Many people will be going back to school this semester, and we thought that a list of study tips would be helpful to students as they start out a new set of classes.
- Study your notes after each class period, not just before tests.
- Start reviewing a week ahead of time if you can. That way you’ll have a margin for error.
- Find a good, quiet place with few distractions to study in.
- Study in sections. For example: one hour of studying, 20 minute break, and so on…
- Study during the day if you can, rather than leaving it for the evening.
- Take a look at your classwork and determine early on which one needs the most time devoted to it. That way, you know which one you might need to plan in more study time for.
- Discuss concepts you don’t understand with your professor as soon as you can.
- If you don’t understand your textbook, use other materials such as the internet, study guides and other classmates to help you work through the material.
- Spend some time getting to know your professors. Stop by their offices early in the semester to get acquainted.
- Some people find typing out their notes after writing them helps them remember more of the material.
- Take a recorder to class. It might pick up some things you miss in class, and it would also be handy to listen to for a review if you commute to school.
- Study as soon as you can after class. This way the information is more likely to stick in your memory.
- Some people find that background noise helps them tune out other distractions. Classical music or soft jazz might work.
- Learn and understand the main ideas first, then focus on the details. Details make much more sense when you understand the big picture.
- Try to minimize distractions to schoolwork if you can. We all have to balance our social lives with school, but the weekend before a Monday test is probably not the time to take that weekend trip to Colorado.
- Study by yourself first, but then go find some good study buddies to review the material with. Quizzing each other can be a great way to review for a quiz or test, or just a good way to review what you studied in your notes.
- Try to understand the material as best you can when you hear it. Reading the textbook before class can be a big help in allowing you to learn things faster.
- Use online resources if they are given by the teacher.
- Try to do very well at the beginning of the semester at meeting your goals for grades. That way, you might not be stressing as much at finals.
- If you commute, try to find someone to carpool with. That way, you can study at least half of the time when you are not driving.
- Don’t study for recognition of terms. Study for recall of these terms, what they mean and how they relate to the other material and concepts presented in class.
- Try to study within 24 hours of getting the notes or other study material. This makes the information stick better when you have heard it more than once in that period of time.
- Repetition is the key to much studying. If you don’t understand something read it over again until it starts to make more sense. If it doesn’t, go ask the professor or another student.
- Quiz yourself after reading your textbook or notes. Do you recall the major concepts?
- In class, don’t just write down what the professor puts up on the overhead. Write down the things he/she says in between, if you can.
- Use your professor’s office hours! Not all, but most, professors want students to come and ask questions. I cannot emphasize this one enough.
- If you did something wrong on a quiz or test make sure you know how to correct the problems. If you don’t, see your professor. Remember, you may see that material again on a final.
- Find aspects of the material that interest you. This helps you remember what you have studied.
- Sometimes what the professor feels is important can be a key to what they are going to test over. This isn’t always true, but it can help you find a starting place on what to study.
- If you have to miss class, get your notes from a good “B” student instead of the “A” student. This sounds counterproductive, but the “A” student may leave things out of their notes that they already know, and you may not know that information prior to taking the class.
- Be organized with your studying time. Try to plan for interruptions if you can.
- Try not to let friends distract you when you know you should study. This is hard to do, but one motivator is thinking about how much time you will have later to spend with them if you study now.
- If you can, limit work to 10-15 hours per week. For students in some majors, this may even be too much.
- Do the assigned homework, even if it isn’t for turning in. There is a reason the professor assigns it, because the material could show up on a quiz or test in the future.
- Use index cards as flash cards. You can take them anywhere and study if you have time between classes. Plus, this is much easier on your back than carrying a heavy textbook around all day.
- Study as much as possible during your self-assigned study time. That way, you won’t have to worry about it when you are having fun with your friends.
- Find a favorite sport to play or another physical activity to relieve stress. Mine is running or reading just for fun.
- Use a calendar to keep track of test and quiz days.
- Keep a notepad and pen beside your bed. People often think of concepts they need to review before going to sleep. This can also help you relieve stress by not having to worry about remembering what you need to study.
- Try not to get into the habit of staying up too late. Some studies show that rest does your mind more good than that extra hour of cramming the night before a test.
- Make specific folders on your computer and flash drive for each class. That way there will be less of a chance of losing an important assignment.
- Make back-up copies of your completed assignments. What can go wrong, sometimes will go wrong…at the worst possible time.
- Help eliminate stress by setting self-assigned deadlines so that you complete each assignment a few days ahead of time, if possible.
- When writing a paper (especially an informative or persuasive essay) that the professor has not specifically set the topic on, see if you can find something that really interests you to write about. That way, working on the paper won’t be quite so much of a chore, and you’re writing will most likely turn into a much better paper.
- Study for your hardest classes first. That way you will be less likely to be worn out, which makes things much worse.
- Many schools offer free tutoring. If you need it, don’t be ashamed. Go ask questions. Many “A” students I know have and still do go to tutors for help.
- Make up silly mnemonics to help you remember important things. One example is the phrase, “please excuse my dear aunt sally,” which helps math students remember the order of operations (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division).
- Many college professors don’t give study guides. To help with this problem, just go through your notes and textbook and pull all of the main ideas from the textbook and all of the notes into one, central location. This makes it a lot easier to get your studying done faster.
- Don’t leave studying for the weekend. Lots of times unexpected things can infringe on your study plans during the weekend.
- If you can, avoid using stimulants such as caffeine to keep yourself awake. Some people don’t remember things well when they are awake only because of some chemical.
- Though it is good to spend a lot of time studying, the quality of that study time is very important. Minimizing distractions and setting specific times to study will help ensure good quality study time.
- Try not to study in your dorm room. That annoying student down the hall that likes to play his/her music at maximum volume might decide to do so while you are trying to study.
- Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest during the night both help studying go better.
- Get outside and exercise, if you can. Some studies show that moderate exercise has very positive effects on studying and mental processes in general.
- Make up silly songs using important course information or concepts as the lyrics. It sounds weird, but most people actually find things set to music easier to remember.
Eyal Sela says
Here are some more tips for more effective learning
these are very good studying tips they helped a lot
one that my teacher taught me… is
make sure you have a relaxed and ready mind before you open that textbook
when you take notes make sure you make it as colourful as possible. research shows that you remember 10 – 15% or more if you do.
Do not Cram your brain all at once. let the information slowly flow through your mind like water