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New Year, New You: Tips for Effective Studying

Consider where you choose to study. Being in a crowded, loud or otherwise distracting place may not be conducive to studying and can throw off your concentration. If your room has too many distractions, consider finding a quiet nook in the library. Tip: quiet areas in Odum Library are located on the first and third floors.

Don’t bring what you don’t need. If you won’t need the internet, don’t bring your laptop. If your cell phone is distracting, put it on silent for a while. Or if you opt to study in your room, put your laptop or cell phone out of reach until you finish studying. Conversely, be sure to bring everything you need, whether it’s notes, books, pencils, snacks, etc.

Test Yourself. If your professor doesn’t provide practice tests, make your own or make flash cards, if applicable. There are many online “flash card maker” sites (e.g. gflashcards.com). Some even let you make and download your flash cards to your mobile phone. Group study session can also be effective as well as enjoyable. Smaller groups generally work better. This is helpful because you can compare and review notes to be sure you didn’t miss anything.

Make A Schedule. Schedule your study session as if it is a class. In the long run, you’ll get used to it and it’ll be like second nature. You should schedule your study session regularly throughout the week, not just before a test. When and how you study isn’t as important as the actual act of studying. Whenever you do it, however you do it, just make sure it gets done. Also, make your study times manageable. Instead of trying to read an entire chapter in one sitting, break it up into parts. Read one part and go back and read another part at a later time. Over time, you’ll find what works best for you.

Learn, don’t just memorize. Memorizing something for a test isn’t necessarily learning because once you are done with the test, everything you just memorized will more than likely not stick. Study with the intent of learning and understanding. You may want to group together like terms and concepts to help you understand the correlation. Associating terms with things you already know can also be helpful. If you are having a hard time with something, you may want to meet with your professor for help. Tip: you may also want to utilize tutoring and supplemental instruction at the Student Success Center located in Langdale Hall on campus.

The beginning of the school year is always an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time. Try not to overwork yourself. Balance is key. And always keep in mind that you are here for an education. College is a great investment and what better way to invest in yourself than taking full advantage of the opportunities presented and putting your best foot forward!

Happy Studying! HCXO.

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