Although most students do not enjoy the idea of studying, it is a necessary part of being successful in any college degree program. Believe it or not, studying does not have to be a terrible experience. Ensure you are avoiding the following mistakes to improve your study skills and create a more successful college experience.
1. Don’t Procrastinate
You may think that you work better under pressure, but the truth is a set schedule will make for a more productive study session and improve your study skills. If you have designated times each week that you dedicate to studying, you can better focus your attention on what needs to get done.
Taking a proactive approach to scheduling your study time will also give you an opportunity to better plan what you need to study throughout the week, so you don’t feel the need to cram a substantial amount of information in one study session.
2. Don’t Delay Asking for Help
There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. If you’re enrolled in several courses and attempting to understand and retain a lot of information, chances are there will be times when you need additional explanation or guidance. Here are a few ways to seek out help while in college:
- Stay after class to speak with an instructor about your concerns or confusion
- Contact an instructor via email or phone to set up a time when you can meet outside of class time
- Connect with fellow classmates who may be able to answer your questions
- Make an appointment with your college’s resource or tutoring center
Regardless of the method you chose to use to seek help, be sure to do it right away. Falling behind in a class will only cause additional stress and make it more difficult to keep up with your study schedule.
3. Don’t Skip Extra Study Opportunities
Some instructors offer scheduled study sessions for their students throughout the duration of the class term or at specific times preceding exams or major projects. Take advantage of these opportunities, as they will help you focus your study efforts, further explain the curriculum and help you improve your study skills.
It can also be a good idea to identify a study partner or group that can help keep you accountable. Holding weekly study sessions with a partner or group will allow you to talk through subjects and collaborate on issues that you may need additional assistance on. You may find that you end up working with your study group throughout the duration of your college education, especially if they are enrolled in the same degree program.
4. Don’t Allow Distractions
We are surrounded by distractions all day and it can be difficult to break away from them. Identifying a designated study location can help you split from distractions. Some common distractions to consider avoiding while studying can include:
- Mobile phones
- Family members/friends/roommates
- Exhaustion/lack of sleep
By scheduling your study time, it can make it easier to get yourself in an environment where you will be the most productive. When you find your ideal study environment, which includes location, time of day and state of mind, be sure to take note so you are able to replicate it for your next study session. Creating a productive routine can help you stay on track and combat distractions.