It’s that time of year again at Illinois State. Snow flurries are falling, squirrels are scavenging the grounds, and college students are brewing pots of coffee prepping for nights of studying.

It’s finals week, but don’t get alarmed. If you learn the most efficient methods of studying, you won’t have to stress about the dreaded all-nighter.


The first step to being able to study is taking good notes so that you can study them later. (Hint: If a professor says it more than once in a lecture, it’s most definitely going to be on the test.)

Buy yourself a pack of 3-by-5 notecards because flashcards are a fantastic way to organize vocab words, concepts, and theories. There are even websites like Quizlet where you can create virtual flashcards on your computer or phone for even easier access. Color-coding your notes is also a great way to keep organized.




The horror stories of all-nighters only happen when students haven’t managed their time wisely. I know studying isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but don’t put it off. I guarantee you will regret watching five episodes of New Girl on Netflix when you are trying to finish your paper at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Make yourself a study schedule and block out certain times in the day where you will turn off your phone. Put social media blockers such as Cold Turkey on your computer to help you focus only on your schoolwork. Then, organize it all with a daily planner; it will save your academic life!


Think you need a little more help studying for your next exam? Create a study group with people in your class to help prepare for your next test. Milner Library always has study rooms available for group use. It’s a great opportunity to bounce ideas off each other for papers and quiz each other on study guide questions. Try not to make your group too big though, because that could lead to distractions.


On campus there are several specialized tutor labs run by teacher assistants and graduate assistants who know the material like the back of their hands. Check out Illinois State’s Julia N. Visor Academic Center, which offers smaller tutoring groups on specific classes, and one-on-one tutoring sessions. Try to sign up toward the beginning of the semester because spots fill up quickly. And the best part: It’s all completely free!



I wish you the best of luck in all your riveting, studying adventures! Keep Calm and Study On!

#BirdofMouth student blogger Jessica Prainito is a freshman mass media major. Read more #BirdofMouth posts.