Who doesn’t like getting “A” grades in school? Academics has always been a priority to me and it’s a wonderful feeling when my grades reflect the hard work I’ve put into studying. I cannot suggest that every single one of these tips will guarantee straight “A”s. However, with a little patience, hard work, and smart studying, you’ll be on your way to more efficient learning and hopefully better grades.These are techniques I use on a daily basis.
- Keep a clean desk. How are you going to study with a mess piled onto your studying space? Desk organizers and shelves are great ways to stash school supplies in easy-to-access places without cluttering your desk.
- Don’t multitask between assignments.You’ll just give yourself a headache by bouncing between assignments. I’ve tried doing this all too often and end up finding myself on Facebook each time. Give your full attention to one assignment at a time.
- Take periodic breaks. We can only work on something for so long before losing concentration and daydreaming. Step away from your studying every once in a while and take a breather…..but not for an hour.
- Take notes in class. Keep a separate notebook for each class and label the course name on the cover page so you don’t get confused. Write down vocabulary terms, quantitative problems, and important pages numbers to refer back to when reviewing for exams.
- Sit in the front of the class. You get the best seat in the house! You can see and hear everything that is going on during the lecture without having to peep over people’s heads or deal with the rowdy bunch that talks to each other.
- Keep away from distractions. Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, phone, TV, IPod, snacks, etc. You get the drift. Anything that doesn’t keep your full attention on the project at hand should be turned off and stashed out of sight. If your dorm room or bedroom is too distracting as it is, go to the library or some other quiet place that allows you to give full attention to homework.
- Look at your syllabus and mark due dates somewhere visible. Know when assignments are due and write down these dates in a planner, Post-It note, or anywhere visible for you not to forget. The last thing you want to have happen is to start writing a 10-page paper the night before it’s due. Plus, knowing the dates ahead of time will give you a mental timeline on how long you have to work on a project.
- Become friends with your professors. Ask them questions after class when you’re confused. Attend their office hours. Email them. You will make an impression by taking the initiative to do well in a course and you will feel 10x better grasping problems you once had trouble with. Plus, professors want to see you succeed. It’s truly not their goal to fail you.
- Study with other students. Unless it’s hard for you to separate socializing from studying, working with others can help you solve answers to questions you have and to teach others what you know about a topic. Working in groups can be productive if you find studious friends that are willing to meet up!
- Create your own study guides or outlines. If you are preparing for an exam, look over all the chapters and important notes you’ve taken to compile a review sheet that you’d expect to cover most material on the test.
- Don’t procrastinate. Yes, this one can be hard, but I recommend doing your least-favorite assignment(s) first. This way, the smaller, easier stuff feels less daunting and more manageable to complete. It’s like ripping off a bandage. It might be painful, but then it’s over.
- Work on the hard, time-consuming assignments when you are most productive. Do you think best in the morning or evening? When do you usually accomplish most of your work? We all have a time of day when we feel most productive. Use this time to your advance. FYI, your most productive time does not include 3AM. You should be sleeping.
- Get enough sleep. If you complete daily homework during your most productive time of the day, and don’t procrastinate on large assignments, you have absolutely no excuse for pulling an all nighter. College students should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night for better concentration and alertness the next day. Zzzz……
I know that was a mouthful of information, but I really hope these tips are useful! Take care.