College life is not easy life. Well, it can be easy if you want it to be but that easiness will likely turn into hardships in the future. Also, on the other hand, one cannot bond himself to only books and studies because humans need fun in their life too. So, with that in mind, here are 31 effective study tips for college students that can make your college life easier.
1. Manage your time
Majority of the students often complain about lack of time for studying. They feel caught in a viscous circle of attending classes, going to work, being stuck in traffic, taking care of family members etc. This usually brings students to breaking point.
In this case, time management needs to be employed. You should plan ahead and dedicate fixed time. You should employ the time management technique called TIME BOXING pioneered by Elon Mush. Time boxing is generally the technique in which you designate a fixed time to a specific task.
Now, Elon Musk manages three companies (Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City) and still manages to get spend time with family. If he can do it, so can you.
2. Take quality HANDWRITTEN notes
HAND WRITTEN NOTES:
In modern digital world hand-written notes are considered primitive. But not every one can afford new high quality tablets to effectively note down whatever professor has said in the class. So, you should stick to hand written notes instead of typing on laptop in class. This gives you more options of styles and you can whatever you want without worrying about about laptop battery etc.
YOUR OWN NOTES:
Also, have two notes of every subject. First during class, note down whatever the lecturer says even it seems irrelevant or you are not understanding it at the moment. Then, after the classes in your solo study time, filter out those notes and refine them into new collection of notes with information from lecture, book and other sources and develop them into your OWN notes.
You can use these tips for how to take good notes.
3. Stay disconnected during study
This is one of most important study tips for college students specially and all students generally.
Internet is an enormous source of education. But also it is a huge source of distractions.
You are sitting in your room looking some information about some course work on the internet and suddenly your facebook notification pops up. You click it and promise yourself you will only spend ten minutes on facebook and when you finally close it, you realize it has been two hours. We have all been there.
So, stay disconnected during study. This minimizes the distractions. Turn off your phone if need be or stay away from online world as far as you can.
4. Assignments and Homework
Assignments and homework are essential. Not just for grades but also for better learning and understanding.
Students usually consider assignments extra and unnecessary burden as they think IS EXAM NOT ENOUGH? Well, it really is not enough. Your syllabus often has a lot of course work and one exam cannot test your knowledge in all of it. So that’s why assignments, homework and quizzes are important.
Also, assignments makes your study gradual and save you from the need of having all-nighter on last night before exam.
5. Class Time is PRIME study time
The very purpose of taking classes is to learn. So, that is a time not be wasted on other activities.
You should try to get the most out of classes. Always stay attentive and fresh. Question your professors and be a front bencher.
Also, your performance in classes lifts up your reputation in the eyes of professors and class-fellows.
6. Don’t be shy to get help
Never be shy to get extra help if you need it. Consult your professors in their offices. Consult your class-fellows about something you don’t understand.
Never be afraid to ask questions during class or chase down professors to their offices.
7. Attend Seminars and Workshops
Seminars and workshops are gold mines for students who want to establish their skills and knowledge beyond exams.
Most students don’t show much zeal and zest for seminars as they consider them to be wasting of time. Instead they would want to stay in their rooms and read books.
Well, that is important undoubtedly but so are seminars. Every college hosts seminars and workshops and you should try to attend as much as you can.
8. Create a weekly or monthly study plan
Planning is one of the most important study tips for college students. So, you should create a study plan on monthly or weekly basis depending upon your liking.
What this means is that, you allocate a subject or course to study on a specific day or week. Now, you can follow the simple rule of studying in accordance to classes each day but sometimes, some days have more classes than other and it becomes difficult to balance things out.
Instead, you should dedicate each day to a single subject. For example, you have four subjects. Then, allocate one to Monday, 2nd to Tuesday, 3rd to Wednesday and 4th to Thursday.
You can spend the weekend on some kind extra work you have or dedicate more days to subjects that seem difficult to you.
9. Repetition leads to long term memorization
We all know doing same thing again and again is boring, but at the same time it also makes good at it with every new iteration.
It has been scientifically proved that information put in your brain never goes away but you have to revisit it again and again to increase the chances of it coming to you when you need it.
So, repeat what you study again and again for long term permanent memorization.
10. Frequently Test Yourself
Test your knowledge frequently with self-made tests or you can find ready made multiple choice questions on internet on just about every thing.
Regularly take those tests and they will act as mock tests for you and will make you better suited for actual exam.
11. Don’t just be a bookworm
Well, it is true that your book contains majority of knowledge that you need but books can only help you be successful in exams primarily.
So, venture out. Try to see the world first hand and examine how knowledge from books impacts the real world around you.
For example, if you are an engineering student then visiting the industry might help.
12. Be Goal Oriented
Be goal oriented. Set yourself some study targets for a day, week or month and then do your best to achieve them.
This will help you divide the load into various step by step segments and then understanding the whole thing becomes easy.
13. Frequently change your study location
This is one of the most overlooked tip among study tips for college students.
Majority of students pick a spot and do all of their studies in that spot whether it is their dorm room or a library.
However, scientists have proved that changing the scenery and location where you study impacts the effectiveness of study.
Then, you would remember topics and concepts with reference to places where you studied them and it helps a lot. So, change your scenery frequently.
14. Get Yourself a study buddy
A partner in study is very helpful because two brains are generally better than one.
So, find yourself a study buddy and study together. It also helps add an element of fun to study and you won’t get bored by studying.
Also, having a study often helps clearing out confusions because now you have someone to share your view on a topic and he/she can share his views with you. This makes understanding heavy topics easy and effective.
15. Get enough sleep
This is one of the most important tip among all study tips for college students. Because majority of college students don’t sleep much at night and this leads to sleep deprivation.
