's a very effective technique (I saw a clinician who uses EMDR for two years, and it changed my life-- and, importantly, it's supported by strong scientific evidence, it's not quackery stuff like homeopathy or acupuncture). If you decide to go to a psychiatrist, tell them you don't want SSRIs. Look at other drugs: Wellbutrin, tricyclics, SNRIs, etc (check out selegiline in patch form, called EMSAM, as well). Seriously, go see a professional and talk to them. I have no doubt that you're wrestling with mental illness. I have been there. For me, it just felt normal. I didn't understand that other people didn't feel like I it took me a long time to go get help. But it's so important to just start working through these things and getting support. That's really the most important thing you can do. It will make your life so much better. If you aren't able to get to a therapist, do Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on yourself! [This is a brilliant program] ( that's widely respected. Do it over and over. Also read [Feeling Good by David Burns] ( It's a book on CBT, and can help you get started. There are lots of other resources out there, but you have to begin by realizing that something is wrong.

Finally, I'll talk about college. Don't try to go to fricking Harvard or MIT. You won't get in, and those aren't even the right schools for you. There are many excellent schools out there that aren't the super super famous Ivies. Look at reputable state schools, like UMich, UMinnesota, the UC system, etc. get ["Colleges that Change Lives"] (, the [Fiske Guide to Colleges] (, and [Debt-Free U] ( One thing I realized after college was that I would've been happy at any of the school I looked at. People are fed such a line of BS about school, like you have to go to the top Ivies or something. No way. Find a good place at which you can function, learn as much as possible, and have a good social life. Like another person said, also look at going to a community college for a year and then transferring-- my relative did this and ended up at Harvard for grad school in the end.

u/Ozzy_ · 2 pointsr/GetStudying

I'm only a high school sophomore, so I can't really help you with most of your questions, but if you want to improve your mental math, buy "Secrets of Mental Math" by Arthur Benjamin.

It's written in a way that makes sitting in your room doing mental calculations seem fun and it is very accessible. I have only gotten through 3 chapters (the addition/subtraction/multiplication chapters) and I can confidently add and subtract 3-digit numbers in seconds. I can even mentally cube two-digit numbers in a few minutes.

[Anyway, here's a link to the book] (

[If you don't want to buy it, you can use this PDF version of the book] (

[And here is the author, Arthur Benjamin, performing what he likes to call "Mathemagics"] (

I hope this has been helpful and you succeed in whatever uni you go to :)

u/likebuttermilk · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Real worlder here. I'm a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique (I specifically use the Tomighty timer). It's basically 25 minutes focused work, then a 5 minute break, repeated for 4 work cycles then a long (15 minute) break. I was skeptical because it seems so stupidly simple, but it's amazingly effective, especially for those of us who either get distracted or tend to push so hard to the point of burn-out.

You can tweak the cycles and stuff however you want and it's up to you how many "pomodoros" (work cycles) you can to do (i.e., total duration of work/study time) or you can try to get through a set amount of work (e.g., a set number of chapters, completion of a certain task, etc.) in as few "pomodoros" as possible.

You can also take note of your energy levels and at what point you start feeling drained from too much concentrated work. Stopping while you're ahead is the best way to sustain yourself.

I also stongly recommend The Now Habit, which offers great ideas for techniques and psychology behind procrastination and productive work, based largely on the author's experience with doctoral candidates and professional workers.

Good luck!

u/makeeveryonehappy · 6 pointsr/GetStudying

What loopzooping explains is essentially how textbooks are designed to be utilized. I'm a chemistry and biology double major and I had a very rough time until I figured out how to take notes (my old way was the copy important parts of each page method--which was essentially just rewriting the book as I read it). What loopzooping mentions is a great summary of how to start taking notes. For more in depth note taking and questions you should be asking yourself as you read (to really learn the material), I highly recommend this book.

Another thing to consider is what you're studying for. Since you're studying for an exam, you should practice using the information like you would on an exam. Just recognizing the information you're writing may not be enough for the types of exams you're taking. Recalling the information will be most beneficial for test taking, particularly over just reading and writing the info. My present method of study goes like this:

  • Skim headings of sections and study questions at the end of the chapter to see what I'm reading and generally what type of info I should know.
  • Read the text for understanding all the way through.
  • Look up things from other resources if I don't understand. YouTube videos are great for me because I'm more a visual and auditory learner, and different explanations help solidify points.
  • Plug info into Anki sets for each chapter in each course. This gives me a daily set of cards to study based on how well I know them, to ensure I can recall the most important points come exam time.

    I have found for most of my classes that it's best to read the chapter for understanding before the class that will be covering that info. That way hearing the professor discuss it will be solidifying points, instead of bringing about new info. The professor has a finite amount of time to cover the material, so he/she will generally not waste time on less important stuff. This assumes that material covered in class is most important to the professor and therefore likely to be used for exams. This can then help guide you in making Anki/flash cards or in making your own notes. The book I suggested has a pretty great method of making notes that you wittle down to one page by the end of the year. It worked for me, but I prefer my Anki method (or whatever intelligent flashcard system you prefer).
u/Smartless · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Proper use of "your" would also help :P
(Honestly though, people won't read a blog that's supposed to be about academic success if the author doesn't use proper grammar/spelling).

