When preparing for life as a college student, oftentimes, students forget to think about studying. Given that college classes can be very different from courses taken in high school, it is important to modify and find new and effective ways to study. Now you may be wondering what the best ways to study or adapt to new study habits are? Well, there is no need for you to question that any further. We have compiled a list of study tips and tricks to help you become an expert at studying.
Take Lecture Notes
The first tip on our list is an easy yet crucial one. Following along with your professor’s lecture slides and making additional notes has proven to be extremely helpful and practical. Professors tend to elaborate and provide countless examples when discussing a specific topic or situation. It is vital for you to take note of simple things to know what to look for during an exam. In addition, having these notes handy will allow you to review them whenever you get a chance to do so. Ultimately, constantly studying and reviewing your notes will allow you to grasp the concepts throughout the semester better. You do not want to wait until the last minute of the semester to review the entire material covered throughout the semester; this will only add to your stress and overwhelm you.
Utilize Your Resources
An important thing to keep in mind is that your professors want you to succeed and perform well in their classes. For this reason, most professors will provide you with numerous resources and study materials. These materials can include homework assignments, optional review sessions, practice problems, and previous examinations. These resources are beneficial and are given to students to help them improve their performance. Therefore, it is essential that you use these resources and make time to do some practice problems and take these past exams. Doing so will allow you to realize what the tests will look like and what you need to work on.
The next tip on our list is study groups. Study groups are an easy and fun way to get some studying done. The purpose behind these groups is to allow you to discuss the course material with other students while helping each other improve on any weaknesses. For example, if you are struggling to understand a specific topic, the chances are that someone in your group might be good at that topic. This will allow you to ask them for help and clarify any questions you may have without spending some time setting up a meeting with a professor. (Here are some additional benefits of study groups presented by Carnegie Mellon University).
Find a Good Study Spot
Up next, we have the topic of studying spaces. Many students do not realize this, but your study habits can improve just by finding an excellent designated area to study. Some suitable spaces for studying can include libraries, coffee shops, study rooms, and outdoor spaces. It is important to note that studying in your bedroom might not be an excellent option when it comes to studying. This is because it can be tempting to hop into bed for a quick nap or simply become distracted by something else. Making an effort to get out of your room and finding a place in which more students may be studying will motivate you to learn like they are. In addition, locations such as libraries and study rooms are ideal when looking for a quiet place to study.
Do Not Wait Until Last Minute
Learning new material and concepts takes a lot of time and practice. For this reason, it is crucial that you do not wait until the very last minute to begin studying everything that you have learned throughout the entire semester. Cramming everything within a day or night can do you a lot of harm rather than helping you. We recommend that you plan out your whole semester and include studying time there. Set aside some time every week to review and practice the content for that week. If you do this, you will feel so prepared for finals without stressing or losing sleep during those days. (We also have some tips on how to become a more organized and structured college student).
Our next study tip is to avoid distractions. It can be effortless to get distracted, especially by our cellphones. I know I have promised myself only a five-minute break on my phone, and by the time I realize it, almost an hour has gone by. To avoid this, we recommend that you silence your phone and keep it away from you. It is also vital to silence or exit any notifications or tabs on your computer. This will allow you to forget about it and motivate you to study longer. (Learn about more tips on distractions from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
Our final tip for you is to take breaks. Studying can be extremely stressful, overwhelming, and tiring. For this reason, you need to take care of yourself and give yourself the rest and breaks that you need. Remember to keep yourself hydrated, eat well, and rest, especially during those midterm and final seasons in which you will be studying a lot. You may not realize it, but doing so will improve your performance significantly.
You’re Ready to Study!
Overall, if you slowly start adapting and practicing these skills, studying and college classes will be a breeze. You can now officially say goodbye to all that studying stress you may have heard about from other current college students. And congratulate yourself for being a step closer to mastering life as a college student! (For more tips and information on college life and preparedness, check out our Pre-University courses).