Effective Study Habits for College Students

When we understand how our minds and memory work best, we will know how to plan our studies such that it produces the best results.  In order to be effective in our study, we need to study smart by planning the learning schedule.  The key is in the time allocated during study, having rests in between, revision at key intervals to retain the materials learnt.  Our memories work best when we space out our learning, review, revise and apply the knowledge.  When there is regular practice and application, the materials learnt become permanently embedded in our memory. Following are some suggestions of a schedule that can be integrated into our study habit.

Before classes or lectures, read through and prepare the chapter.  This gives us an overview of what will be taught.
1. Highlight key words and points.
2. It may help you remember the overall concept if you use colored pen and do a mind map on the topic.

During class or lecture, listen, pay full attention and write down key points.  When we hear and note down the information, this improves our understanding of the materials learnt.
1. Jot down notes with pencil on your book
2.Have a notebook to write further details if required
3.You may wish to use colored pen to continue and add on to your mind map.

After class or lecture, revise the chapter on the same day.  This reinforces our learning and helps us remember better what has been taught.

1. Read through the chapter again.
2. Go through the key points and your mind map.
3. When in doubt, always get help and ensure you get an answer to your queries.
4. Study for about 20-25 minutes and have a 5 to 10 minutes break before continuing for the next 20-25 minutes slot. Keep our study slots short, do not continue non-stop for an hour or more.  The short study slots help us remember more of the material learnt.

5. You may also wish to create an easy to remember sentence using the first letters of the key points. For example, in music, to remember the Sharps, we can use the sentence:” Father Can Go Down After Eating Breakfast” to recall the sharps: F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#.

After tutorials, do all your assigned homework and complete on the same day.
1. Whatever tutorials that you have, attempt and solve the questions on your own to the best of your ability.
2. Do all the questions that you know first, for those that you do not know, find out from friends or your tutor.
3. You just need to ensure that you understand and know how to solve all questions you come across.
4. Always check through after you have completed your assignment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. 5.Whatever that is wrongly done, always find out the correct method and work at your corrections after you understand.

Have another revision one week after the topic is taught by attempting more questions and exercises.
1. Glance through your mind map.
2. You can put the topic into your permanent memory by regular recall and practice.
3. Recite the main points if you need to.

Regularly, do more questions from other assessment books to familiarize and master the topics studied.
1. Source for other questions to practice on the topic learnt.
2. Keep practicing more questions and finding out the solutions AFTER you are done.
3. Remember always to check your work.

Besides doing all of the above for your lessons, remember to:
1.Eat balanced meal
2.Have enough sleep
3.Exercise regularly, perhaps 2 to 3 times a week.
4. Have allocated play time and recreational activities on week ends.

When we have an effective study habit and a balanced lifestyle, we can attain good results with minimal efforts.  It becomes part of our lifestyle without having us to feel unduly stressed.

I wish you all the best in your studies and may you have excellent results.