In all seriousness, I'd read a study blog that put a big focus on scientifically backed study tips.

People tend to be fond of sexy quick-fix life-hacks. So you'll probably get a following no matter what you post, as long as it's under the guise of study tips. But if you want to set yourself apart from all the other click bait that's nothing more than someone spitballing untested ideas, thoroughly research the stuff that's been shown to work and do write ups on that.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with posting tips that haven't been tested. There may very well be plenty of tips out there that do work, but have not yet been tested. But if you do write about that stuff, I think it'd be important to disclose at the beginning of the article that there haven't been any studies done on that particular technique, and at minimum only write about untested tips if you've tried them yourself. That way there's at least some anecdotal evidence supporting it.

Make it stick is a really good source you can get started with.

I also recommend taking a page from Thomas Frank's youtube

He has some pretty high quality stuff.

u/andreeeeee- · 2 pointsr/GetStudying

> A little bit of discipline will go a long way. Focus for 1 hour a day. Just 1 single hour a day. Your ability to focus is a mental muscle. It gets stronger the more you practice.

I agree. Specially in your case, OP. You need a smooth start, establishing realistic studying goals until you make it a habit to study for longer hours.

Besides that, I'd recommend you to read this book:

> I have no faith that I can study at high levels, especially that I'm planing to start studying to become an engineer

Don't think like this. I know that it might sound cliché, but you need to believe in yourself. This type of mindset is crucial:

Try creating an study habit and, along the way, look for study techniques that will help you with your struggle. Searching for topics about "spaced repetition" and "active recall" in this subreddit is a good start.

Good luck!

u/Parabolix · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

I disagree.

People have their own ways of expressing information and I definitely have my own niche way of doing so. As such I will be paraphrasing instead of merely transcribing information. Anecdotally that makes typing better as I have terrible handwriting and I can not write as fast as I type my thoughts.

Secondly, managing paper and pen is difficult in being organised and staying on top of information. Course material goes back and forth - it's vital to continue expanding your knowledge so you have a firm grasp on the topic. As such inserting information between topics is easier digitally than on paper.

Additionally I'd like to note that there is a difference between note-taking and recall - hence I've added Anki to reinforce the content that I need to know. OneNote (or any note-taking style that you use) is merely a database for relevant course material and transcribed information that is ready to be added to Anki.

As much as we'd love to be idealistic and use free recall over Cloze deletions, pen and paper over digital solutions, this is getstudying - a place I imagine is composed of mainly students that have trouble with procrastinating and rather would be socialising or playing computer games..I also imagine a small subset of those people (like me) procrastinate because they are frustrated with their academic workflow which leads them to slack off with their work as the task of attacking coursework is difficult in the face of wasted time in keeping information coherent and organised, both in brain and on the computer/paper. We have to strike a balance with uptime, downtime and efficiency. For me, that would mean a digital solution over pen and paper.

This blog and also this blog has a lovely post on handwriting vs. typing and the comments are worth reading as well. Additionally, Make It Stick is a must-read for anyone that wishes to excel in their learning as the best way happens to be the least intuitive (as explored in the book).

EDIT: That is to say that I don't have a place for using pen and paper. Doing math, making diagrams, chemistry and any form of content that is more arbitrary and less structured is when I find myself using it.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

This book for Evolutionary psychology seems quite good as it is published by the Cambridge University Press, although I have not studied much on evolutionary psych. Also, anything by Frederick Toates is very well written, and we use this book in my biological psychology lectures at university and has a lot of neuroscience in it.

However, textbooks can unavoidably be quite expensive (even though you can sell them afterwards, getting the initial cash can be hard without a student loan). As an alternative, you might want to look at the A Graphic Guide series. I read the Introducing Psychology one during my A levels when I didn't have much money and found it really useful, although a bit short. There is one specific to evolutionary psychology, too.

Finally, a researcher at my university told me about this book, written by one of his lecturers, that helps you to understand more about the anatomy of the brain. It is a colouring book where you colour in each different region of the brain, but each page gets more specific about each brain region. The book isn't that expensive either. Here is a link. :)

Hope this helps, and good luck on your psychology quest :D

u/Frozen_Turtle · 2 pointsr/GetStudying

When it comes to studying and memorization (and let's face it, 90% of most subjects is just memorizing. Sorry math, you're included too; I wouldn't be able to derive that without knowing it beforehand.) I use Anki.

Spaced Repetition software (SRS) is good because it is spaced through time, interleaves subjects, and most importantly it forces you to practice retrieving/remembering. It is NOT the end-all solution, but it is excellent in certain circumstances (like vocab).

I highly recommend Make It Stick

You can find the audiobook in... places... put it on your phone and listen to it over time. The theory is great, and it will show you how/why Anki and other SRS works well.

u/SouthernPanhandle · 12 pointsr/GetStudying helped my sister.

And the book "How to become a straight A Student" is what turned things around for me.

