Studying for Success in College

January 14, 2012 Category: College Tips

One key to success in college is learning and incorporating various study tips and habits.  Learning how and when to study can help you keep ahead of the game and make you feel confident when test taking.  Studying is not “fun,” but planning and ahead and using your time wisely to get your work done, will allow you some time for those “fun” activities.

There are many ways to study and each student must find the way that best helps them learn the material.  Here are a few suggestions.

Create Mnemonics:  Mnemonics are memory aid that you come up with that can help you memorize concepts, formulas, definitions and much more.  A basic example is “Never eat shredded wheat” which helps with memorizing the order of compass directions:  North, East, South and West.

Make Flash Cards:  This may be a bit time consuming, but by the simple process of writing down formulas, vocabulary, key concepts . . . etc. on flash cards can help memorization.  Plus, by carrying them around, you can review them on your down time.

Set Time Goals:  Setting goals for yourself is a good way to help you stay on track.  In college you can get spread pretty thin and having time for everything can be a challenge.  Make sure to pencil in that studying time and stick with it.

Take Breaks:  This may sound counter-productive, but taking breaks are very helpful.  Treat your mind as a muscle; it needs time to rest after a busy day, week, or month.  Allow yourself short breaks in between studying to help your brain process and retain the information.  You do not want to mix up the information in your head.  Make sure it is a short break because trying to get started again can be difficult.

Avoid Studying on Coffee:  Yes, coffee may help keep you up for a bit but it may also prevent you from falling asleep.  Sleep is very important for the mind to rest.  You can have your coffee, just monitor your sleep patterns and try to keep them regular especially during those busy finals, pulling an all-nighter can be counter-productive.

Make a Study Guide:  Create your own study guide for an exam.  It is a helpful way to study for tests.  Using your notes, textbook, and any other material, write down any information you feel is important.  Reading and writing information help you retain and memorize it faster.

Use a Study Group:  You can create one on your own with friends or join one that you know is in progress.  Studying with peers is a good way to absorb the information in a different and effective manner.  Others may bring a new perspective that you had not thought about.  Plus, it helps break up the monotony of studying on your own.

Talk to the Professor and/or TA:  Students sometimes are shy or do not want to bother the professor, but in most cases professors enjoy meeting their students during their office hours.  They are usually very helpful with any questions you have.  Make sure to write down any and all information they may give you, mostly likely you will need it for the next test.

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