Studying is one of those necessary evils of college. No one likes doing it… but we all recognize that it’s necessary to pass our classes. But if you’re not doing it correctly, there’s no way to be sure you’ll ace your exams. If you’ve never studied a day in your life, or if you just want to brush up on your study skills, follow this guide to how to study in college.
- Attend all your lectures.
Yes, even if the professor puts all your notes online! There are 100 reasons why you should attend your lectures, but the bottom line is, you know you need to do it.
2. Rewrite your notes when you get home.
This little tip for how to study in college may just be the most important. You aren’t always going to know how to organize your notes while you’re frantically scribbling during class. Rewriting notes when you get home will give your notes clarity, and will help with your retention of the material.
- Don’t neglect your coursework.
Yes, even the boring and awful bits! Coursework will uncover questions you might have, and help the material stick in your mind. Plus, graded coursework will give you some extra grades to fall back on if you don’t do so hot on the exams.
- Find a study partner or group.
Two heads are always better than one, right? Your study buddies can give you fresh ways of thinking about a topic and (usually) help keep you focused on the course. Note: if they are distracting you more than helping, find a new group!
- Ask questions as soon as you have them.
No advice for how to study in college will help you if you have unanswered questions come exam time. Plus, your professors will be much busier as the exams approach, and won’t have as much time to dedicate to the answers.
- Space out your studying.
Keep a calendar and know when your exam is. The best method is to review your materials after every class, but if that just doesn’t fit your schedule, study a little bit every day for the week that leads up to your exam.
- Figure out what’s most comfortable for you.
For some people, that means listening to heavy metal in a busy café; for others, it’s at home rocking out to Mozart. Whatever helps you keep your concentration.
- Use all your available resources.
Study buddies? Textbook? Coursework? Notes? – Keep all of these things in arm’s reach while you study, and refer to all of them. Your professor isn’t perfect, and he or she may have forgot to mention something in the lectures that will be critical on the exam.
- Take breaks as often as you need to.
An eight hour marathon of binge-studying is not how to study in college. That won’t help you learn anything; it will just wear you out before the big day. Get up and walk around every now and then and think about something else.
- Don’t skip out on sleep.
We know; sleep is for the weak, and you’ll miss out on all kinds of partying and the “college experience” if you tuck in early. But your brain needs to rest and sort through the material overnight before your test. Remember your priorities.
That’s how to study in college. We’d wish you luck, but if you follow the tips above, you won’t need it. Happy studying!