Now that you are off to college, you will no longer have the helpful nagging of your parents or teachers to get your work done. You are now 100% responsible for your education, and it is up to you to set your own priorities and study!
Whether you’re a first year student or seasoned college professional, we can all agree that studying in college is way different than studying in high school. In high school, you could probably get by with studying just a couple hours a week outside of class. This is because most high school examinations are frequent and cover less material. But in college, you will need to dedicate about two to three hours a week per course you are taking in order to prepare for exams that are less frequent, but cover a lot of material.
I know the transition can be scary, so I have created a quick list of 7 simple tips to help you study better in college!
Manage your time
Time management is 90% of the reason why college students fail. Having a calendar schedule you can stick to is key! Create a weekly schedule and daily to-do list that will help you anticipate your exams and papers. It also helps if you create specific times for studying, sleeping, meals and fun time each week. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but having a regular study routine will give your college life some balance and keep you from stressed out. Once you get into the flow of it, you will start to see the benefits from good time management.
Go to class
If you don’t attend class, you won’t know what to study. It is important to be present, even if your professor does not take role. Test questions often come directly from lectures, not you textbook reading assignment.
Use your syllabus
Your syllabus is a great guide to help you prepare for your class. Tests in college cover much more material than they did in high school, so it will be important to keep up with your assignments. Use your syllabus to get ahead on your studies so you can avoid scramming in ten chapters the night before your exam.
Being involved in your class and actually engaging in lessons will not only help you retain information, it will help your professor to recognize that you are present, mentally and physically. In you can, sit in the front of the class where you can be seen and are less likely to be distracted. Take thorough notes, visit your professor in their office and ask questions – even if you already know the answers. You will more than likely benefit from them knowing your name and face; they perceive you as being truly interested in their course.
Find your study spaces
Finding at least one place outside your dorm room (or regular room) to study in is extremely important. Studies show that having a dedicated study hub increases efficiency and memory retrieval. You are far more likely to have a successful study session if it is in a place outside of your regular activities. Some students swear by the library, others may prefer an outside setting or a somewhere with a bit more noise. Once you pick your study location, you will being to associate that spot with work and productivity. Find a quiet spot on your campus, the library or a quiet coffee shop where you can really focus.
Study in groups
Having a group of peers to study with can be extremely helpful in college, especially when you have a big assignment or difficult problem set. Make sure you form a solid group with students who are also serious about their education and not just your friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out to classmates you don’t know and ask them to study with you. Having a consistent study group will help you to better comprehend your studies, plus it will add new perspectives to what you learn. Who knows, you might even make a new friend!
Get some sleep
The amount of sleep we get ultimately affects our energy levels, our mood and ability to learn. Whether you’re in a dorm room bunk or your own bed at your parent’s house, college students are notorious for staying up late to partying hard and pulling all-nighters to cram for an exam. Try and maintain a steady sleep schedule, especially during your class week. Remember, a tired mind is a slow mind. Start getting regular sleep and your GPA will thank you!