Top 10 Study Tips for STEM Students in NYC

In a city like New York, life moves incredibly fast and not at all simultaneously. We are balancing work, friendships, family, school, and our own sanities. How is one expected to pass classes while balancing? Here are some tips to help you maneuver and manage the stresses of life in the city, while acing your classes this semester!

  1. Break up the information that you need to cover. Study each specific topic that you’re assigned until you reach “expert” status. Here are ways to do that.
    • Use Note Cards. Simply writing and repeating information makes it stick for longer. Practice makes perfect.
    • If you are an auditory learner, maybe consider making a playlist for your study times. Easy listening and soft music will keep you focused on memorizing the right things and not song lyrics. They are also great for in-between breaks while studying.
    • Eat Well. Food is our friend. When we eat, we stimulate our brain cells, boost our energy, and increase our concentration. Try packing “brain foods” like blueberries!
    • Exercise! When you get moving, or stretch away your stress, you soften your muscles and allow for the tension to be released in your body.
  2. Take breaks– this one is huge. Studying adds stress to the body, which does not aid memory. Take a tea or coffee break.
  3. Take a walk. Walking has been shown to boost memory, critical thinking skills and creativity. A recent study of Stanford students who spent eight minutes spent walking on a treadmill produced 60% more responses in a test of divergent thinking than students who did not enjoy a leisurely stroll beforehand.
  4. Take care of your body- showers wake us up, wear comfy clothes for while you study, and go to bed at a reasonable time. Sleep deprivation is known to impact attention and limit short-term memory — two traits that are necessary to succeed on exams and to focus on writing papers.
  5. Use our services!! We provide tutoring at our program and we want you to succeed! Call our offices, send and email, or stop by. We will do whatever we can to help you wishing your schedule.  The most important thing, though, is to revisit information over time — talking aloud also helps you to process and remember information. Having a supportive tutor can make all of the difference.
  6. Test yourself. Instead of passively reading notes, prepare a few practice questions, cover your notes with a piece of paper and try to write the answers from memory. The process of doing a mock quiz will improve your memory, plus some practice for the real thing never hurts!
  7. Blocking social media/communication apps during study time so that you can focus on the tasks at hand. Your social life can wait during learning time. It will also make break times more meaningful.
  8. Tackle the big jobs first and leaving the small stuff till later. Make a list of what tasks are the most important. Your “A List” might include anything with a deadline of today or tomorrow. The “B List” would consist of projects needing to be completed next week, while the “C List” catches loose ends like checking your email.
  9. Being consistent in your environment and trying to work in the same place at the same time increases your natural tendency to do work in that area,” With a space issue in NYC, it helps that our offices are always available to you! Declutter your work space so that you don’t feel stressed in your learning environment.
  10. Work during your best hours (the times that you are the MOST alert in a day), it will make a WORLD of difference.

Don’t cram, don’t stress, and do not give up! We are here for you.

Your STEP/CSTEP Family