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Many students suffer from procrastination whether it is studying for a test, doing homework, or not having enough information in their notes. It is never too late to fix these bad habits. No one has to spend hours and hours studying, but you do have to study effectively. Even though you study hard in school, you may need to learn more about how to develop better study skills.
Time control is what determines how successful you will be in college. Time control means that you deliberately organize and plan your time, instead of wasting it. To plan means that you should never be faced with a night-before-test “cram” session or overdue term paper. Three ways to manage your time is to first, prepare a large monthly calendar so you can keep track of all upcoming assignments, papers, and tests. Second step is to have a weekly study schedule for the semester. The third step may be the most valuable time-control method you ever use, that is to make a daily or weekly “to do” list. For instance, Jacinda uses all three methods by writing down every homework assignment, paper, and tests to study for, in her agenda, that way she won’t forget to do them, or get behind in her classes.
Taking effective notes is one of the most important single things you can do to perform well in a college course. If your professor does not teach from a book, but a power point, the best way to take notes is to attend class faithfully, that way you can experience and hear ideas from the professor, in person. Make use of abbreviations when taking notes so you save time and get down a great deal of information. Be on the lookout for signals of importance. For example, when Jacinda is in her Child Development class, her professor tends to teach the class off of a power point. Whenever her professor gives off her opinions or has something written on the board, Jacinda always makes sure to write it down in her notes.
If your professor does teach out of a book, however, you need to remember this four sequence: preview, mark, take notes, and self-test. Previewing a section or a chapter can give you a bird’s-eye view of the way the material is organized. Marking your textbook at the same time you’re reading it can help later one when you’re trying to remember the important parts of the chapter and/or section. You should always mark definitions and examples, enumerations, and emphasis words. Next, you should go through the chapter a second time, so you can take notes on the important things you marked. After you’re done with that, test yourself. Self-testing will help show you what you need to study more on or if you completely understand the material.
Developing better study skills can help make studying more effective and easy, even if you think you study hard. The skills are not magic, but they are too valuable to ignore. Use them carefully and consistently, and they will make academic success possible for you. No one is incapable of getting good grades, you just need to apply yourself in a useful way that works for you.
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