For as long as students existed (at least contemporary ones), there have always been the two things that would always seem to clash: the need to study and the need to enjoy our student life before our spring goes away.
How professors expect we study continuously for all of their topics is beyond us; just look at students studying medicine. They have so many books to study and classes to attend that it’s a miracle they still have time to sleep, let alone go out and relax now and then.
Well, news flash! You don’t need to study every waking moment; you just need to be smart about it. You can study less by studying smart using these useful tips for studying:
1. Don’t Study On Your Bed
How many times have you taken your books with you in bed so that you can “study comfortably,” only to wake up three hours later from a surprise nap that wasn’t even meant to happen? Yeah, every student goes through this at some point.
Here’s the thing: among other things, a bed’s primary use is for sleeping. Therefore, whenever you place yourself in bed, cover on, and book in hand, your body will automatically go into “sleep mode,” because that’s what it’s used to do there.
So, if you don’t want to find yourself yawning in the next few minutes upon starting to study, you may want to go somewhere you can’t see your bed.
2. Use Diagrams and Flow Charts
The visual side of our brain is always the stronger one. Therefore, when recalling something that we previously learned, we are more likely to remember the diagram rather than the explanation found beneath it.
When you take notes, make sure that you add visual representations as well. This format will allow you to remember the information much easier and will also be recalled with not much effort during an exam.
3. Take Breaks
We know how tempted students are to study in large chunks of time just to “get things done faster.” They try to power through those lazy moments, saying that they “need to study.”
However, when you are reading a piece of information and feel as if the information is not going through, you may want to take a break and recharge your brain. If you don’t, your brain will just do it automatically by literally shutting off your memorizing process.
The most efficient studying happens during the first 30 minutes. You’ll want to take a 5-minute break before repeating the cycle again. This is how to study in college effectively.
4. Hide All Distractions
“I’ll just check my Facebook for a minute, and then I’m going back to studying.” How many times has that actually happened, when you checked only for a minute? You’ve seen one post; then you accidentally saw the next one that caught your interest. A friend saw you online and they started chatting you up. You start Googling college study tips to make you feel better about slacking off. Before you know it, two hours have passed and you are still on the same page. Now how would that be going for you?
It’s recommended that before you start studying, you shut off your TV, silent your phone and shut down your computer – or at least if you need the computer, don’t keep social media tabs open. They’ll just distract you once more into thinking “seeing one post won’t hurt.” Yeah, right.
These useful study tips should at least get you from an ugly C to a generous B – or if you are determined enough, a clear A. You just need some backbone and willpower.