Planning and arranging your study habits and environment are very important to your continued success at University. Students that stick to a well proven system, that works repeatedly for them, are much more likely to be successful with their studies and attain higher overall exam success. Have you ever thought about the way you study and what changes you could make to boost your success rate?
Ask yourself the following questions to assess your current study habits:
1. What’s the most important practice for studying?
The most important habit you can cultivate is to take good notes in class. Good note-taking will help you learn the material initially and is an invaluable resource when studying for exams. If you need help with good note taking practices, the Internet has many articles, but one emerging practice that is helping information retention is recording lectures and listening/watching them repeatedly over time.
Make sure to organize your class materials so that you have assignments, notes, and other materials readily at hand.
2. How do I arrange and protect the time I need to study?
The next most important part of studying is to organize your time and to make studying a focus of your schedule. Use a schedule calender or day-timer to track milestones, exams, assignments and even social events so that you can maximize opportunities for study and avoid last minute cramming. Watch out for ‘over studying’, which is counter productive, because past a certain point you may be either too tired or otherwise unable to maintain concentration to learn effectively.
3. What else can I do to make my studying more effective?
Several common sense measures will help make you more productive during study time. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that your study environment is comfortable, functional and free of distractions. You may want to consider using the library if you can’t find a study area free of distractions.
When you are studying you need to remember to take periodic breaks. Stretching or light exercise can help recharge you during breaks. It is tempting to check out Facebook, Twitter, or email during study time. You need to set boundaries for yourself so that you can concentrate on the study at hand. Leave entertainment or social media for non-study times.
Attention to notes and class materials, time management, and your study environment can make your University experience more successful and ultimately much more enjoyable.