College Series: Study Tips

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Great study tips for college and high school students!

Although I've definitely dished out study advice before, I'm constantly learning more tips and tricks to do my best in class. I thought I would share some of my best tips, as well as posts and videos from other students.

Don't stress. If you took college prepatory classes in high school and did well in them, you should be fine. If you didn't, you can still do it, there will just be a larger adjustment period.

When you get to school, find some good study spots. Our move-in day was a week before classes actually started. What I wish I would have done is explore campus and figure out what parts of the library and around campus were my favorite. I've found them now, but it would have been best to find them a lot sooner.

Study, study, study! You've probably heard this before, but just because you only have 12-18 hours in class each week doesn't mean you only spend 12-18 hours on school stuff. I've heard you need to spend two hours studying per credit hour, but it really depends on the class. I spend a lot more than that on math, but not as much for English (but for you, it could be reversed!)

Take really good notes. If you take crappy notes, you won't have much to study off of. I like to make study guides too.

Flashcards are not just for children. They are so useful in college, especially in college. My first semester I took a nutrition class and needed to memorize a bunch of information about vitamins and minerals. I made a huge stack of flash cards (it took me two hours,) and studied them everyday. It was a lot of work, but I totally aced the final and can still tell you all you ever wanted to know about potassium or vitamin D.

Read your textbook! You pay hundreds of dollars for them, you might as well get as much as possible out of them as you can.

Get the solution manual. I can emphasize this enough: if you are taking any sort of math class where a solutions manual is available to buy, get it. Even if your professor doesn't assign any of the problems that have a solution in the manual, it still is a useful source for practice and seeing the steps laid out (most of them have not only the answer, but also the steps to get there.)

Be honest. You will learn more if you work hard to deserve a good grade. Besides, getting caught for cheating can result in failing a class, even if you did enough work on your own to pass. (I caught a girl cheating last semester and it was an uncomfortable situation. Usually, I'm all for people making their own decisions, but when I thought about all the hard work people were doing to pass the class the intended way, I decided to turn her in. She doesn't know it was me, but I still feel uncomfortable seeing her on campus!)

Set the stage. Know what helps you study at your best and do it. Need snacks? Have them ready to go in the fridge for when you get out of class. Need music? Have a playlist ready. Remember to take the occasional break too. You can only give something your full attention for so long. :)

Go to class and pay attention. You're paying thousands of dollars to go to class, so go and get the most out of it. Stay off of Facebook and Twitter. If it means leaving your laptop or blocking Facebook on your computer, do it.

I hope you found this helpful! If you have any study tips I didn't share, I would love it if you shared them in the comments!

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