I don’t know about you, but my first few college tests have started to come in full force! Let me tell you, it’s not easy attending class, blogging, studying, and finding time for my friends and boyfriend all in the same day. It is possible, though!
Today, I want to give you a few of my tried and true college studying tips. These study habits have helped me maintain a high GPA and have grades no lower than a B. However, these tips will only work if you fully apply them and give each subject the amount of time that you personally need. Everyone’s brain is different, and the amount of time that works for me may be more or less than the time that you need. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it. Here we go!
P.S. There is an amazing pro tip that you can grab at the end of this post!
1. Actually Pay Attention in Class
I know this is simple, but it is so easy to let things distract you while your professor is lecturing. In order to minimize distractions, be sure to put your cell phone on moon mode (I think it’s actually just called sleep mode, but I prefer moon mode). This will keep your phone from vibrating every time you get a text and will minimize distractions for you and your classmates. To take it one step further, if you hide your phone in your backpack, you will be able to focus more on what your professor is saying instead of getting the urge to scroll through Pinterest every five minutes (been there, done that).
2. Take Good Notes
Since you are already in class (hopefully paying attention), you might as well take advantage of the time by taking good notes. This will really save you time for when the test rolls around. Instead of being like your classmates who don’t take good notes and have to go searching through the book for better definitions, you will be ready to study as soon as the professor stops lecturing. Personally, I like to type my notes (sloppy handwriting) instead of actually writing them, but you should decide what works best for you. Once you have your notes written as organized and as neatly as possible, feel free to bullet, underline, and highlight them in order to bring out the most important information.
3. Read Over Notes Daily
I know it may sound overwhelming to read over every single note you’ve taken so far, but don’t sweat it because that’s not what I’m talking about! Instead, date your notes. Then, either before you go to bed that night or when you wake up the next morning (or both if you really want to get a headstart) read over the last dated section of notes for each class. This will help you to keep the material fresh without boring you with twenty pages of note reading. I started reading over my notes daily this semester and have definitely seen an improvement in how much of the information was familiar to me when it came time to actually study for the test.
4. Make Notecards
Making notecards for my classes is something that I use to NEVER do because I thought it was too time-consuming. While it does take quite a bit of time, I have seen the benefits of making notecards and use this studying technique for my toughest classes. If you have time to start studying a few days before the test, then I would highly encourage you to start using notecards. Try getting plain white notecards and writing on them in different colored pens in order to make your mind focus more on what you are reading. Also, try not to write every single detail for each term as that can get wordy and difficult to remember. Instead, pull out two or three important pieces of information about the topic and only write those. When I create my notecards, I will first highlight through my notes to pull out the most important material. Then, I will go back through this material and turn these highlighted phrases into questions that will help me better understand the concept and questions that I think might be on the test. Turning these terms into questions allows me to quiz myself more effectively.
5. Study Study Study
Now, it’s crunch time. Your test is coming up in three days and you know it’s time to get down to business (to defeat..the Huns! Mulan anyone?). First, if you haven’t already, go through your notes completely and highlight all important things. Try to do this as neatly as possible so that you don’t get confused reading them later on. Then, live and breath it. Keep your notebook handy at all times or email the notes to yourself. Whatever way you do it, just make sure your notes are available for any moment that you might have some down time. This will really help you to keep things fresh and not waste precious time.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Use the Internet
Can’t find something in the book? Google it. It’s that simple. When my friends and I are filling out a study guide (if we are lucky enough to ever get one), when we can’t find an answer in either the notes or the book, we simply google it and pick the answer that comes up most often and makes sense. Also, implement youtube! This is especially helpful for learning how to do problems, understanding diagrams, and learning processes! Youtube what you can’t figure out and more than likely someone will have a video teaching you how! Isn’t the internet amazing?
7. Get Some Rest
I know you are going to want to stay up studying/cramming the night before your big test, but sadly I don’t think that will help as much as if your were well-rested. Instead, stay up late two nights before the test, and make sure to go to bed before midnight on the actual night of the test. This will allow you to have just as much (if not more) study time, and still be able to have a well-rested brain on test day.
8. Rise and Shine Early on Test Day
This may be extremely tough for some of you, but on the day of your test, it is smart to get up an hour or two (as much as you think you’ll need) early to read through all of your notes one more time. This will keep things fresh in your mind so that you will hopefully be able to remember them more on the test. Personally, this is one of my go-to study habits. Because I am not a night owl, I will go to bed around eleven or twelve on the night before a test, and wake up around five or six the next morning in order to have quiet, peaceful study time while my roommate is asleep.
9. Stroll Into Class Feeling Like a Boss
You have prepped. You’ve studied. You have rested. You are totally ready for this test! Let everyone know it by strolling into class like you’re gonna own that test! Confidence is key!
10. Power Studying Tip
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What are your favorite college studying tips? Leave them in the comments below!
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