Whether you are taking classes over the summer, or preparing to return to school in the fall, one thing all students have in common is studying. Although people learn differently, here are 6 study tips that will be helpful to anyone hitting the books:
1. SET ASIDE TIME. It’s important to schedule time for when you will sit down and study. It may be helpful to get a planner where you can block off periods of time dedicated to studying or writing papers. If you work a full-time job, you will need to figure out when you will be able to focus on schoolwork. If you are an adult learner, it is extremely important to set these schedules and expectations with your friends and family. It is also better to have a series of shorter study sessions distributed over several days, than longer cram sessions. This is especially important for those students who juggle work, family, and school.
2. DON’T TRY TO LEARN IT ALL. Select a reasonable amount of material to study. Make a list of topics that are likely to be on the exam and prioritize them based on how important they are, and how much more you need to learn about them. At the beginning of your study session (when you have the most energy and are motivated), spend your time familiarizing yourself with the subjects you are less confident about.
3. SIT AT A DESK. Make sure you sit at a desk and wear casual clothing when you are studying, so you remain attentive and awake. If you try studying while lounging on the couch in your sweatpants, you are apt to lose focus, be interrupted, possibly doze off, and be less productive.
4. PUT IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Don’t just memorize information and move on – you should be able to explain the main ideas in your own words. By putting it in a context that you understand, you will have an easier time recalling the information when it is time to take the test. Also, don’t copy or plagiarize other people’s work. If you are going to reference something, make sure you do so in the correct format.
5. SEEK SUPPORT. If you need help studying, check in with other students in your class to organize a study session. Hearing other people’s perspectives on the material may help you absorb it better. You can also share study guides and talk through the material out loud. Verbalizing the information is the key to storing the material in your long-term memory.
6. CHEW GUM. An informal study by a Cornell University marketing professor has shown that chewing gum offers improved memory and concentration – which may improve your test-taking abilities. Also, chewing gum may help relieve some stress you have while studying, reading, writing papers, or taking tests.
What are your study tips? Comment & share below!