Studying is well…let’s face it, not fun. We’ve been required to do it since elementary school, yet the experience doesn’t seem to get any easier as we get older. In fact studying in college is arguably worse since skim reading books and notes no longer suffices as sufficient studying. Instead we are often expected to pile hours and hours onto our daily schedule to study for classes. Often times the material also requires we utilize various studying tactics so we can actually absorb the material. This means, lots of work and little time to do the things we actually like.
And if we choose to not study? Often times that means failure for our classes. So unless you’re a super genius you need to study. This seems like common sense, and often times the sacrifice of our free time seems ok. In high school if you studied enough, you usually passed. So college should be the same right? Not exactly. The problem is, you’ll quickly learn in college that you can actually spend hours and hours studying and still bomb a test. The reason is usually that the studying you did wasn’t very effective. You can spend hours and hours reading through the material and practicing vocab terms, but if you don’t actually understand the material, it’s all for nothing.
Luckily you can utilize your study time well. There are plenty of studying tips and tools that are actually useful for you. Many studying tips can help change you from a C student to an A student, if you know how to use them. Here are 10 studying tips that actually work.
1. Listen To Music Well You Study
If you’ve got a pair of earphones or headphones, utilize them for studying. Plug them into your computer and play your favorite tunes well you study. If you think that Ariana Grande will just distract you, consider listening to classical music instead, which can help calm you down and get you to focus. Some people even benefit from having certain sounds in the background rather then music, like rain or a campfire. You can find these sounds on Youtube or sites like Rainy Mood. Ambient mixer is also a great tool, which has playlists that combine multiple sounds for you to listen to.
2. Set Up A Study Plan Early On
Don’t lose yourself trying to set up a study schedule last minute. Or worse- pull an all nighter. Last minute studying is almost always doomed to fail. If you spend the night before an exam studying the entire time without an ounce of sleep, you’ll take the exam exhausted and stressed. Neither of these are a good recipe for success. Even if you or a buddy managed to pull some last minute studying in and passed, chances are good you got lucky. Just because it worked once, doesn’t mean it will work again.
It’s better to not take chances and have a study plan. Start the study plan very early in advance. Set up times in the week you’ll spend just studying. Having a plan will make things so much easier and you’ll do a lot better on your exam.
3. Study Somewhere You Feel Comfortable
It will be difficult to study effectively when your roommate is blasting loud music next door and your room is full of clutter. Find somewhere that is quiet and clean. It doesn’t have to be the library, it can be a dorm study area or an academic building. Look for the place that works best for you and makes you feel comfortable. For some people, that’s the quiet zone in the library where there are cubicle style areas and the space is dead silent. For others, it’s the student coffee shop where there’s a little bit of noise and the space is open and bright. Whatever the case, find the area that makes you feel the most relaxed and focused.
4. Rid Yourself Of Distractions
If you are a person who is addicted to your phone and can’t stop checking your notifications, then you likely have a hard time studying. Likewise, if you can’t stop scrolling through Buzzfeed quizzes or playing The Sims when you should be studying, you’ll find that you are easily distracted. The best way to ensure you’re studying enough and not always procrastinating is to rid yourself of the distractions. For some people that might me ridding technology all together and studying with pen and paper. For some of us, that’s a little difficult though.
What you can do is turn off your phone notifications well you study. Furthermore, you should be in an area away from other distractions like a TV or console. One great tool you can use is Stayfocused, which is a Google Chrome browser extension that blocks certain websites for a period of time. If you’re on a Windows computer you can also utilize Cold Turkey, which prevents from you from using certain applications all together for the time you set.
5. Find A Study Buddy
It is difficult to do tasks alone. Make it easier and find a friend in your class who you can study with. This will help hold you accountable because if you set up a time to meet, you’ll have to study at least a bit. This is on the best studying tips because you’ll find that studying with a friend or two helps a lot. You can learn a lot from how other people study, and you can also ask for help from them if you have something that you’re struggling with in the class.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Take Breaks
It is ok to take breaks during your study session. These breaks shouldn’t last too long, but they should be there. If you study for hours and hours without a single break, your brain will be fried and you’ll end up studying less effectively. Instead of studying relentlessly without breaks, plan on having 1 break for every hour or 30 minutes. Set a timer so you know when to take the breaks. These breaks should last about 5 minutes. The breaks will help your brain recharge so you can study better.
7. Eat Healthy
Your diet is an important factor in how well you study. When picking snacks, choose something healthy and energizing. Don’t splurge on caffeine filled drinks which will leave you worse off when you crash. Instead pick something healthy and full of calories like an Apple or a nutrient filled granola bar. These snacks will ensure you don’t get tired well you study.
8. Ask For Help If You Need It
If you’ve been studying and studying and nothing seems to work, consider going to the professor to ask for tips or other previous students. These people can help you figure out what you’ll need to do to succeed in the class. You don’t want to end up struggling because you’re too afraid to ask for some assistance. You can also get help from a tutor. Many schools offer free tutoring in the library during certain hours, so definitely find out if that’s a thing at your university.
9. Utilize Technology Tools
Don’t feel stuck with traditional studying tools. Today, there are so many apps and websites that can help make studying easier. Quizlet for example, lets you create flashcards online. There are other apps and sites that are also helpful. With technology, you can make your studying a lot more efficient.
10. Practice Tests
You can prepare for the exam by taking practice tests. Sometimes if the subject is broad enough, you can find tests online that have the material you need to practice. Other times you can come up with hypothetical questions on your own. You can write them down then take them the next day to see if you were able to retain the information. This helps you prepare for the testing environment and how the questions might be structured.