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Reading week is both a blessing and a curse. Some see it as an extra week of winter break while others see it as an all-inclusive six-night stay at Butler for some intense studying. Most of us are in the middle of this spectrum, wanting to both diligently study for our exam and enjoy our time during this holiday season before finals start. If you’re unsure how to plan out your reading week, then don’t worry! Spectrum has got you covered with some essential tips to make the most out of this reading week.

Plan it out!

As cliché as it sounds, making a plan of your study schedule will really be beneficial to you. It will also help you plan out not only your study time but also your free time, which you should definitely be spending with friends enjoying the city before everyone leaves for winter break. Before making your plan, get very familiar with the syllabi for all your classes so you can identify your weaker points. That way, you will be able to prioritize those areas and dedicate more time to addressing them. Also, it has been recommended by the ~professionals~ to actually study more than one subject a day. This apparently allows you to retain information better than focusing on one subject all day long. You should keep this in mind as you’re planning out your study time.

You should also plan on studying in 50-minute intervals with 10 to 15 minute breaks in between. We can’t stress how important this is. You will be retaining much more information and working more efficiently. Study smarter, not harder.

Don’t forget to also plan out your study playlists to ensure maximum concentration!

Catch up on those readings!

We know you’ve probably skipped out on a couple readings here and there throughout the semester. Reading week is the perfect opportunity for you to catch up on what you missed. You never know what might appear on that final, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! You should also go back and read over those readings you skimmed five minutes before class started. You might think you remember them, but you probably don’t. We all know how to critically read a text by now so put those high school skills to good use for once!

Change up your study style

Reading over notes thinking you’ll definitely remember the information never works out. Instead of hunching over your desk with music blasting in your ears as you try to relentlessly memorize pages of notes, you should definitely be trying other methods such as teaching your friends in the class the material. Even reading your notes out loud is a better method. Try to write out study guides for all the topics you’re studying. You can even use apps and websites like Quizlet to create quizzes to test yourself. For more technical classes, problem sets and practice tests will save your life. When working out the problems, make sure you understand every step you’re using and why it’s working.

Get. Out. Of. Butler. Please.

You definitely shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t want to study 24/7 during reading week. Shutting yourself off in the library for the rest of the week isn’t very healthy, especially if you’re studying in Butler. It gets very intense, to say the least. Taking a break to walk around campus or even changing locations can be refreshing. You could also take the time to hang out with friends and get off campus. Reading week should be dedicated to studying but you should definitely be balancing it with some socializing.

Sleep. Exercise. Drink your water.

You should be catching up on sleep during reading week, but definitely don’t take it too far. Reading week doesn’t mean shutting off your morning alarm three days in a row. Are you actually going to be productive after waking up at 1 p.m.? Make sure to set up your alarm at a reasonable time and stick to it! We also recommend going out on a run or exercising at the gym. It’s a very healthy study break! It’ll make you more alert and ready to learn new information. Finally, drink your water. Lots of it. It’ll force you to take some study breaks when you go to refill your bottle at the water fountains. That’s what we call efficient procrastination.

Barnard Columbia Finals Reading Week
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