Thursday, September 20, 2012

College Studying Tips

Someone asked me if I could do a post on studying tips. I feel like a hypocrite telling you these tips because I haven't been following them at all this year. My classes haven't been too challenging yet, but I know they're all of a sudden going to creep up on me.

Here are some tips I followed last year that helped me survive organic chemistry and some tough upper-level biology classes. Hopefully they'll help!

1. Make studying your priority and mindset

This is a mindset you have to have in order to pass some harder classes. You have to make sure that studying prevails over all your other plans. This means not going to a party because you know you'll have to study for a test the next day (it sucks, I know). It means backing off on extra curriculars. You're paying a lot for college, and if your transcript gets a D or F you're not getting your full worth out of it. Studying HAS to be your number one priority.

Yep...I have to do this on my calendar sometimes to make sure I don't schedule anything else on that day. The woes of a college student.

2. Schedule hourly blocks to study

I always make sure there's time in my schedule where I don't plan anything so I can study. This year, right after my classes get out I have an hour or so where I can force myself to go to the library and study before dinner. Then I'll have extra-curriculars at night until about nine, when I can study some more. This idea works wonders--I'll always have time to study (but the question is, will I?)

My school schedule for this week. You can see that I have a huge block of time between class and my clubs on Monday and Tuesday. That's when you'll find me at the library (if I can force myself to go there...)

3. All nighters= horrible idea

Some people can get by on two hours of sleep...the other 95% of us can't. Even if I do well on a test after pulling an all-nighter, I'll be miserable for the next two or three days. It just isn't worth it. Don't get me wrong, sometimes we all have to pull all-nighters, but I try to be responsible and study a week or two ahead of time so I can spend a few hours the night before cramming--not six or seven.

4. Self Control app for Mac

I don't remember if I've posted about this before, but this computer program has saved my life. For Self Control, you type up a list of websites you want blocked, then set a timer for how long you won't be allowed to access them. This program is foolproof. I've tried changing my internet settings, turning the computer on and off, erasing my history--NOTHING will work and allow me to access these sites before the allotted time is up. Without Self Control, I don't think a lot of my English papers would ever get done. [And it's free! Even better.]

You put websites on your "blacklist" in the window on the right. On the left, you set a time for how long that site will be blocked.

5. List all the homework you have to do each night

You've probably heard this one before, but a simple checklist does wonders in motivating a person. Throughout the day I make a list of the things I need to accomplish that night, and I cross them off as soon as I complete them. Using the list prevents me from cramming for a test the night before, because I can delegate how long to study for a specific subject during every study session.

My to-do list for today...clearly I've accomplished a lot in the two hours I've been sitting here at the library.

I feel like I have some more tips up my sleeve, but hopefully these will work for now. Do you have any studying tips?

1 comment:

  1. This is great! Thank you so much! I'm SO using that Mac control website. I feel like that would definitely be my downfall, just getting distracted with online fun things.


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