So you’ve heard that statistic, for every hours you spend in class you should spend 2 hours outside of class studying… or was it 5? Oh I don’t remember, because that statistics is crazy and does not really transfer to the life of a real college student. This is coming to you straight from an honors student, in at least that first year, here are some more realistic study guidelines.
Don’t get me wrong, you need to study, this isn’t high school anymore and you need to put in some effort outside of classroom hours or you will fail. But follow these tips if you want academic success.
Take a break between classes and attempting to study. If you have professors like mine, you are either sick of a subject because the professor is boring, or tired because you put all of your energy into an intense class. So take a break, or at least switch subjects. Also, as you probably learned in high school, if you wait longer, the synaptic exchanges in your brain are deeper, therefore your studying is more effective. (Yay science!)
Take a break while studying. Don’t you love this article? Every hour, you should take about a ten minute break. Watch a couple youtube videos, listen to some music, or simply sit and enjoy doing nothing. Just make sure you get back to studying.
Study groups. These saved my life. It doesn’t matter if it’s a regular meeting, or even if you’re in the same class, these are wonderful. I have found that if I tell someone, or people, that I’m going to meet them, and when I meet them I’m going to work, I find that I am much more likely to do so than if I just promise myself. Also, you get super fun stories out of them some times… oh study groups…
Keep track of your stuff. Homework, papers, tests, deadlines, keep track of them all. The easiest way to do this is in an agenda or organizer, as soon as you get information about a class or assignment, write it down, so you’ll always have the information in the same place. This isn’t high school, many professors will tell you about the paper at the beginning of the semester, and without a word, expect it on the day it’s due, so make sure you know when that is.
Study a little every day. Instead of designating homework or study days, try to touch on a couple subjects each day. That way, your brain will be more likely to accept and retain the information you are giving it. Cram sessions are proven not to work as well as studying every day, of course they’re better than nothing if you’ve waited until the last minute, but try to avoid them.
Keep the same weekly study schedule. Lastly, study the same time every Monday, Tuesday, etc. For example, every Monday, I study from 3-5, sometimes longer, but every Monday, 3-5. I have similar time slots for every other day of the week. My weekends, unless I have a big project to do, then remain empty, I suggest keeping weekends for relaxation and enjoyment, as they’re meant to be.
Good luck with your studies, form the bottom of my heart. For other college tips, check out my page.