I went from always scrambling last minute, cramming, having 0 free time and still under achieving, to having enough free time to actually be involved in things I wanted to be involved with on and off campus. For the first time I was like "Oh! so this is what college can be like..".

Organization and time management is so important it's nuts.


Side note, stuff like depression and anxiety can be SUPER draining mentally and WILL affect the amount of willpower you have available for stuff like time management and staying organized so if you're dealing with anything like that getting it 100% under control is the absolute best thing you can do for your GPA.

u/rocks95 · 6 pointsr/GetStudying

Yeah, it's really liberating to know that you can do anything you set your mind to... And that it's ok not to know your passion immediately!

My favorite books on this topic:

So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

For online business, I love these peoples' sites:

u/tekalon · 1 pointr/GetStudying

In my mind, exercising will help. It gives your brain a rest, lets you get your blood moving. Being fit can help you process information better. Depending on your exercise, you can turn it into a moving meditation, so it can have other benefits also.

There have been a few studies that show that exercise helps the brain learn better by creating new neurons and signaling pathways. 'A Mind for Numbers' briefly covers the information, but I don't have the studies immediately available.

As long as you are not using it as a procrastination tool, exercise is a great thing to do during breaks!

u/jboyd88 · 13 pointsr/GetStudying

I'll share my reading list for the next 12 months as it's how I plan to become a better learner:



u/RchrdJ28 · 1 pointr/GetStudying

You should try to get your hand on some of the "Demystified" books on some of these subjects (ex.

These books are the least intimidating way to get into a subject and they work great for building basic knowledge. My favourite thing about them is that every chapter has a lengthy section of practice problems with solutions.

Good luck!

u/youpros · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Getting high grades is not the product of magic. It requires desire, dedication and a lot of work.
Reading comprehension, note-taking, memorization, stress and time management are the ingredients to study effectively.

Here is an ebook to learn how to develop and apply effective study habits that will help you become a highly successful student.

u/glioblastomas · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

First, this is probably the best book out on effective studying right now:

I've read most of it, I'll post a few effective tips.

Retrieval practice should be your primary study strategy. This means self-quizzing, using Anki to make notecards, and doing tons of practice questions.

Rereading is not an effective study strategy. Essentially, the amount of mental effort put into something directly correlates with how much you are going to remember it. So just passively reading is just not effective when it comes to making it stick. Instead, read something for understanding, then afterwards try and explain all the main concepts back. Then wait sometime until it is barely in your memory, and once again try and explain the concepts or quiz yourself on the material. Spacing out your retrieval practice is the most effective way to commit things to long term memory.

I don't have much time right now, but there are more tips from the book that I think are really helpful I can post. I'll edit this post later tonight.

u/imjustadude90 · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

A couple weeks ago this video was posted to /r/videos, and it lead me to this book by him called "Solving the procrastination puzzle", which is a quick read, it gives you a much better understanding of what procrastination is.

u/rez9 · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Pragmatic Thinking & Learning is a pretty good overview of different topics about learning and study skills.

Learn more, study less also a good book to use as an overview of topics.


u/yaygerb · 2 pointsr/GetStudying

This helped me with my studies. My cognitive psychology professor had us read this and it’s changed the way I study. Super helpful. If you don’t have time to read this I’m sure you can find summaries online.

u/ericxfresh · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

I actually just finished Make it Stick and thought it was a great distillation of the science of learning. The book explains what learning looks like and doesn't, as well as gives practical methods and tips, for students, life-long learners et cetera.

u/simpletonsavant · 7 pointsr/GetStudying

There is a book called moonwalking with einstein. The techniques described are supposedly from the roman era, and national memory champions use them for their memory contests. The idea is that you create a "memory palace" and assign things you want to remember to a visual idea, IE a room you are used to with objects in it. Each object is assigned a correlation. here is a link to the book
There might be an audiobook on piratebay, not that I would know such things.

u/tjmiller88 · 2 pointsr/GetStudying

Buy What Smart Students Know, by Adam Robinson. Believe me when I say - this is the one book I wish I had when I was still in school.

u/mkaito · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

This is a fairly old but really good book on the subject: The Now Habit, by Neil Fiore.

u/GiantGummyBear · 9 pointsr/GetStudying

Cool. Grab a hold of Cal Newport's book called How to Become a Straight-A Student if you haven't read it already. It's a classic. You could find a free copy online but of course I would never ever recommend that.

u/PaladinXT · 1 pointr/GetStudying

Although it probably won't help you this term, but in the book How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less top students typically study in the mornings when their brain is freshest.

u/Jakewca · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

There are drugs that can help with specific problems but not everything.
If you have the chance, I'd recommend three books for meta-learning:

u/MrSmithIsIn · 1 pointr/GetStudying

There is a colouring book that might help. No, seriously.

u/TheAnusOfSauron · 1 pointr/GetStudying

I bought a book called "The Memory Book" and it taught me a shitload of different techniques.

One of the techniques for remembering names, is pairing someone's name, with a feature of their face, along with something ridiculous. The more ridiculous the better. I've actually used it many times to remember people's names.

u/unchartered12 · 3 pointsr/GetStudying

according to the book moonwalking with einstein a lot of it is a scam