There’s no doubt that there’s a large margin between just skating by in your college courses, and really being at the top of your class. And, if you haven’t seen the view from the top, it’s hard to believe that you can ever get there. But, you may be surprised to discover that the study tips that some of the academic world’s leading scholars have for students are not at all difficult to follow. Here are some recommendations for upping your study game.
First, you have to be organized. Get yourself a planner, write down your assignments, and mark your calendar well in advance with all your big papers and tests throughout the semester. Some students even recommend sitting down at the beginning of each week and looking at all your assignments to devise a reasonable schedule. That way, there’s no reading 200 pages the night before they are due, or rushing to finish a midnight paper, or any of that last minute craziness. Dividing your time reasonably, and in advance, is the best way to ensure things get done quickly and at a high quality.
Another study tip that is integral is your participation in class. All the best students go to class for one, and take copious notes. These notes seem tedious throughout the semester, but when it gets time for finals, they can be a real life saver. The other advantage of just showing up is that you should be retaining information throughout the semester, instead of waiting until the last week of classes to cram. You are learning something beyond just what you can memorize then, and it will take your knowledge to a whole new level.
As far as studying goes, environment is everything. You need to be in a place physically that is conducive to your studies. So, if the room with the rowdy room mate isn’t cutting it, get out of there and go to the library. Nothing is more counterproductive than trying to concentrate but not being able to due to some outside force. And, of course, this also means no television or Facebook while you’re studying. Save these applications for your free time.
Pacing yourself is also key. Not only should you pace yourself throughout the semester, keeping up on your readings and notes, so that you are up to speed and ready to simply review when it comes time to take a test, but your study pace is important too. Make sure to take breaks between studying. Try looking over your notes for an hour, and then take some time to get a snack, look at your e-mail, or check on the score of the ball game. Studies prove that breaking things up is the best thing you can do not to overload.
And, finally take care of yourself. It won’t matter how hard you study if you are so tired you can barely keep your eyes open. Sleeping is the most important part of retaining information. Also, eating right, and cutting down your alcohol consumption, especially during the week, will help you stay focused. There are no rules saying you can’t have a little fun, just make sure you balance it with the learning part.
If you make a true effort to incorporate some of these techniques into your study habits, you are sure to improve your grades, and your overall academic experience, immensely.