Some Studying Tips (That Almost Guarantee You’ll Pass All Of Your Tests)

By Toran Langford ‘21

In short, Pomona is really difficult. To this end, throughout your blood, sweat, and tears, you will have many papers and tests. All-nighters sometimes happen, but try to limit them—these tips should make your life easier. Also, remember that Pomona College has resources available to help students.

student studying at deskPractice a little bit every day

Example: review language notecards for around 20 minutes a day. Result: you won’t have to study too much when a test comes around.


Create flashcards on Quizlet

Quizlet is a mobile and web-based study app with learning tools and games—pretty accessible. It shows you flashcards in order of how much you need to review them.

Set weekly goals and tasks

If you break down your work, then you can learn the information over time instead of cramming before the test.

Reread your notes before bed

The information sticks in your brain because you reanalyze your day in your sleep. In the morning, it will be fresh.

two students in dormTeach the information to someone who will listen

If you can teach it, then you know it. Also, frame the information in words they can understand.

If you rephrase the story and simplify it to yourself, then you’ll understand the deeper meaning.

Listen to music that motivates you without being distracting

This also helps reinforce the learning.

student with can of Red BullGive yourself treats or rewards after completing tasks/work

This increases your incentive (dopamine is linked to achievement!).


Read the information out loud

This could make studying more effective. We all have different ways of learning, so give auditory learning a try.

Get organized with an agenda or use Google Calendar/Apple Calendar

This has helped me a lot with organization. My handwritten agenda never works for me.

Talk through the information with others in class.

If you can find study groups, this could help a lot. You can explain the information to each other and thereby reinforce and deepen your understanding.

Find a different study space (outside your room)

two students studying in mailroomYour room is where you sleep and do other stuff besides work. Thus, your brain associates this space with fun, unimportant things. At Pomona, there’s Honnold Library, the QSC, (Quantitative Skills Center), the Mailroom in Smith Campus Center, the Coop, and SkySpace for studying in quiet and/or inspiring spaces.


Study late at night when no one is around or online to distract you

Everyone is asleep, so there should be NO distractions.

Although the work at Pomona is hard and in plentiful, you don’t have to stay in your room doing only school work and sacrifice your social life if you want to succeed. You have Mentors and resources like the Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) as well as the Writing Center that you can reach out to for help. Just try to find a comfort space, and flow with your schedule.