Are you ready to launch your college education? Don’t let sagging grades get in the way of your goals and the career of your dreams. A lot of people stumble, at first, when it comes to their classes’ workload. The good news is, anyone can learn solid study habits that will serve them for a lifetime.
What Kind of Learner Are You?
Knowing how you learn best is the keystone for successful studying. Do you remember the most after seeing and reading? Listening and speaking? Interactive activities that involve touching and doing? If you aren’t sure, there are a number of quizzes available online such as these from How to Learn and Educationplanner.org.
Visual learners can:
- Rely heavily on flashcards.
- Write down notes. Don’t record or highlight everything; stick to key words, page numbers, core ideas ideas, and basic diagrams.
- Draw sketches to explain new concepts.
- Color code things. Break out the neon post-its and highlighters!
Auditory learners can:
- Read flashcards and notes out loud.
- Tape lectures (with permission) to listen to on their commute.
- Talk about material with their study group.
- Recite public speeches ahead of time in front a mirror or friends.
- Try to come up with mnemonics, rhymes, or songs for difficult concepts.
Kinesthetic learners can:
- Chew gum, fidget, or walk around while reading.
- Do hand-on activities such as acting out stories or creating art projects.
- Fidget, tap a pencil, or hold on to a stress ball while learning.
- Take frequent short breaks for physical activity in between bouts of studying.
Study Habits for Everyone
Getting your head in the game and your environment set up for studying is a vital step. Here are some tips.
- Get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and drink plenty of fluids so your brain functions at its best.
- Limit distractions and test out different areas to study. Some popular choices include at a quiet corner of your hose, in a study group at a friend’s, or in the library.
Next, get organized:
- Buy a day planner and write down every coming test or report due date as you are told them.
- Don’t forget to block in time for holidays, household errands, and visits to friends.
- Schedule when you’ll actually study. People tend to learn best if they do a little studying every day. Hint: Cramming doesn’t get the information into your long-term memory. You might need these concepts next semester!
With that in mind, try memorizing notes with a spaced repetition system. These allow you to study your notes, put them away, and come back at longer and longer intervals. Eventually you won’t need the SRS because you’ve fully learned the material. You can make these with old fashioned note cards or with apps and programs like Anki and Memrise.
All these tips are about studying solo, but don’t forget about study groups. There, people can share insights about the subject and swap tips and memorization strategies with each other. You’ll learn more from your group than you’ll learn from any online article, including this one!
This is Part 1 of our school success blog! Now that you have the technique down, we’ll help you manage that study time effectively with “How to Manage Your Study Time for Optimal Results” in our next segment!