College is key to molding most of your life both professionally and socially. College involves learning both in and out of the lecture room.
With what your lecturers teach, that is usually examinable content and therefore one must study for the grades. You can study in a million different ways provided you get good grades at the end of your study.
There are many limitations and controversies associated with this pragmatist approach to studying and especially in college. Remember college students (especially those that feel that they have not studied enough) can go great lengths to justify good grades.
However, on our guide today, we will be giving you usable and proven study tips that work very well for college students.
1. Take good notes
Every day in college, you attend classes. What you get out of these classes is important as it would be a waste of your time if you got nothing out of the lecture.
Note down the key points and anything else you feel worth of remembrance. In a lecture, always ask your professor to help you with the key points. Do not crowd your notebook with unnecessary information.
Remember, when studying, a notebook is a quick reference guide and it would rather have usable points. Alternatively, you can record a lecture and listen to it thereafter.
Worth noting as well is that you need to attend all lecturers without fail. Some points that are passed out in class are examinable and in some cases, these point cannot be acquired from any other secondary reference sources.
2. Ask for help
Always ask for help. College is a social place as much as it is academic. Do not be afraid to reach out to your professor or your friends for a little more explanation for those concepts you might find hard to grasp.
As much as you ask for help, do not hesitate to help out anyone who reaches out to you as well. Helping out a friend helps you have better understanding as well as gauge how well you have really understood a certain topic.
Group work is highly encouraged as an avenue to share knowledge as well as evaluation of your levels of understanding.
3. Avoid distractions
Needless to say, college is filled with distractions. Always find quiet areas to study within campus. A library comes to mind as a quiet place optimized for studying.
If a library does not tickle your fancy, find a quiet room or just sit in a shade and study. Choose a spot where your concentration levels will not be affected by your surroundings.
Studying luckily can be done anywhere. You only need to develop a study method adaptable to your environment e.g. you can listen to an audiobook to and from your lecture room or as you walk around campus.
4. Never cram
Cramming is a very poor studying habit. As mentioned earlier, pragmatists may beg to differ with this statement because cramming “works well” for some people.
Study consistently and avoid having to cram huge amounts of information at one go. Cramming puts your brain under a lot of pressure which for a student, leads to stress and poor performance in the long run.
Crammers do not grasp the concepts they cram but they just memorize (for lack for a better word) them. Consistent studying helps you understand the concepts. Understanding is very important as it helps you to contextualize; very important for those application questions in your test.
5. Do not over study
You might feel pressured to up your performance and this might lead you to over studying. If you fell that you are spending more time than you need to studying, cut that time to a manageable amount.
When studying, we aim at efficiency where quality is favored over quantity. Study a little at a time while gauging to see how effective your study is. Spending excess time studying may mean that you are overworking your brain.
Like many other things in life, your brain has a limit. Do not go over the limit. As opposed to over studying, increase the frequency of your study sessions.
6. Take breaks between study sessions
Resting is very important to refresh and get back to studying re-energized. Do not take more breaks than you need to. Only take one when necessary.
You are human and you do not need to study to breaking point for the best results. One way you can schedule your breaks is by allocating time after an hour or so or after grasping a given concept.
What you do during your break is purely up to you but you always have to remember you have to get back to studying.
7. Create a nice study environment
Everyone has their preferred study environments. Find what works for you and optimize your space to that conducive study environment.
Places to study both in and out of campus are numerous and you only need to find an environment you can maintain your concentration. If you cannot find one that works for you, create it maybe in your dorm room or study room back at home.
8. Create a routine
A routine does not have to be written down like a schedule but has to be adopted instead. Get into your study routine gradually for the best results.
Your routine should work for your study hours, rest hours and also be in tandem with your class time. A routine once adopted, means that you will find studying part of your day to day activities and you will not feel as if it is a huge ask.
The incorporation of studying outside your routine might feel like a sacrifice but that is not the case should it be already part of your routine.
Organization is key. Organize your time, your notes as well as your topics to study. Organized study ensures you get as much as you can from the time you put into studying.
Perhaps the greatest point to stress here is the organization of notes. It does not matter how good your notes are. A key point might be lying in plain sight but you may miss it if your notes are not well organized. This is especially important when scanning and skimming.
10. Refer widely
Reference has to be done when studying. You are just a descendant of previous study and you might need to look at what your predecessors came up with in your academic field.
You need research findings written by other people to complement what your professor lectures in class. The internet is a resource that does not tire in giving when it comes to matters reference material.
You cannot exhaust material found on the internet. Visit a library and refer to the books you find there. Do not confine yourself to your school library if their collection does not satisfy your information need. Expand your horizons as you seek new references everyday.