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How to Successfully Study in College

Balancing coursework with other responsibilities, while trying to enjoy the college experience can be challenging at times. Whether you’re headed into Freshman year or its your last year of college, it’s never too late to learn tips for successful study sessions. So we have compiled a list of studying skills to help you efficiently learn your courses and be ready for those exams!

Study Schedule

Ideally, studying your class materials is a part of your everyday activities. However, life often gets busy that doing this might be unrealistic for you. So you should at least begin studying one week before the test and spend one hour per day studying. If you have two big exams coming up, increase your daily study time, and divide it between the two subjects.

Studying Skills

Highlight Key Concepts

Looking for the most important information as you read helps you stay engaged with the material. As you find important details, mark them with a highlighter. When you’re preparing for a test, begin your studies by reviewing your highlighted sections.

Summarize Important Details

A good way to get information to stick in your brain is to tell it again in your own words. Organize your summaries in paragraph or outline form and stick to the key points. After writing about what you read, reinforce the information yet again by reading aloud what you wrote on your paper.

Create Flashcards

For an easy way to quiz yourself, create notecards that feature a keyword on one side and important facts or definitions about that topic on the reverse. You can even use a computer program or a smartphone app to make digital flashcards that you can click through.

Absorb Information in Smaller Chunks

Use an approach called spaced repetition. Break the information into parts and learn one new part at a time over the course of days or weeks. Review your previous “chunks” each time you study. The brain stores information that it thinks is important, so when you regularly go over a topic it strengthens your memory of it.

Be the Teacher

To teach information to others, you first have to understand it yourself. When you’re trying to learn something new, challenge yourself to think about how you would teach it to someone else. Enlist a friend, family member, or a study group to listen to your mini lesson. Reciting your presentation aloud to someone else will help the details stick in your mind. They might even have questions for you on the topic, lending you explain the concept in more detail.

Bonus Tips

Exercise First

Would you believe that exercise has the potential to improve learning? Aerobic exercise gives your brain a major dose of oxygen and nutrients and helps generate new brain cells. So working out may help you feel more alert, think clearly, and remember facts. Try to get in a short aerobic workout before your next study session!

Study Right Before Bed

Although you shouldn’t pull all-nighters, studying right before bedtime can be great. Studies show that you’re more likely to recall information if you went to bed shortly after learning it. Right before bed, read through your study sheet, quiz yourself on flashcards, or read your notes out loud.

Studying is essential if you want to perform well in school and pass important tests. We hope these tips will help you develop excellent studying habits and ace your upcoming exams. You may be surprised by the benefits gained from following these simple techniques. We wish you luck in all of your academic endeavors and hope you have a successful school year! 


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