Finals are coming! Finals are coming! Queue large cups of coffee, sleep deprivation, and long hours of studying. When I was in college, my school’s library was like the watering hole for my classmates. Everyone was diligently going over their notes, creating flashcards, and forming study groups left and right to assure maximum efforts of retaining knowledge. Plus, if you were one of the lucky ones, questioned a friend about a final previously taken the year before, so you had the upper hand and knew what to focus on for the final. Learning how to study will effectively help you earn better grades on your exams and discover what works for you as a student as you continue on your college career. Listed below are tips that will help even my fellow procrastinators:
Take Good Notes
Good notes and good study habits will ease the stress of preparing for an exam. Learning how to take good notes comes with practice and finding what works best for you. The key factor is recording key points from your professor without overwriting every little detail. There are various ways to take notes:
- Write them out in a notebook.
- Write on slides your professor makes available on Blackboard.
- Type notes on a laptop or tablet.
- Record the lecture and listen to it later to fill in your notes.
Find Your Environment
Your studying environment is everything! The perfect studying environment various for each student. Some enjoy a nice quiet place in the library or a study room. Others like coffee shops (my favorite Scooter’s), because who doesn’t like the convenience of grabbing your favorite drink. For some, it’s a quiet place in their dorm room. The proper studying environment can put you in the right mind frame to tackle the work ahead.
Disconnect from Social Media
It can be hard to stay off of social media, especially since most of you use technology for nearly all your school work. Still, web browsing or even television can become a distraction and limits the time spent on actually studying. Your social media accounts and TV shows will still be there after you study — unless Beyoncé makes a huge announcement or drops a new album. We all know Beyoncé is life! Also, your phone can may hinder you from forming good study habits so put it in a safe place until you’re done.
Refrain from last minute cram sessions
This is a habit I developed in college. I would cram for hours on end for my exams, but it limited me from retaining the information. It’s tempting to say, “I’ll study tomorrow,” and then tomorrow becomes the night before an exam. Pace yourself! If you study a little bit each day leading up to the exam, it will help you with fatigue and you will remember more of what you’ve learned.
Relax and take a break!
It’s okay to take small breaks while you’re studying. Ten-minute breaks every hour or so can help your mind stay at ease. Otherwise, too much studying can cause you to stress or even forget the material you’re reviewing. It’ll help you stay energized and at peak mental condition. Given how easy you can become overwhelmed in college, this is probably the most important study tip!
If you have tips to share with current students, comment below!