The art of studying is one of the many necessities that students must master to stay successful in college. With the multitude of tests, quizzes and exams that happen throughout one’s learning journey, it’s important develop effective study habits.
Whether you’ve just started your college career or you’re looking for some fresh ways to improve your study techniques, below are a few tips to incorporate into your test-prep routine.
- Find a quiet place. Studying in a loud, chaotic environment can be extremely distracting. Try to find a quiet place where you can focus. If your options are limited, whether it’s because of friends, roommates or busy dorms, try listening to some music or using noise canceling headphones. This will drown out any background noise and help keep you focused on your studies.
- Recruit a friend. Utilize your peers as a resource – they can be extremely helpful. Working with a classmate or forming a study group can make a study session a lot more enjoyable. Study groups or partners can also be a great way to pick up information you may have missed or revisit material from a different perspective.
- Take your time. Many students put off studying until the last possible moment which then forces them to cram material during a late night session. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to not only review, but actually understand the material you’re studying.
- Break it up. Attempting to study chapters and chapters worth of information in one sitting can be extremely overwhelming. Try breaking up the study material into 30 minute segments. Then, once you’ve completed a section of content, take a short 10 minute break. Sectioning your content and taking a short break to decompress will help you retain more of your study material and lower study time stress levels.
- Focus on the essentials. Reviewing a few months, even a few weeks’ worth of content can push anyone over the edge. Take some time to review course study guides for tips on what might be covered on the test. Then, prioritize. Slot the information that you think is most important early on in your study session. That way, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or under motivated, you will have studied the content that will most likely be on your test.
- Find a quiet space. Studying in your room can be a good idea if you can avoid distractions; TV, neighbors, and friends can all contribute to pulling you away from your studies. Consider other locations on campus that are better for studying. The library is an obvious choice, but coffee shops, lounges or even classrooms can also provide a quiet refuge for studying.
For more study tips, testing advice or helpful learning resources, consult your academic advisor or on-campus learning resource center. They can offer a variety of tools to help you build on and improve your current study skillset.