Second Semester Study Tips


Sydney Teh

Chloe Frajmund uses Crash Course videos to study for her history tests.

With midyears finished and the second semester in full swing, the average Bronx Science student often has her head in a book studying for an exam. The stress is understood, but fear not, as our students also have the greatest insider advice on how to best study for your class exams. From the standard helpful tips to the unconventional habits of our student body, we have you covered.

When it comes to studying, the majority of students find solace in the wealth of resources online. Crash Course is a fan favorite, especially for history and science; the company makes review books, but their Youtube videos seem to be preferred due to their overarching topic overviews.

“I’m a visual learner and Crash Course videos are perfect because they have a lot of graphics to explain the subject. For example, in AP Biology last year, I used it to supplement to my notes. It’s so much easier to see it in a video than in tiny drawings from your notebook’s class notes,” said Sanweda Mahagabin ’18. Chloe Frajmund ’19 explained that Crash Course made studying a lot more enjoyable as commentator John Green cracked jokes to break up the information. “The jokes helped me remember facts through association,” she said. She explained that the site was also easily accessible to use either at home on her laptop, or on a computer in our library during a free period.

Other students prefer methodical systems when it comes to their studying process. Having a set schedule helps to offset the inevitable procrastination. Yassine Elwafi ’19 champions the effectiveness of the Pomodoro Method which combines relaxing breaks and intense studying to help retain the maximum amount of information. This is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s that he swears by. “You use a timer or an app to study without distractions for 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break. Each 30 minute interval is a pomodoro, and after 4 pomodoros you take 15 minute break,” Elwafi explains. The small breaks decrease overload and stop excess anxiety from building up. Even if an app is not for you, Shane Kass ’19 recommends making your own schedule or list of things you need to do and making it your phone lockscreen. Therefore, you stay organized, do not forget anything, and have a constant reminder to motivate you to study!

Students can agree that getting into a focused position to study is the hardest part, especially with Netflix and social media as a distraction. While it is not effective for everyone, music can be a great way to become motivated or to take a quick concentration break. Anika Lamina ’18 explains, “I sit at my dining table and blast country music for as many hours as needed. Country warms my soul and helps me to focus by giving me good vibes when I’m under stress and lacking sleep.”

“I like to reward myself with little snacks that I like.”

Julia Haberfield ’19 and Elisa Pappagallo ’19 explain that their favorite way to complete their study sessions is by giving themselves a little incentive to get through the material. “I like to reward myself with little snacks that I like. For example, for every chapter that I read in a textbook, I’ll give myself either a Hershey’s kiss or a Reese’s peanut butter cup,” said Haberfield. Pappagallo agreed, and added that “any food that you love works, especially when you’re a little hungry.” Her personal favorite studying snack is cheese wedges.

Sydney Teh
Julia Haberfield ’19 (left) and Elisa Pappagallo ’19 (right).

It’s clear that Bronx Science students are no stranger to sleepless nights and caffeine fueled exam study sessions. However, you can all find your inner motivation and push through this coming semester. It’s not as daunting as it may seem!