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The key to becoming an effective student is learning how to study smarter, not harder. This becomes truer as you advance in your education. While some students breeze through college with minimal effort, a vast majority of them struggle to keep up. College has got a lot of destruction and for some funny reason there just isn’t enough time to do everything you want to do and especially studying. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get all your studying done and engage in extra-curricular activities as well and especially if you do not know how to study smart. Studies have shown that there are particular study habits which if mastered can help one succeed in college.
So if you want to become a successful student in college , don’t get discouraged, don’t give up, just work to develop each of the study habits below and you’ll see your grades go up, your knowledge increase, and your ability to learn and assimilate information improve.
1. Master time management:
If you want to have time for everything, you have to figure out how to make everything fit into your schedule. A critical part of time management for students is studying effectively. You have to make sure the time you’re dedicating to studying counts.
Create a time-table for all your subjects. Consider spending at least one to two hours studying for each hour spent in class. Have a schedule that makes sense and include open study time, things may come up that can interfere with your set schedule. This open time will fill in for those gaps you missed. A good schedule will ensure you don’t spend too much time on your favourite subject at the expense of others. Be strict to your schedule and ensure you adhere to I to the latter.
2. Organize your space: Designate a specific area for studying. Try to work at a desk or table, not in your bed or comfortable chair that might encourage napping. Do not put anything else in this space except for your study material. This way you won’t have any distractions around you. It will also limit time wastage as you not have to waste valuable time locating your study material under a pile of junk or clothes.
3. Study effectively: You need to study smart and not hard. Cramming and studying for hours isn’t what you need to do .Try reading the chapter before you go to the class lecture about it. It helps to know what the professor is talking about before you get there. This will also help you understand better what the professor is talking about as you will have already familiarised yourself with the topic of discussion. You can also seek clarifications on points you did not understand clearly while studying on your own.
4. Learn when it’s time to take a break: There comes a time when we all hit a wall when we’re studying or working on an assignment. Taking a break when you feel frustrated actually helps a lot. Try taking a 15 minute walk to help distract you. Even a short break will help you push through. Consider finding a short exercise routine to do during this time if you do not feel like leaving your room. Have at least a 10 minute break for every hour of study to make it easier to study for longer periods of time. This small break is very necessary as it will help you re-fuel and re-energize. You can also take a healthy snack during this small break just to give your mind something else to think about.
5. Reward yourself when you deserve it: If you have trouble studying regularly like most people do, giving yourself a reward when you achieve a goal may help. Allow yourself an immediate reward for completing a specific task. This helps motivate you. Space out the rewards as your routine becomes easier for you to complete. Be honest with yourself as well. If you really earned a reward, then you should get it so it acts as positive reinforcement for your good behaviour. If you didn’t accomplish what you set out for, don’t go ahead and reward yourself anyway. Discipline yourself to only reward good behaviour.
6. Ask for help when you need it: Remember that asking for help does not equate to your failing. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Even the best of the best ask for help from others. On the contrary, you will be steering yourself towards accomplishing what you need to. That’s awesome! It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Ask for help as soon as you think you need it. Find someone or a classmate who has knowledge about the subject you need help in and consult with them. Having someone to talk it out with and ask questions will ensure you truly understand that particular topic.
7. Focus on one thing at a time: Focus when you study and avoid multi-tasking. Ensure you eliminate all forms of possible distractions before you begin studying. Focus on one task without distraction. Research shows we are bad at multi-tasking, but we are REAL good at fooling ourselves into thinking we are good at it. Ditch the distractions. Keep in mind that for every distraction you decrease the amount you learn and increase the amount of time it takes for you to learn. This means you won’t learn as much as you was supposed to in a particular time and will impact negatively on your schedule.
8. Use study groups effectively: Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from others when you’re struggling to understand a concept, (2) complete assignments more quickly, and (3) teach others, whereby helping both the other students and yourself to internalize the subject matter.
However, study groups can become very ineffective if they’re not structured and if groups members come unprepared. Effective students use study groups effectively. An effective study group should not have more than 7 members.
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