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College Study Tips

Sep 12, 2008
In school, you were always told to study, but did anybody actually teach you how to study? From elementary school to high school you were on your own. The only thing you knew about studying was that there would be consequences (failure, poor grades) if you did not study. If you know how to read and want to take the time to improve your grades, read on. You will have an advantage over the other students when you know HOW TO STUDY.

The Need to Study

We are all taught early on that there is a need to study. Once you reach college, the need to study increases as the material becomes harder. There are very few people who can memorize the course material and spill it back on an exam. You need information in the form of a textbook, handout, or study guide. Prepare yourself to study, get the necessary reading and writing materials and prepare for success.

Studying does not mean that you are less than intelligent. Not studying is the real symbol of ignorance. A college education is very important, and more than likely you have had to struggle to get where you are. When the test comes back with a failing grade, you will feel very frustrated, maybe to the point of giving up.

Prepare to Study

You should have an "action plan" for studying. You wouldn't go on a date or to a party without a "plan", so preparation is necessary. It is not that much fun, but the extra effort will pay off. Make sure you are in a comfortable place where you can focus. If there is a lot of noise or music, or somebody vying for your attention, you will lose your concentration. You can buy the extra reference material from a book store, but trying to use it with the television on will not be effective. Make sure the television is off, the music is off, the phone is disengaged. Keep your mind on the subject you are studying and try to avoid distractions.

Break Time

Do not wait until the last minute to review your study guide. Take the time to look over the information, you may find things that are not familiar, or different from what you thought at first. Have a set time for your study sessions, pace yourself over a reasonable period of time so you are not overwhelmed by information. Take frequent breaks to allow the information to register in your mind. Rest your eyes to avoid a headache, and eat healthy snacks. It is a good idea to stay away from caffeine, sugar and those ever-so-popular "energy drinks".

Take Note!

Rewriting the information is a good way to retain the material. You can re-write your classroom notes. This is a "rehearsal" for the mind, and re-introduces the information to your mind. You may find something you missed or misunderstood. Also translating margin notes and hastily scribbled notes will provide mental exercise for your study habits.

Take good notes in the classroom, if you cannot keep up you may wish to record the lecture and replay it when you are able to write the information down. The better and more detailed notes you take in the classroom will help you when you are studying.

Join or Start a Study Group

What you want out of a study group are students who take the material and the course seriously. You are not there to discuss the latest reality shows or focus on mindless gossip. You can all pitch in to purchase and share the reference materials. Most college students could use a financial break. If a group of people focus on the class material, you could pick up information you missed or provide missing information. Also, hearing another person's take on the class materials may give you a better understanding of the class.
About the Author
Visit Gene's website for more College Study Skills and college tips on essay writing, information on majors as well as becoming a nurse.
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