Studying rarely tops the list of activities students enjoy. In truth, it is one of the aspects of college life people dread. Nevertheless, studying is necessary and effective study habits are one of the most important tools of college success.
Below are some important tips to help college students ensure their studying time is productive and pain-free (well, mostly pain-free).
Schedule study time
Just as you schedule important events, work and classes, you also need to schedule study time. Set aside time several days a week to review notes, do homework and study for exams. And do your best to stick with this schedule. While this is easier said than done, having a study routine will help keep you on track and help avoid late-night cram sessions.
Take great notes
Great studying begins with great notes. Make sure your class notes are organized and comprehensible. Keep notes from each class in separate binders and date them for easy reference.
Review notes immediately
Your class notes will never be as fresh in your mind as they are immediately after you write them down. Reviewing your notes within hours after your class will help ensure that your notes are clear and useful and will highlight any areas that you may need added information or clarification. In addition, research has shown that reviewing your notes within 24 hours of taking them significantly increases memory retention.
In today’s world of endless distractions, staying focused on a singular activity is challenging. Choose a place to study that is free of distractions to help keep you focused. Avoid areas that have a TV or phone or a room that is occupied or easily accessible to family members or roommates. Also choose a study area that is quiet. If you need background noise to help you focus, play classical music to drown out distracting noise.
Highlighters and flash cards
Everyone uses different techniques to increase retention. Some rewrite their notes, read their notes aloud or use a highlighter in their textbooks. Others find using flash cards as an excellent instrument for memorization. Practice several different methods and determine which is right for you.
If you can manage the time, form a study group. Study groups can be very effective in tackling challenging material. They allow you to bounce ideas and questions off your peers. You can also compare your notes to your classmates’ and fill in any gaps you may have missed. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Take care of yourself
No matter how effective your study habits, you will not succeed if you don’t take care of yourself. Eat a balanced meal and get plenty of sleep. Studying when you are hungry or exhausted will not be useful or productive.
As you progress in your studies, know that there are countless resources, both online and in person, to help you. Asher College’s staff is always available for support and assistance. For more information on Asher College, visit their website or one of their convenient locations.
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