Optimize Your Studying with a...

Optimize Your Studying with a Whiteboard: College and University Study Tips

by Jingwei Chen
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Have you noticed that study rooms often include a whiteboard? I have studied at many university libraries and all the study rooms I have used included a whiteboard. (Whether working markers and an eraser were available—that’s a different story.) My old method of studying involved writing and rewriting notes, but one day, I ran out of paper. I grudgingly resorted to writing on the whiteboard…

And I have never looked back. The whiteboard has become an indispensable studying tool and here I discuss how I have optimized my studying by incorporating a whiteboard.

1. I have space for diagrams and charts.
Whenever I drew a diagram on a regular-sized piece of paper, I either had to write really small to fit all the information in or write in readable font size- but leave out some information. The same goes for charts. With a whiteboard, I have so much space!

Recently, I was memorizing the different classes of antibiotics and their mechanisms of action. I drew a giant bacterial cell on the whiteboard and was able to write the antibiotic names where they acted in the cell. For example, if the antibiotic attacks the cell wall, I would write its name just outside the oval cell. The bonus here is that you can take a picture of this diagram and study on the go!

2. I can test my memory.
When you are finished studying a lecture, stand in front of a blank whiteboard and write down a summary of the lecture. Start by writing down the different sections of the lecture and then methodically, write down the important points section by section.

The point of this exercise is to see how much you have remembered: did you forget a section? If you did, you now know that you need to devote more time to. Did you write down everything? Then you are good to go on to the next lecture. It’s true that you can also try this with a piece of paper—but I argue that given the length of university-level lectures, you simply cannot fit all that information onto one piece of paper. The whiteboard gives you much more space.

3. I have a reason to get up.
Sitting in one spot for a prolonged period of time can have negative consequences for your health. I used to think that I had no choice but to risk my long-term health in favour of my grades. Now, by using a whiteboard, I can stand up and pace while studying. This is the kind of multi-tasking that I love.

Studying is a constant struggle for many people. I am always in search of The One: that one strategy that will help me achieve greater productivity, more efficient studying, and better time management skills. What I have found is that a strategy that works for your friend may not work for you—and there is nothing wrong with that! So my disclaimer is that I cannot guarantee this will work for you, but I encourage you to give it a shot.

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