What are some Effective Study Habits for College

If you talk yourself into failing, you likely will fail. You stand a good chance of doing well if you talk yourself into succeeding. The first thing to remember when it pertains to studying is having a positive attitude about yourself and school. Begin by being excited at the opportunity to learn. Know that you can do well on exams and papers. Have self-discipline and use your time wisely. Be persistent and avoid quitting. Have self-respect. Make friends with those who support your endeavors.

It can seem quite overwhelming with studying in college. Stop and take a deep breath and take control. Here are a few tips on how to do this. List in order, from most important to least important of the things you have to do. Take advantage of the free time you have between classes to study or review material. You will study more effectively if you build in small study breaks into your schedule. Take 10 or 15 minute breaks for each hour you study. Start studying early for exams and slowly build as the test date approaches. Break studying into manageable chunks of time.

If you are a good reader it makes college work much easier. Preview the different parts of the text before you read or study material. Ask yourself the following questions as you preview. What will the reading teach you? What are the main topics that the text covers? Determine how the topics are arranged and what you will read first, second, and so on. Learn to “skim” the general ideas of the text. This is a fast method of glancing at a passage to get its main idea as well as to find key points. In order to skim a text first preview it, make predictions and find out what the reason is for reading it. Try to read as fast as you can by running your eyes across the pages. Nouns and verbs are key words and you will want to focus on these in the text. Find the facts you need. These are generally in the first and last sentences and should be read at a slower pace. Restate the meaning of the passage in your own words at the end of every page. 

Taking good notes help you to reinforce what you have learned. They also help you to remember what the professor said and can serve as an excellent study guide for exams. When taking notes only write the key information. You want to include the main idea, important names, dates and numbers and the key details. Listen for repetition from your professors since they will often repeat vital facts. A good rule of thumb is to always copy down everything a professor writes on the board. Assume it is important information if it is on the board. Outline and highlight when you are taking notes from a book. This can also be done when taking notes in class.  Be sure to organize your notes and write clearly. 

Studying in a group has several benefits. When one student does not know an answer another student will. Perhaps you missed some class time and need to copy notes for that time period. Being able to help each other and go over the material in a group can help with getting better grades. Keep study groups to no more than five students. Study the most difficult curriculum first when you are not tired. Get difficult tasks out of the way in doing these first. Study more effectively and it will leave you with free-time to do other things. Every test in college counts and make-ups are rarely offered. If you do nothing else, put your best foot forward in studying for major exams.