As any college student knows, there are times when studying can be stressful and tedious. This list of ways to improve your study habits can help you stay on track and get the most out of the time you spend studying for your degree.
1. Utilize your time wisely
Time management is a major factor in the success of any college student. You may be surprised how much spare time you accumulate in one week in-between classes. Use that time to review notes from the class you just left while the material is still fresh in your mind.
2. Stay organized
Commit to using a calendar or planner consistently and write down your class schedule, work schedule and personal activities. After you record your commitments, schedule time each day to use as study time. Follow your schedule as closely as possible, as organization is key to battling stress.
3. Attend study groups
Some instructors will offer optional study sessions leading up to an exam or assignment. This is a great opportunity to review curriculum and also receive additional direction from the instructor regarding what areas to focus studying. If your instructor doesn’t offer study sessions, consider getting together in a small group of students to review and quiz each other on the curriculum.
4. Create a study spot
Although it can be comfortable to lay in bed to read or review notes, it makes it far too easy to doze off. It is a good idea to identify a location you can call your study spot. The kitchen table or a desk can be an ideal place to study. If you become too distracted while at home, consider visiting the library or a quiet place on campus.
5. Eliminate Distractions
Allow your study time to be strictly about studying. Be sure to turn your phone off or place it in a different room if you feel the urge to check it. Turn off your TV and computer, unless you are using it for study purposes. In our digital world, it is increasingly easy to get distracted.
6. Stop procrastinating
Don’t work under the impression that you work better under pressure. Chances are you have a lot of information to understand and retain and a cram session isn’t the most productive way to study. By sticking to a schedule and making study sessions a routine priority, you can eliminate procrastination.
7. Take breaks
It is important not to allow yourself to burn out. Take five to 10 minutes after an hour of reading or studying to allow your brain to rest and for the information to sink in. When you get back, review what you previously covered and continue your studies.
8. Ask questions right away
If you are having a hard time understanding a concept in class, be sure to ask your instructor for clarification right away. Clarification is essential when it comes to studying the concepts on your own later. Some instructors make themselves readily available by email or through office hours if you come across additional questions while studying.
Rest is important to your productivity and overall functioning. Sitting down to study while you are exhausted won’t provide an ideal experience. Your ability to focus and retain information will likely be negatively impacted if you are too tired.
10. Rewrite your notes
To better retain what you are studying, it can be beneficial to rewrite your notes. If you are reviewing material from days or weeks earlier, rewriting or rewording your notes can help the concepts sink in. Consider rewriting your notes in outline format and test whether you can thoroughly explain concepts by glancing at the outline.
11. Get feedback
Ask your instructors for feedback on the exams or assignments you have completed. Many instructors will be willing to take the time to discuss why you received a particular grade and how you can progress. By understanding ways in which you can improve the quality of your work, the easier it will be to adjust the way you study.