Best Study Hacks From a Teaching Assistant Who’s Been There

By: Debra Holtz

Finals are around the corner and SMU teaching assistant and tutor Sadie Harden BSN ’19 wants to help you bring your A-game. For starters, she says, it’s important to acknowledge that school is a lot—especially with a job, family, and other commitments to juggle. Don’t try to do it alone. “It is vital to have people that are going through the same thing to support you and share information with you,” says Harden, who will graduate in May.

Harden offers a few study hacks she’s learned during her time at SMU. Hopefully at least one will save you the pain of having to learn it the hard way, she says.

  • I wish I would have gotten a tutor my first semester. This would have helped me become a better note taker sooner.
  • Now, I save my notes in one spot. I personally like using my iPad and the Notability app because I’m able to add pictures, add PowerPoint Presentations, and use the Apple Pencil to handwrite annotations. Plus, I can save it all to iCloud just in case.
  • It’s important to find a group of students that add to your knowledge. This study group can fill in areas that you are weaker in and you can do the same for them.
  • One of my favorite resources is Osmosis videos, which are great at breaking down complex subjects so they’re easy to learn.
  • I also recommend that students check out Nurse Sarah at for videos on everything from pharmacology to dosages.
  • Finally, set up a Google Drive folder to share resources and notes with your classmates. You never know when you might have to miss a class or have questions. 

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