Seven Steps Toward Successful Studying

Studying can be certainly be a challenge when a college student is involved in various activities – attending classes, working, participating in organizations, and hanging out with family and friends. Nevertheless, there are definitely ways to minimize the pressures associated with juggling homework and tests with life events. The following tips on studying will get you through the semester:

  1. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!! Waiting until the last minute is never a good idea. When an assignment is presented to you, complete it right away! This saves time and gives you a chance to focus on other matters. Time is very valuable. Students have wasted lots of time avoiding their assignments instead of scheduling a section of time to complete the assignment, thereby giving him or her extra time to do other things (like sleep J). Use your time wisely.
  2. TAKE GOOD NOTES. Read ahead of time so that you can be prepared for the following class period. Listen to the teacher because there could be key words you will see later in an exam. Make sure to be participative in class. It’s okay to ask questions. Many times, other students want to know the answer to that same question. The teacher is there to help you. Also, using outlines is a good idea, because it keeps you from writing lots of irrelevant information.
  3. BE PREPARED – Organization is the key to sanity. Folders, binders, sectional notebooks, highlighters, and post-its are useful tools to have when taking notes. Scattered papers all over will only give you a headache and discourage you from achieving your goal. Make a schedule of the things in your life that need to be tended to daily. Studying should be apart of that schedule, even if it is only for 30 minutes each day.
  4. FIND A QUIET PLACE TO STUDY. The library is a perfect spot for studying because the ambiance is always relaxing. It’s a bad idea to study in any environment where distractions can keep you from focusing. Items like the television, radio, and even the Internet are examples of things to avoid if you are set on finishing assignments.
  5. WORK IN STUDY GROUPS. This is one of the most productive tips that a student should apply to their academic experience. When you feel like giving up, there will be two or three people encouraging you to keep going and the results will be worth it. Most of the time, you can even finish faster because your level of understanding will have increased from putting your minds together. Don’t be afraid to befriend your classmates. Networking has major benefits.
  6. RESEARCH. This tip will give any student the leverage needed to make grand achievements in college. Libraries (public or college libraries) possess an array of articles, books, journals, newspapers, videos, and magazines on millions of topics for your intended use. A student can also find the dictionary, thesaurus, almanac, encyclopedia and atlas in the library for observation as well. Take advantage of those sources and you will certainly become more knowledgeable on all fronts. The Internet is another tool that is good to use for research purposes. Search engines can assist in finding anything so think of keywords before beginning any project.
  7. RELAX. The last thing a college student needs is stress. By following all of the steps above, it will become easier to be calm throughout the tests, projects, and presentations. If things become too stressful, take the time to talk with a school counselor. Make sure to get plenty of rest, maintain a healthy diet, and use stress relievers like exercise or participating in an activity that makes you feel better.

One of the most important things to remember is you can only get better by choosing which study tips work for you. Every student is different is his or her own way and some require more study time than others. Be consistent and seek help when needed. Colleges have all types of resources at your disposal so do not be afraid to use them. Enjoy your college experience with clear goals to be the best student you can be. Remember: Studying is only as productive as you make it!

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