Human brain needs rest and best rest for it is sleeping. Six to Seven hours in 24 hours is essential for healthy mind and a healthy mind is essential for healthy and effective study.
16. Never miss classes
Classes are for learning. Professors give out lectures because students are meant to learn the course material. And in that scenario if someone is not fond of going to all of the classes, then he/she is missing out some very important material.
Missing classes breaks the connection between what you studied in previous lectures and then each consecutive lecture becomes more and more difficult to understand.
So, classes should never be missed unless there is a big emergency.
17. Don’t be procastinator
Some students don’t during the semester having the mind that they can study and learn everything on last night before exam. This is practically impossible and material studied in one night is that effective. Also, is somehow you are able to study everything in one night then you won’t be fresh during exam and all that goes to waste.
Start studying from the first day of semester and that will make acing the exams and learning pretty much easy.
18. Don’t let bad grades keep you down
Sometimes if a student gets bad grades in one semester, he/she lets his it ruin their drive to learn. And then depression starts building up and this leads to a point where salvaging back your overall CGPA becomes impossible.
So, don’t let bad grades keep you down. If you fall in one semester, work hard and get back up in next semester. Keep running no matter how much you fall.
19. Teach someone else
Teaching others makes what you have learned more effective and memorable. Teach your study buddy what you have learned. Teach a family member, it does not matter.
When you explain the concepts you have learned to someone else , it highlights the points you are not strong at and then you can work on them to get better and better.
20. Organize your notes
Haphazard and disorganized notes are a mess and it might sound weird but its the truth that some people cannot understand even their own notes. Taking notes is not just as simple as writing everything down in your notebook.
As mentioned above, you should keep two notes. Also, for second notes they need to be organized. Every subject should have different notebook and also every chapter should be separate from each other in that notebook.
Otherwise, it would be impossible to find some information in your notebook when you need it.
21. Study Smartly, Not Hard
Studying smarter is one of most important tip among study tips for college students. Often you might hear from professors that this information will not be included in exam or something like that. Also, on the other hand some topics might be emphasized more by professors.
So, you need filter those topics out the topics that won’t be included in exam (still study them, don’t just ignore them). Spend less time on them and more on those on which professors emphasized.
22. Don’t Stress
Do not over study. This might lead to stress.
If you fail in a test or fail to follow these tips or your study plan, don’t stress too much about it. Also, some students worry too much about exams etc. This is a psychological issue and this needs to be coped.
Some students plunge into bad habits for coping with this stress. They might start smoking or doing drugs.
So, relax, chill out and go to gym or start some sports as a coping method for stress.
23. Keep your brain fueled up
Brain is the strongest muscle in the human body. So, it needs fuel and by fuel i mean fresh and healthy food.
Eat fresh and healthy and exercise. Keep our body fresh and healthy and it will lead to a healthy mind and healthy is thrice as better better than an unhealthy mind.
24. Read your course book thoroughly
Course Books recommended by professors contain the key knowledge about your syllabus. So, study them thoroughly.
Some students (usually math and engineering) don’t read the book thoroughly and jump to techniques for solving numerical problems, because exams usually contain numerical problems.
Now this seems like a shortcut but it limits your knowledge of the subject and limits your knowledge only to acing the exam.
25. Make connections between concepts
A very important tip among study tips for college students, specially science students is to make connections between topics and concepts they learn.
As, every concept in science is connected to some other and recognizing the pattern is key to understanding the bigger picture.
So, create maps and charts to connect one concept to other. This makes breaking down complicated concepts into smaller simple ones easy.
26. Use Feynman Notebook Method
Feynman Notebook Method or simply Feynman method is a learning technique named after famous physicist Richard Feynman.
It is a very simple and effective learning technique. First, you write the name of topic on a page and write an explanation to it in very simple words like you are explaining it to someone new who does not anything about that.
Now, this will pinpoint the things you don’t know about that topic. Go back to books and notes and learn them again write explanation again.
Finally, simplify your explanation as much as possile. You can learn more about this by reading this great article by openculture.
27. Don’t fear the syllabus before studying
Sometimes on first day of semester, students open up their books to see what they are about to learn. But, they sometime get frightened by the sheer size or difficulty of course material.
You need to stop this. No one knows anything on their first day and relax because you have four or five months to study all that.
28. Make full use of technology
We are living in the digital age where technology is accessible to everyone.
So, try to make full use of it whenever possible. Learn new softwares that are being used in your field of study. Use calculators, tablets for making maps and illustrations etc.
Technology is a gold mine for students if used properly. You must make use of it while minimizing the distractions from social media etc.
29. Never take too long study sessions
Don’t take too long study sessions. It exhausts the brain. So, take breaks between study sessions and stay fresh and relaxed.
Usually you should take no study session longer than three hours. A break of thirty minutes or an hour is essential or health between such long sessions.
30. Get involved in class
Stay active and involved in class is one of most important tip of all among study tips for college students.
It does not only keeps you active in class, it also elevates your reputation in the eyes of your professors and classmates.
Also, it removes any confusion you have about the topic right there in the class. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
However, also do not question too much. Never ask a question only to judge the professor. Only ask what you don’t understand.
31. Track your study habits
Perhaps the most important tip of all among study tips for college students is to track your habits to verify that you are following all of study tips mentioned above.
You can do this by keeping track of your activities. Or the most easiest and fun way to do this is to start writing a diary.
A diary will act as track sheet of activities and you can notified of your bad habits by this and then try to overcome them and adopt good habits.
So, the conclusion time.
Keep good hand written and organized notes. Plan your studies and follow other tips.
Finally, track your habits. Surely, your college life will become much easier and fun if you follow these.
Which tip did you like the most OR seemed most effective?