Going to college is a huge adjustment because it is a time of change. Once you head off to college your life begins to transform with all of your new responsibilities and obligations, and this can take some getting used to during the initial transition.
One of the biggest challenges some students experience is the amount of coursework required. For many college students it comes as a major shock when they realize the level of studying needed to be successful when pursuing a college degree. This realization is daunting because between with a full schedule, reading assignments, written homework and research papers it seems almost impossible to throw in several hours of study too.
The good news is there are many effective techniques you can use to help you adjust and experience good levels of success in college. Here are 10 top techniques you can use to help you maximize your study time and be able to complete quality studying.
1. Find a Quiet Place to Study
For some people this quiet place falls within the comforts of home, or it may mean a trip to the library to escape all other distractions. It doesn’t matter where the location is, what is important is the place chosen is quiet and studying can be accomplished without interruptions.
2. Turn Off the Electronic Devices
In today’s world we are inundated with TVs, radios, cell phones, iPods and computers. All of these devices are great except they are a constant source of interruption. When it comes time to studying the best way to get any quality work done is to simply turn them off and focus solely on books and notes.
3. Try and Avoid Cramming
It has been said more information is retained when people study a little at a time as opposed to cramming in a ton of it at once. By breaking up your study periods into segments at different intervals, you’ll be less stressed out and be able to more easily remember what it is you’ve been reading. Too much information bombards the brain and if you can avoid this kind of study, you’ll probably experience a higher level of successful study.
4. Take Easy to Read Notes
If you take good notes during class this helps tremendously when it comes time to sitting down to study. Notes don’t have to be overly detailed, but just enough where you extract the key points and written in a way you will understand it later on; sometimes less is more. A good trick is to when you are taking notes is to make a notation in the margin where the information can be found in the textbook in case more information is needed later on when you need to study.
5. Create a Study-friendly Area
Set up a designated desk or study table where you can keep all of your textbooks, notes and other study aids available. If all of your materials are handy, it’s easier to concentrate if you don’t have to scramble around your living space trying to find the materials you need.
6. Time Management
This is an important key factor to successful studying. For most of us, studying is not only time consuming, it’s tedious. If time is not allotted to study, chances are it doesn’t get done. By setting up designated time periods to study, you’ll get more work done because it will become a part of your routine.
7. Study at Times You are Alert
As you plan your study schedule, it is best if you can select a time to study at an hour when you are awake. Burning the midnight oil is necessary sometimes, but it’s not the ideal time to get quality studying done because you’re exhausted and retaining information is more difficult when you are tired. You’ll get more optimum studying done if you make time to do it when you are more alert.
8. Segment Study Time for Each Class
If possible try and set up a regular period of time designated per class. Obviously this may vary sometimes depending on deadlines and quizzes which come up, but if you can focus on one subject at a time this should reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed when you try and study for multiple subjects at once.
This is an important skill to possess in college. Since you’ll undoubtedly be receiving multiple assignments and due dates at once, you’ll need to be able to successfully prioritize these assignments. This includes knowing deadlines and also how much work is entailed per assignment. A long-term project is going to require more time than studying for a quick quiz; if you can prioritize and organize your time to start the project early in order to leave open time for other assignments which pop up, you’ll have a higher degree of success.
10. Plan for Every Hour in class, 1-2 hours of Extra Studying
If you quantify how much time you need outside of class to study for your coursework, this will come a long way in helping you with the above tips.
Studying can sometimes be hard, but with the right motivation, skills, planning and frame of mind, you can get the work done!