Whenever you need to change something, you need to build new habits for that. The same goes with studying. If you have a strong intention to become more effective in your studies, it’s time to rethink your current habits and create new ones. Here is a quick overview of top nine habits that will help you grow as a student.
Top 9 Habits for Effective Studying
Have a particular mindset.
Many students treat their studies as something obligatory, something they have to do without question, and their attitude can affect their results significantly. Your approach to your studies matters, but how can you identify what is the right approach and what is the wrong one? Here’s the deal. You will be most effective when you focus on your homework only. If you have other things on your mind like your boyfriend, an important soccer game, or your work, you will hardly manage to concentrate on that essay or math assignment you’ve got, which usually results in poor quality. Therefore, if it’s possible, don’t get down to studying until you are in the mindset.
Study in the appropriate environment.
A place where you can easily get distracted by things from the outer world is not a good place to study. Sometimes you may feel more comfortable sitting on a bed in your dorm room. However, doing homework there can take you two or even three times longer than it would take you if you went to a library or a study room. You need to practice your self-discipline to be able to refuse the comfort of your room for a more suitable environment.
Know what you need to take along.
When you are heading to the place you have chosen for preparing for classes, don’t take such unnecessary things with you as your phone, MP3 player, and laptop. You may think, “How am I supposed to study without my laptop and music? What if someone calls me and I have no phone?” You have used to have these things wherever you go, so you don’t even realize you can do without them pretty well. Ask yourself whether you really need your laptop and the Internet connection for doing the homework in a particular discipline, and you will find out that having a textbook and a note book is enough for some subjects.
Make notes correctly.
This habit will help you both in and outside the class. Most students don’t really listen to the lectures for the purpose of perceiving and memorizing information. They rely on the notes they take along but later find out that these were taken so hastily that it’s hard to understand anything. Thus, they are left with no information in memory and no written information to refer to. You need to learn how to comprehend what a professor is saying and at the same time write it down properly. If your handwriting is illegible anyway, another solution could be to get a recorder or download a recording phone app and take notes later, when there is no haste.
Train your memory.
There are lots of websites where you can find online games designed for developing the capacity of your memory. Apart from that, you can train your memory by reading something and retelling the plot. When you need to memorize many things in order to prepare for an important exam, you may take advantage of the peculiarities of your brain. Are you a visual, kinesthetic, or auditory type of learner? Add interactive elements to the process of memorizing – for example, watch a video – and it will become easier and more effective.
Practice with friends.
Doing homework is not fun by default, but you can make it fun. In most cases, studying with friends is more effective than studying alone although the latter one may take you less time. Just like with memorizing, you can use interactive elements here. These can be quizzes, flash cards, movies, and other materials. It’s important that your group doesn’t exceed the number of 5 people and that all the students are at approximately same level of progress in a course.
Treat your studying as your first priority.
Modern students often approach their studies as something that they can do tomorrow…or on the weekend…or next week. In fact, such a strategy is doomed to failure. You need to schedule some amount of time regularly and make sure it goes along with the schedule of your classes. This way, you will never be struck by deadlines. Especially the major ones such as essay due dates or tests. Furthermore, the most effective strategy is to do the homework for a class the day you had that class, as soon as you come home. This will allow you to work on the material while it is still fresh in your memory.
This simple habit can turn around your attitude towards studying and allow you to work much more productively. Why? Because people always work better when they expect a reward. Start with dividing your studying routine into short intervals and little goals, and when reaching every milestone, reward yourself. For example, if you have to write an essay or a research paper that will take you 6 hours, break the process into three intervals of 2 hours. When the first milestone is complete, grab some snacks or watch some videos on YouTube.
Keep a balance.
Living a balanced life is not easy even for adults, but if you learn to do it in college, it will be easier to adjust to the tempo of the adult life later. Again, you should always keep your studies in focus, but you should never neglect other spheres of your personal life. Watch your health, spend time with friends, find time for your family. Don’t dive into studying too deep.