Searching for study tips won’t do anything for you until you sit down and do the actual work. You’re here reading this article, so I’ll give you my advice I’ve learned as a student athlete at New York University.
College students gearing up for Finals Week are stressed about their grades and how this will effect their G.P.A. There’s an unimaginable amount of material to review, and every student wants to make sure they allocate their study time accordingly. This is the week where you want to leave your statement about the past semester. It’s time to go all in and earn those grades you rightfully deserve!
During my freshman year of college, I realized I had to revamp my studying system. College is a real shock especially for Freshman who realize the same dilemma. The High School method for studying simply won’t work. Basically, you can read all you want about the different study tips out there, but you have to take the initiative and make it happen on your own. No one will care or wait around for you to realize that you have to get your grades together. Time management is an important skill to master, and balancing my time as a student athlete helped me to revamp my study system.
Prioritize and Get Organized Right Away:
Write down everything important that your Professor says on your smart phone. Create your to-do list to hold yourself accountable.
It’s a lot easier to look over your top list of priorities over your smartphone. You already spend so much time on it searching up social media updates that you might as well make sure you get your work together. Trust me, place your top to-do list priorities on the list and you won’t forget anything last minute.
It also helps if you clear up all the clutter on your desk if you study there. It’s frustrating to work when you have old papers, clothes, and food spread out all over your desk. Setting time aside to prioritize and organize should be on the top of every study tips list.
Find a Study Partner
Work with someone who understands your priorities. If you study by yourself, you play with the temptation to goof off and have 25 minute YouTube breaks after every 5 minutes of actual work.
It’s a lot easier to sit down and study for hours on end with someone who is willing to go all in with you. Choose a friend who’ll tutor you and keep you focused. Don’t ‘study’ with someone who you’ll spend those hours talking about nothing rather than working.
You don’t even have to work with a friend. Ask someone in your class you sort of know if they want to work on those study guides with you. You’ll meet new people while staying focused.
Review Your Notes By Hand
It’s tempting to use your laptop for all of your class notes during lecture. You’re able to type faster and copy a lot more material down for yourself. You also run the risk of wasting the hour on Facebook or messaging your friends about how hard the final will be. Who knows…maybe you’re procrastinating right now by reading this article because you searched up study tips online instead of doing your work?
I’m not against using your laptop for notes all the time, but it helps to review your outlines with a pen and notebook. Taking notes by hand will force you to rewrite the concepts in a way that makes sense to you. If all you’re doing on a laptop is copying word for word what the Professor is saying, you’re not actually thinking. You’re just transcribing.
Don’t Read The Book Word For Word
The reality is that most classes won’t even require you to open up the book once all semester after you shell out 90 bucks to buy it. If they do assign certain readings don’t read each chapter word for word. This is passive reading and is used for “reading for pleasure” rather than reading to finish your work. Have you ever read a chapter word for word for hours on end only to find out you don’t remember anything from the passage? Chances are, you were reading for pleasure.
You should keep a pen in hand in case you need to underline key facts and jot down key notes. This is active reading and you should incorporate it into your studying habits.
Remind Yourself of Your Goals
I like to write out my list of goals in the beginning of each semester. This can pertain to both school and running. You should set realistic goals and write them down so that whenever you feel discouraged you can motivate yourself.
I wrote all about Writing Your Goals Down here. In short, it’s a great way to see how you can challenge yourself. When you realize how close you are to achieving what you strive for, you gain an extra boost of motivation to sit down and study.
Follow your study routine and you won’t have to pull all nighters to finish your work. I’ve had my fair share of all nighters in the past and it’s a horrible feeling to wake up after 2 hours of sleep to drag yourself to class. You can’t focus and you’re more prone to make simple mistakes.
If you need to remember vocab or certain concepts the only thing left to do after active reading is to drill it into your memory! I look like a madman when I open up my notebook and people see that I’ve written words or formulas down over and over on a couple of pages. This is what works for me.
If you don’t want to look like a madman use flashcards.
Lastly, Sync Your Syllabus…
In the beginning of the semester you should’ve copied every exam and homework assignment date onto your planner. I personally go over each syllabus handed to me and plug in all of the dates onto my iPhone calendar.
The syllabus basically lays down how you can be successful in the class. It’s easy to mix up each syllabus and lose it later on in the semester. Keep it on your smartphone or planner in one place so you don’t have to scramble last minute to figure out what material will be on the exam.
You need to take an active approach to college and revamp your High School study habits. As I mentioned in the beginning, you can read thousands of articles about study tips, but you have to be active and do it on your own. Email your Professor’s for help, reach out to different tutors at your school, and keep on fighting to earn your grade. Studying for final exams may seem intimidating at first, but if you acknowledge that you’re going have to learn how to do a lot of things on your own- things will get easier.
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Bonus: You need to invest in noise canceling headphones if you’re serious about studying. iPhone earbuds and Dr. Dre Beats won’t cut it. You need something that not only sounds good but will block out all of the distractions in your dorm room. Plus they rock. Check out this in-depth guide that breaks down quality headphones for you!