5 Steps to College Student Success
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It's easy to fall behind with studies. With friends, parties and college life in general constantly vying for your attention, it's hard to make studying a priority. But if you want to get back the money you put into your education, there's no way around it. You must study.
1. Scheduling: Make Studying a Part of Your Daily Routine.
Find a way to incorporate studying into your regular schedule. Even on days when you don’t feel like studying during your self-appointed homework time, you need to make sure to stick to your plan. By committing yourself to studying as part of your daily routine, it will soon become habit.
Along with setting aside daily study time as part of your routine, you should also come up with a specific plan for each study session. By creating an agenda, you will know which tasks you need to accomplish. You will also be able to prioritize your homework, ensuring that the most important subjects are covered first.
2. Switch up Your Surroundings.
Most students have a dedicated study location, as courses on study skills encourage students to pick a specific place in which to do all of their studying; however, research has proven the opposite to be true. By simply changing the room in which one studies, students have demonstrated increased retention. This is because the brain makes associations between the material being studied and the environment in which the studying is done. If you study a subject in different places, your brain makes multiple, usually unconscious, associations between your varying surroundings and the material you are studying.
3. Study Smarter, Not Longer.
Study smarter by making sure you are getting the most out of your time. Optimize your study time by selecting a place to study that is free from distractions, sticking to your study schedule, figuring out what learning style best suits you, reading effectively, listening during lectures and taking good notes.
Research has shown that by studying several different topics as opposed to concentrating on just one, you are more likely to remember what you have learned. Dr. Rohrer, a psychologist who researched the difference between students who focused on just one topic and those that studied several, was able to deduce that the latter method proved more effective for retaining knowledge.
4. Sunshine is Your Friend.
Whenever possible, study during daylight hours. Research has shown that studying for 60 minutes during the day is equivalent to studying for 90 minutes at night. Some people find that they are more energetic during the day, with the added energy making it much easier to motivate yourself to study. Getting more sun helps any student, no matter what subject they study, or whether attending nursing, information technology or criminal justice schools.
5. Study Sooner, Rather Than Later.
If you can, review your lecture notes as soon as possible after class. This gives you a chance to process the material you have written down, while reinforcing it at the same time. Also, if questions arise while you are reviewing your notes, you’ll have adequate time to clarify these concerns with your teacher or with a fellow classmate. It is also important to space out your study sessions, allowing yourself time to “forget” the material. By forgetting and then revisiting the subject, your brain is forced to relearn it, which only helps to reinforce the material even more.