Students with high grade-point averages are considered for scholarships and competitive internships, and can end up being hired by well-known corporations. Learning to study efficiently could lead to a disciplined personality. An effective studier learns to schedule his life and perfect productive study habits. Daydreaming, distracting surroundings and chatty friends all contribute to a lack of attention to your studies. By acknowledging the problem, you are already one step ahead.
Create a schedule. You could study for 30 minutes, followed by a five-minute break, or dedicate two hours to reading a textbook and an hour to reviewing your notes. Study in the mornings because you’re most alert and before you sleep to stimulate “unconscious studying," according to Columbia University.
Select a location that is distraction-free, quiet and spacious enough to hold all your books. You might run into friends in your school library. If so, go to a public library instead.
Develop note-taking skills. Sit close to your instructor and in the center of the room, away from windows, posters and friends. Avoid daydreaming by concentrating on the teacher’s every word. Write the central theme and connect it to facts. Jot down key terms and points. Don't write every word -- write the ideas. Use abbreviations that you will remember in order to write faster. Rewrite your notes after class to help you memorize.
Study the textbook. Read without highlighting. Reread slowly to understand. Write your notes in a notebook, instead of the margin of the book. Highlight difficult terms and sentences. Use brackets if you highlight too much. Create a question list. Your professor has a short time to explain a chapter. If she didn't mention something in class, don't ignore it in the textbook. Teach it to yourself. Do any included tests or quizzes after every chapter, and use the accompanying CD or website if there is one. Write a summary for each section.
Participate in class, where you will retain more information than reading. Read relevant chapters before class, where the professor will reinforce the information you learned. Review your textbook notes shortly before class. Ask questions you've written in advance.
Form a study group of three to four people. Assign a team leader. Meet regularly at a set time. Study beforehand and have all homework completed. Before the session, decide on the discussion and homework problems to review.
- Cuesta College: 12 Steps for Effective Studying
- The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning; Putting Your Extracurricular Skills to Use in Your Studies; 2011
- How to Study: A Brief Guide; William J. Rapaport; 2011
- College of DuPage: Tips for Effective Study
- Eastern New Mexico University: Tips on Becoming an Effective Studier
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