By Jeff Fleming
Do you have the necessary college study habits? If you’ve already been accepted into a university, chances are you might already have some studying routines that are at least marginally effective. But are you prepared for the increased workload and responsibility of college? Most would agree that university level academics can be much more difficult than high school. Unlike high school, in college your entire course grade may be left entirely up to how well you perform on 1 or 2 exams.
Some of your college study habits should reflect those that worked well for you in high school. The key is to expand upon them so you can master more information in less time. Note taking is a key component of any successful study strategy. It is vital that you take detailed notes during every lecture. Bring a computer to class (assuming it’s not prohibited) so that you can more quickly and efficiently take notes. In some cases you may even be permitted to bring a digital phone or other device capable of audio recording. Re-hashing your teacher’s lectures verbatim is a highly effective preparation tool come study time. Remember to focus on what the professor focuses on, as that material will almost certainly appear on any exam you might have to successfully take.
Try some methods for making your study time less tedious. Creating flashcards is one tried and true method to grasp new material. Association games are also an effective strategy. It’s also paramount that you have a nice quiet study area when you get ready to begin. Sometimes this can prove difficult in a dorm room, but don’t forget your campus will have a library guaranteed to be open late, don’t forget to use it. Also ensure that you have plenty of time before the exam to grasp all the material. Cramming has been show to be significantly less effective than prolonged study where you grasp a little more of the material each day.
Remember to leverage the power of numbers when developing your college study habits. Form a study group with fellow students or join such groups that are offered by the university. Having others to help bounce ideas off of may help you see the material from different angles, as well as the necessity to verbalize your thoughts will help you cement the information in your mind. If the university doesn’t offer groups such as these, seek out a friend, roommate, or neighbor to help you bounce ideas off of, quiz you with flashcards, or even just see if you can effectively explain the material to them. Having a study buddy will not only make the study time less tedious, but also more effective.
Maintaining proper health is also a vital component of successful college study habits. A proper diet is more than just a way to keep fit, it also ensures your mind is able to focus and stay fresh. Sleep is also paramount to performing at your best. The mind’s ability to retain new information while sleep deprived degrades rapidly. Eating foods high in nutrients and getting enough rest are necessary elements of the mind functioning at its highest levels.
Sound college study habits will make it infinitely more probable that you will succeed academically at the next level. Not doing so can mean re-taking courses, failing to get into major programs you might desire, and make future career success less probable. Avoid these pitfalls and ensure you create sound college study habits. Your future self will thank you.