Studying can be one of the most difficult concepts for students. After all, once you’re in college, all you can think about is socializing and having fun. However, if you don’t know how to study effectively, you won’t last long in college and you won’t be able to earn the degree you want to set yourself up for your ideal career. These tips will help you set the foundation for healthy study habits and ensure you can get the best grades you can.
Break Up Your Sessions
Marathon studying sessions are common among college students. However, your brain becomes less effective over time when it isn’t given a rest. Instead, consider breaking up your study sessions into 20 to 25-minute sessions. In between, take a walk, have a snack or spend some time shooting the breeze with your roommate or friends. Taking these breaks will refresh your mind and help you retain information more effectively.
Take Notes as You Read
Many students begin automatically reading and stop taking in the actual information the writing contains. The physical act of writing down notes will help your brain retain the knowledge better. In addition, having these notes available for future study sessions will help break down the content and highlight the most important points. If it helps to take physical action, use a highlighter as you read through your notes during future studying time.
Recognize Memory Triggers
When you’re studying for a test, there are some things you will easily be able to recollect. This information is easy for you to remember without having to expend too much effort. When you encounter something that is more difficult to remember, you will need to use a memory trigger to help you. These triggers vary for each individual and can be created based on your own experiences. These triggers can help you get through more difficult parts of the test.
Quiz Yourself Often
Studying involves more than just reading through the text and your notes on a regular basis before the test. Work with your roommate or other classmates to quiz each other and ask questions. This will help you determine which areas you need to study more and which ones you can easily recall. If you don’t have someone to help you, you can ask yourself questions and see how well you can answer them.
Help Someone Else
Once you think you have a good grasp on the material, work with someone who is having difficulty with the subject matter. The ability to teach someone else the same material will help you retain the knowledge and more easily recall it when it comes time to take a test. In addition, you may learn something from the other person you may have been missing all along.
Create a Dedicated Study Area
Distractions are the easiest ways to forget what you’re trying to learn. If you have a habit of studying in a common area where people are coming and going or your roommate likes to listen to loud music, you could be missing out on important information you will have difficulty retaining later. However, if you have a quiet area, such as your desk in a quiet room or at the library, you are more likely to be able to concentrate on what you need to know. Try to study in the same place each time so you can be sure the environment is right.
Separate Facts and Concepts
Facts and concepts are two of the most important parts of your studying. Facts refer to the information that will not change and are often easier to remember. The concepts, on the other hand, everything together and help you figure out anything that isn’t a fact. This is why it’s important to focus heavily on the concepts so you have a firm understanding of the information you are trying to learn. The facts should be studied, but you should spend more of your time on strengthening the concepts in your mind.
Put Together a Plan of Study
Studying without a plan can be one of the biggest mistakes you could make. However, developing this plan can often be complicated. For this reason, you may spend several weeks or even months trying to determine which methods of studying best meet your needs. Everyone learns differently and it’s necessary to make adjustments to the way you study the information to find out how to retain it and do better on your tests. Be sure your plan includes review times so you don’t easily forget the older information whenever you learn something new.
Studying in college is an important part of your education, even if you would prefer hanging out with your friends and having fun. However, if you follow these tips, you will find you have more time for friends and can still do great in school.