By: Eboni Brown
We are a little over a month into the semester, and surprisingly, that means midterms are also a month away. I’m sure that we have all been that student who procrastinated on an assignment or engaged in last-minute cram sessions, which never ruled in our favor. So, to combat those extreme and unrewarding measures, I have curated four study tips for you to implement in your own study routine and help you secure perfect scores all around.
Schedule Your Study Time
To survive in college, a planner is a great way to go. Whether it’s digital like Notion or Google Calendar, or a good old pen and paper, with the flurry of assignments and events we must keep track of, utilizing this tool is important to help keep our lives in order. So, do the same thing with your studies. As you write down your weekly tasks in their own time slot, add an hour or two specifically for studying– you can even set alarms. This allows you to set a routine and will stop you from doing the dreaded cram session before midterms or exams. Cater your schedule to you; whether you study by class, or decide to tackle terms one day and equations the next, be sure to stick to it and watch it become a perfect fit in your schedule.
Write Your Study Goals Down
Before you open the textbook, plan out what you’re studying for the day. Review what needs to be done, and write your goals down so that you won’t be lost in the mountain of work. If it’s a new paper you need to write, focus on the research and outline first. If you’re a STEM major, plan a time where you review important concepts before jumping straight into the quizzes. Maybe all you need to do is catch up on some reading. In that case, break up the chapters into sections and tackle them day-by-day. This will ensure that you will stay focused and will have a stress-free study session.
Don’t Study in Your Room
I urge every college student to leave their cramped dorm room when it comes time for you to put your thinking cap on and delve into studying. Many times, I have been sitting on a high-rise bed with my comfy backrest attempting to take notes on new reading material, only to be distracted by other things in my room. “I’m missing a pair of shoes in the closet.” “Is there enough light coming in the room …wait is that rain?” “What’s my roommate up to across the way?” All of these little things make you lose sight of your priorities. Another way to view it:(Thank you, grandma, for this piece of advice) You should associate your room with comfort and lounging. Keep it your sanctuary. We all know that academics can induce some stress.
So where do you go? For starters, check if your dormitory has study rooms on the premises. This means you won’t have to walk far, and seeing the other students studying will encourage you as well. Another option is to walk to a local café (Sankofa is a great option for my Howard students) or Starbucks. It is more than likely that they’ll have free Wifi, and you can focus on that calculus homework while grabbing an energizing drink. Campus libraries are always an option, as they are the official hub of quiet study spaces, and the amount of work I can complete in an hour there is astonishing. Make sure you note their hours, and what resources each different one offers.
Have A Study Buddy
You’re ready to study, and you’re in an ideal location, but you open your notes and realize you have no idea where to start. This is where your study buddy comes in. Have someone, or maybe three people from your class, join you. By doing this, you all can tackle the assignments together. They say three is better than one, and this also allows for you to get clarity on things you don’t understand. You can also help someone else with their own class weaknesses. As a group, you can test each other on certain concepts and see where everyone is at and start from there. Having a study group also enforces accountability, meaning that you’ll have another person encouraging you just like you’re encouraging them.
The most important thing to understand is that your study time is uniquely yours. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and following these tips will ensure that you effectively use your time and finish the semester with a 4.0.