Studying is as much a part of college life as tuition and most students think they’re doing a pretty good job when it comes to reviewing material outside of class. A lot of us, though, are still relying on the same old study habits that got us through high school. We get it. Back in senior year it was cool to coast along in class because you already had that college acceptance letter in hand. But now it’s your life on the line and success is going to have to mean upping your academic game. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five simple study tips that will get you started on the road to straight As.
Partner Up For Success
Peer pressure can be an amazing motivator – even when it comes to studying. Find a study partner in each of your classes and suddenly you’re accountable to someone else. He or she doesn’t need to be a friend. In fact, sometimes it’s better when you are getting together solely for the purpose of reviewing class materials, talking your way through tricky problems and doing homework. Just make sure that you set a day and time to meet that works for you both and that you can both commit to being there, ready to work.
Download Some Digital Flashcards
Flashcards? Yes, flashcards. It may sound old school but flashcards are still an amazing study tool and now they put what you need to know right on smartphones or portable convertible laptops. Hit up Google and search for the name of your textbook, the edition, the author and the word “flashcard”. Chances are good that someone out there has already whipped up a set of free digital flashcards for some or all of the material covered. All you need to do is download it and you’ll be able to study anywhere, anytime.
Cram Only In Emergencies
A lot of students want to know when they should be studying. Bright and early in the morning? Right after class? The answer is neither because there’s no one right time of day to study. Night owls can hit the books at 11 p.m. while the early birds set alarms for 6 a.m. study sessions… as long as they do it daily. Cramming doesn’t work. Reviewing your notes for at least 30 minutes every day will always earn you better grades than a single mammoth study session the night before a test.
Avoid The Library
Research by cognitive scientists suggests that alternating where you study may help you retain more information than plopping down in the same student center armchair day after day. That’s because memory is influenced by your surroundings – your brain draws parallels between the material you’re reviewing and whatever is going on around you. The more unconscious associations you have with specific information, the more likely it is you’ll remember it.
Take Care Of Yourself
A tired mind is a slow mind, so make getting enough sleep a priority. Researchers who tracked the GPAs of self-professed short sleepers, average sleepers, and long sleepers found that the long sleepers had the best grades. And as much as the all-you-can-eat student center pizza buffet beckons, consider that getting your vitamins and minerals will make earning good grades that much easier. Snack on stuff like spinach, nuts, fish, and soy to give your brain the nutrients it needs.
Whether you team up with a study partner, go to bed at a reasonable hour or find a new location to crack open a book, these are tips every student should try. Utilizing just one of these tips should make studying and college life easier.