College is an exciting and life-changing experience. It may be the first time you’ll be living on your own and it’s a fantastic opportunity to make friends and meet new people. However, adjusting to college life can be overwhelming – and getting down a solid study routine is no exception!
College courses are completely different from high school courses and your old study habits might not be as effective. Taking the time to figure out what works can save you tons of headaches in the long run!
Don’t just study, study effectively
Learning to study efficiently can save you time and help you get the most out of your classes. Not only will you better understand the subject in general, which will help you in future classes and jobs, but your test scores will likely reflect all the effort you’ve put in!
How To Find the Most Effective Study Habits
Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula or prescription for how to study effectively…everybody is different! The best approach is to try out different methods that you like and see what works and what doesn’t. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t get discouraged. There are tons of college study tips out there…and if you don’t like any of them you can always invent your own!
16 Expert Study Tips for College:
First, Focus on Preparation.
1. Organization is key!
Your planner can be used for more than just jotting down your homework…use it to map out your upcoming exams and create a study plan around them! Additionally, make sure that the area where you plan to study is organized and clean so you don’t get distracted by the mess.
2. Plan Ahead
Creating a study plan at the beginning of the semester or before an exam can make the task of studying much more manageable. Ideally, you should study a little bit every day—even just 20 minutes can make a huge difference—so you don’t end up cramming and stressing out right before the big day.
3. Take Good Notes
Studying starts in the classroom. If you don’t pay attention and take careful notes, you’ll likely have more trouble trying to remember the information later. Learning effective note-taking strategies can have a direct impact on your study habits and is one of the most important study tips for college.
4. Find a Routine
Getting yourself into a routine is one of the best ways to make sure that studying becomes a part of your everyday habit. Determine what time of day works best for you and make a real effort to dedicate that time to reviewing notes.
Teamwork is Essential
5. Study with Friends
Studying doesn’t have to be boring…getting friends involved can make everything more fun and effective! Plus, studying with friends is one of the best study tips for college since it allows you to be social at the same time.
6. Ask for Help!
If you really don’t understand a concept, asking questions can be a huge help! Don’t be afraid to stop by office hours (that’s why they exist!) or reach out to classmates and professors via email. There’s never any shame in not understanding a concept.
7. Teach Someone!
Teaching a friend, family member, or even your pet the material is a great way to see how well you know it! When you explain it to someone else, you’ll have a better grasp of which information you already have down and which information you should spend more time on.
Create an Ambiance
8. Mix Up Your Study Spots
Studying in the same spot can get tedious, so why not mix it up and get a new perspective on things? College campuses have tons of study spots for students—from the library to the campus lawn to local cafes. Take advantage and give yourself a new view every day!
9. Get Rid of Distractions
Studying without distractions is crucial when deciding which college study tips to adopt. Try to find a quiet space or put headphones in to block out your surroundings. It’s also helpful to put your phone on silent. You can always respond to your messages afterward!
10. Don’t Cram
While it may seem like a good idea to learn an entire semester’s worth of information in one night, it’s not a very effective study habit and it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, study a little bit of information every day. You’ll likely remember more and you’ll be much calmer when it comes to exam time.
11. Memorize vs. Understand
One of the study tips for college that can make a massive difference in how you approach new information is knowing the difference between memorizing and understanding. Memorizing information isn’t actually learning the information—it’s just helping you learn how to repeat it. When you fully understand a concept, you’re able to use it in various contexts and understand how it relates to other concepts. In college, unlike many high schools, your exams will likely be testing whether you actually understand the information and not whether you’ve memorized it.
12. Reorganize your notes
One way to study is to rewrite and organize your notes—whether in your notebook again or in flashcard form. Going through each line of your notes ensures that you’re hitting all the information you reviewed in class and might even remind you of a few things you would have missed otherwise.
13. Study Smarter, Not Harder
Occasionally, college professors will tell you the information that will (or won’t) be on an exam—listen to them! They’re telling you for a reason and you can save tons of time studying if you focus your efforts on what you know you’ll be tested on.
Keep Your Cool
14. Use the Reward System
Studying can be draining, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself for a little motivation. Buy a coffee from your favorite coffee shop or get some yummy study snacks. You can also reward yourself with breaks doing things you like, like taking a walk, reading, or watching TV.
15. Take Breaks
Continuing from the last point, taking breaks is super important. It might seem like you need to use all the time you possibly can to study, but your brain will start to slow down after a while. Taking breaks can help you get the most out of your study time with the least amount of stress.
16. Don’t Stress
Stressing out while your studying is counterintuitive. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a break, walk away, and come back to it a little later with a fresh perspective. It will make all the difference!
What are your best study tips for college? Let us know below!