How to Study More Effectively
BY JANE HURST
Obviously, if you are going to college, you want to get great grades and move on to a wonderful career. But, getting those great grades is often a lot easier said than done. For some students, it comes very easily, and it seems like they never have to crack open a book to make straight A’s. For others, it is a constant struggle to maintain a C average. But, you don’t have to struggle to get the good grades you want. What you do need to do is find ways to study more effectively. Here are some suggestions.
- Prepare to Study– Before you can begin studying, you need to get yourself prepared. Keep a day planner, and write down everything you have to do, and study. This will help you to better schedule study times. Block out certain hours each week for studying, and try to study at the same time of day for each study session. Create a study agenda, so you have time to study each aspect of the subject matter.
- Get into the Right Mindset– No matter how much you need to study, if you aren’t in the mind set for it, you aren’t likely to retain a whole lot. You need to know how to properly approach studying, and when to approach it. For instance, you should strive to study when you are in a positive mindset, and you need to keep that positive mindset when you are studying. Try to avoid negative thinking, such as thinking that you are never going to have enough time to study for an exam.
- Practice, Practice, Practice– When it comes to studying, the more you practice what you are learning, the more you will remember. Be sure to outline and rewrite your notes. The more you do this, the more the material will be embedded into your brain. Use memory games to help you remember dates, locations, and other facts. Practice at every opportunity, both alone and with friends and classmates.
- Find a Place to Study– Whether you are staying close to home, or choose to study abroad Israel or another country, you need to find a good place to study. It may be that your dorm is too loud and busy for you to be able to concentrate. Take time to find a quiet place where you can feel relaxed and will be able to study effectively. Some options include coffee houses, the library, or even a quiet, outdoor location when the weather is fine. Look at a variety of places instead of stopping at the first place you like.
- Bring the Necessities and Avoid Distractions– If you only need one book to study from, don’t bring anything to your study session except for that book. That way, there is going to be nothing to distract you. Turn off your cell phone, and put the games away until you have finished studying. Only bring to your study sessions what you absolutely need. If you don’t need your laptop, leave it in your dorm room. In many cases, as long as you have taken notes all semester, all you will need is your notes, the textbook, and a pencil to take more notes.
- Take Breaks and Reward Yourself– You can’t study for hours on end without taking breaks. You need to get up and move around, get something to eat, etc. You also need to reward yourself for a job well done. For instance, if you have studied for a certain period of time, order yourself a pizza as a reward or treat. If you ace that exam, go out and buy yourself something new. This positive reinforcement will make studying even easier in the future.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!