Most students dream of joining a college someday. The first day of joining an institution of higher learning is thrilling. This could be the first time living independently with an incredible chance to socialize, connect with new individuals, and explore your personal and professional passions.
Adapting to college life is not easy. As a student, you are sometimes overwhelmed with assignments and unfinished essays. It is easy to feel like you are doing many things when balancing studies, sports, and personal life.
Sometimes you cannot memorize a large amount of information when studying. Worry not. We've got you covered. We have formulated the ten best study techniques you can employ to help you study effectively.
10 Study Tips for college students
As a graduate student, developing efficient time management and study techniques is important to retain as much information as possible. You can try these new strategies and study tips below.
Waiting for the last minute to cram information won't work in college. The coursework is huge, and the information is not easy to grasp. To avoid last-minute cramming and stress before exams, create a study plan using your course syllabus at the start of the semester. It's best to study daily, even for only 20 minutes, throughout the week. This will help you stay on top of the material.
We suggest you get a college planner. The planner can be a creative design, plain notebook, wall calendar, or small calendar for checking appointments, events, and due dates and help you stay organized.
You can organize your schedule on your mobile device in this digital world. The electronic devices will let you synchronize your schedule, where you can set reminders for important dates such as tests, department events, study sessions, and assignment deadlines.
You can create a study outline on your device using software such as Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or any digital platform that suits your preferences.
- Take notes
It is prudent to take notes to grasp as much information in class and when studying. This will enable you to focus in class and save time and effort when reviewing the material later. You can ask your professor to record the lectures to supplement your notes.
Take notes with different colors to help you organize and remember important points from a lecture. This makes reviewing and prioritizing the most relevant ideas easier, especially when notes become messy and disorganized.
According to a recent study, using color can enhance a person's memory performance. The study suggests that warm colors, such as red and yellow, can create a positive and motivating learning environment, helping learners to engage and interact with the material.
Warmer colors can increase attention, excitement, and information retention. You can organize topics by color, write down key points in red and highlight important information in yellow.
- Review and reorganize your notes
To ensure you don't miss any important information discussed in class, it's helpful to review your notes whether you use a notebook, laptop, or flashcards. Reviewing shortly after class and then again a few days later is recommended to allow for a fresh perspective after taking a break.
It can be useful to pay attention when college professors disclose which material will or will not be included in an exam. They provide this information to save time, preventing you from wasting hours studying the wrong material and enabling you to concentrate on the essential points.
- Ask questions
To better understand a concept, ask questions. You can drop by your professor's office during their office hours or email classmates and professors. Certain courses may also have a Facebook Group that enables students to keep themselves engaged and create a community where they can ask questions outside class.
- Create a study schedule
Establishing a consistent study routine can help to incorporate studying into your daily habit. Determine the most suitable time of day for you and genuinely devote that time to reviewing your notes, watching videos, and utilizing other relevant resources.
To establish a regular studying routine, experiment with different times of the day throughout the week, such as morning, afternoon, or evening. Determine which time works best for you and stick with it consistently, ideally every day or at least 3 days a week. You may need to adjust your schedule due to other obligations, but prioritize your studies and try to get them done regardless.
- Study with friends
It's more enjoyable and efficient to study with friends. You can suggest a specific time and place for your classmates to study with you. If you are not in the same class as your friends, studying together in person can help you stay accountable. Planning to study with friends can make you less likely to cancel or not show up.
To test your understanding of the material, you can try teaching it to your friends. Teaching someone else will help you identify what you've already mastered and what you need to review. You could make a fun and easy-to-understand PowerPoint presentation for both you and your friends.
- Avoid distractions
It is important to avoid distractions while studying. If you study alone, try to find a quiet place or wear headphones to block out noise. If you cannot concentrate in a certain area, try moving to another location. Although relocating may be frustrating, it will be beneficial once you find a suitable environment. Put your phone on silent or vibrate during your study session and respond to messages afterward.
To stay focused, mute your phone and minimize background disturbances like the TV or radio. Also, refrain from checking your social media accounts until you finish your study session.
If you're bored of studying in the same place, try switching it up and finding a new location. College campuses offer many study spots for students, such as the library, campus lawns, and local cafes. You can set up an area with friends to study for an hour or the whole day. Take advantage of these indoor and outdoor areas and enjoy a fresh perspective daily.
- Study and don't cram
Studying a whole semester's information in one night may seem tempting, but it isn't an efficient way to study and can lead to undue stress. Instead, it's better to dedicate at least 20-30 minutes daily to studying a small amount of information. This approach will help you retain more information and feel relaxed and ready when it's time for the exam.
- Reward yourself
To be motivated while studying, you can take a little break for walking, reading, or watching TV. Adding a reward to your studying routine will give you something fun to look forward to.
Breaks can enhance productivity, refresh your mind, and prevent burnout. Although studying non-stop might seem necessary, your brain can decrease efficiency without rest. Taking breaks can optimize your study sessions while minimizing stress.
- Have confidence in yourself
Studying can be stressful, but it's important to avoid overwhelming yourself. You can properly manage your study schedule and techniques to prepare for your exams. Once you've done that, have confidence in yourself and your abilities to retain the information. Trusting in yourself can alleviate stress and allow you to continue progressing.
Methods you can use to study
Different students have different study methods that work for them. Below is a list of study methods to help you grasp as much content as possible.
The SQ3R Method
This method improves reading and retention of information from textbooks. The acronym stands for five specific steps in the process, which are important for identifying key facts.
To save time, try skimming the book's first chapter and note headings, subheadings, images, and other important features like charts.
1. What is the main topic of this chapter?
2. What are the key points covered in this chapter?
3. How can this chapter help me expand my understanding of the topic?
Start by reading the entire chapter and searching for answers to your formulated questions.
After reading a section, summarize in your own words what you just read. Try recalling and identifying major points and answering questions from the second step.
To fully understand the chapter, reviewing the material after finishing it is important. You can quiz yourself on the questions you generated and re-read any parts that you need to.
Practice retrieval of information
Retrieval practice means trying to remember the information at a later time. It's better for your learning if you try to recall an answer to a question rather than looking for it in your textbook. Here are some ways to incorporate retrieval practice into your studying routine.
Use practice tests
Test yourself by practicing with questions without referring to your book or notes.
To prepare for the test, generate potential exam questions as if you were the instructor. If you are studying with a group, motivate everyone to do the same and exchange questions.
Make flashcards and practice retrieving information from them without flipping them over right away. Write down your answer before checking it.
It involves studying over a longer time rather than cramming all at once. By spacing out your studying sessions, your mind can make connections between ideas and strengthen your ability to recall the information.
Sometimes you cannot memorize a large amount of information when studying. Developing efficient time management and study techniques is important to retain as much information as possible. You will find the tips and study methods we have outlined effectively. All the best, and thank you for reading.