So you’ve made it to college – congratulations! Now all that you need to do is pass your classes and enjoy yourself. You don’t have to become an anti-social studier to do well in college, yet you can’t just sit back and party all the time and expect to do well.
Good study habits come naturally for some, but for others studying can be hard. Anyone can learn good study habits – from high school students to graduate students – it just takes a bit of practice.
The first step towards good study habits means getting yourself organised. Get a diary (preferably the hard copy type) and use this to organise yourself. Write in your classes, study group times, assignment deadlines, exam dates, when you have to go to work and when you are going to fit everything else in such as playing sports, visiting parents and going out with friends.
You only have a limited amount of time to do everything, so planning how you will tackle your study and fit it in around your other commitments is essential. Those who do well in college study efficiently and it may not be those who study the most who get the best marks. This is where your diary is invaluable. If you write down when you plan to study or work on an assignment, you will be much more likely to do it than if you don’t have a dedicated study plan.
Avoiding distractions is a very important study habit to develop. If you are going to study, you will be better off doing one hour of solid study with no distractions than you will be spending hours on end studying with constant distractions. This means no mobile phone, no Facebook, no Twitter, no distracting friends – once you have done your scheduled study, feel free to do whatever you like. If you find you are getting nowhere on a certain topic, either study something else or give yourself a break and get back to it later. Being able to focus is the key, and it will make it much easier to remember what you are studying.
When at college there are so many competing priorities – study, classes, working, friends, parties – the list goes on. To do well at college, you will need to prioritise your time. If you have planned well, you will find that you can fit everything in, you don’t have to become a social recluse. Remember you can do it all; just not all at the same time and you will have to prioritise what is most important to you.
4) Find out what works best for you
Having good study habits means finding out what is the most effective way for YOU to study. Everyone learns differently, but here a few tips that apply to everyone:
* Don’t leave all your study until just before exams
* Read over notes after a class to check you understand what has been taught
* If you don’t understand something, ask someone (Professor, tutor, friend) for help
* Don’t do assignments at the last minute the night before it is due
* If you are getting overwhelmed, take a break and maybe revisit your diary to plan a different approach to your study time.
Developing good study habits may take a little bit of time, but it is worth the effort. After all, now that you are at college you may as well make the most of it and do the best that you can.
For more good study tips, visit Developing good study habits