With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions. For some of us, these resolutions will be to read one book a month or, like most people, to hit up the gym more than once. This year, I decided to make a list of activities, feelings, and practices I want to add into my schedule regularly throughout 2020 that will make a positive and beneficial impact on my life. More specifically, I decided to focus on my studying habits and decided that I want to change the way I study material because I’ll admit, I am not the most organized person, and it is definitely something I’d like to improve. Since spring semester only recently started, I researched and also asked friends what their favorite study habits were, and I was surprised by a few of them. It’s better to start sooner than later, so here are a few study styles and practices I will be following and incorporating into my classes this semester!
Become a more active listener
A majority of the time, course tests, quizzes, and assignments are based on what is said in lectures rather than what is in the textbook. With this technique, if you have trouble paying attention to an hour long lecture and can’t concentrate at all, I was told that a good tip is to focus on a main point and base the sections that you read in your textbook off of that. Also, if a professor says that certain information is important, write it down! It will most likely appear on an exam.
Where you study is important
Having a designated study spot is so important! The place where you review notes is crucial to passing a class sometimes. People can make the mistake of choosing a room with too many distractions like having the TV on full volume or being in a public space where too much is going on around you. The quiet area in the library, a not so busy coffee shop, and even alone in your room all make for good study spots; the hard part is not paying as much attention to one’s phone, which I have a huge difficulty with.
Rewrite and outline notes
Taking notes doesn’t always help you learn and understand all of the information from a course. That’s why it’s always a good idea to rewrite sections you may have been confused about to help remember important points. Highlighting/outlining certain portions also helps. Florida National University even stated that “the goal is to condition yourself in a manner that allows you to focus on your materials and absorb all information…” By doing this, one will be more able to remember information on demand rather than needing to look back in their notebook.
Set specific study times and what will be studied
Again, being organized is essential to passing a class. By having a set time and day where you study and go over notes, lectures, and slides from a class, your schedule will become easy to follow if you are being consistent. By planning out what you study and on what day and time you want to do it, it becomes less likely that you will fall behind.
Do more difficult assignments first
I am so guilty of doing easier and shorter assignments first all the time, and I never realize how much time it actually takes out of my day until I’m stuck doing an assignment late in the night that I have no clue how to finish. By doing the harder homework first, you get resources faster, you feel less rushed, and best of all, you get more sleep.
Review notes before starting homework
Starting an assignment and having no clue how to finish it is the worst. Not to mention, having to go back and forth between notes and homework is so frustrating at times! So it’s important that you go over and make sure you understand the material before you do the homework assignment.
College is hard. Nothing really prepares one for what they will experience in four years of higher education. Stress, long nights, and a lot of homework are guaranteed, but with these study habits maybe the stressful and long nights won’t be so frequent. Try these tips out and see if they work for you. I have a feeling they will!