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A Marian’s Guide to Getting Organized

Each new year comes with new resolutions. If one of your resolutions is be more organized, here are some handy tips for staying on top of all your schoolwork.

Plan Ahead

If you  fail to plan you plan to fail- especially in nursing school where many fast paced classes go by their own schedules. Stay one step ahead ahead by taking your syllabi and creating a master calendar with major papers, projects, and exams from all subjects. This way you can see your work load in the bigger picture, and even better, you can plan your study time for final exams, and see what days you’ll be free to for fun outside of school.

Use a planner. whether it’s old school paper and pen, or an app on your phone or tablet, having a planner where your calendar and small notes can be made will be useful in helping you plan ahead and stay on top of what is to come.

Tidy Up

Keep different colored binders for each subject with its own notebook and folders. This will allow you to take only what you need to each class. Separating your papers into their own folders will make them easier to keep track of and find later when you need them to review for exams. Designating pockets for notes, quizzes, exams, projects, etc. can help you sort through what could result in paper clutter.

Use large binders or an expanding pocket folder to file away old papers. There’s no need to keep old notes from weeks before if exams are not in the near future, so file them away in a safe place at home where they won’t get lost. You’ll be happy to find all your notes and papers ready to be reviewed when you need to study.

Take fastidious notes. Place notes in outline format with headers, subheads and bullet points. Highlight important terms and items you foresee being on exams. Color coded post it notes and post it tabs can help you find important sections in your books and notes, so use them when you see fit.

Study Smarter

Designate an area in your home solely for studying. Studying on your bed is said to make you sleepier, and studying in a place where TVs and other activities can distract you will not help your study sessions. Choose a quiet place where you can focus solely on reviewing class materials.

Start a study group. Small study groups work better than large ones. Cap your study groups to four people max. Studying in groups is effective because teaching the material to another person requires you to know the subject inside and out. Plus, studying with others will allow you to check and make sure you don’t miss any important topics.

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