For the longest time of my life as a student, my grades never turned out the way that I wanted them to, and it made me question my intellect to some extent, but I realized that it was actually because I wasn’t studying effectively. After I changed my study habits and began working smartly, it changed my ability to memorize, to analyze and all the other academic challenges college puts you through. So, I want to share some of my tips:
- Planning – It’s already so hard to cover a wide range of content in multiple classes per semester, but we make it harder when we don’t properly plan and effectively utilize our study time. Planning allows you to dedicate a certain amount of time to a certain topic and once you’re done with it you can move on to the next topics in a strategic, organized manner. I never planned my studying and that made things so chaotic because I didn’t know where to start, I didn’t know what I knew or what I didn’t know and that lead to ineffective studying. So plan your time and use it wisely instead of spending an unnecessary amount of time stressing out.
- Writing down important points – Taking in a lot of material can be quite overwhelming for your brain, and there’s a very high chance that as you’re studying new material, you forget the older ones. I noticed that when I took notes of important points, terms and concepts as I read about them, it helped me keep track of what I would need to recall later and it drastically reduced my forgetfulness.
- Active recall – I’ve made it a habit to do active recall once I’ve gone through everything I need to go through, and this has to be the most effective study tip that I adopted. Writing down notes may also be a waste of time sometimes if you don’t go back to them and revise them. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that when you’re recalling information, pretend as if you’re teaching it to someone, and it really helps your mind retrieve that information from wherever it is in the brain.
- Switch between topics – While I was studying for my finals this semester, I noticed that there were certain lectures that were either so hard or so boring that they made me feel demotivated and they set a monotonous tone. So I would suggest that when you get bored of the material you’re learning, switch to another topic or another lecture. This will bring some change and relieve the stress or boredom from that particular topic. This can be especially useful when you have a time crunch because you can’t stop but you don’t want to continue either, so I would say just switch and come back to it later.
- Quiz yourself – When the information you need is right in front of you, you feel more confident in your abilities to recall it later. But once you remove the notes from your sight and actually have to answer questions, it becomes much harder to remember it. To help this, I would suggest that you make flashcards and quiz yourself. This not only helps you memorize information, but it also prepares you for an actual test, because there’s a difference between memorizing everything and being able to contextualize that information in exam questions.
I will admit, giving advice is a lot easier than actually executing these practices in real life. But take it step by step and modify them according to your learning style. Exams are extremely stressful and sometimes they make you feel so anxious that you don’t know how or when to start. Try implementing these study tips and I hope they work for you they way they worked for me.
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<p>I am an international student from Kathmandu, a small city in Nepal, currently pursuing my Bachelor's degree at DePauw University in Indiana. I'm majoring in Neuroscience and have a keen interest in psychology. There are a few things that I enjoy doing in my free time, like singing, trying out new recipes, reading, etc. I have fostered a lot of cats back at home in Nepal so yes I'm a cat lady, but I absolutely love dogs as well. I'm mostly an introvert but if you come talk to me I promise I won't be awkward, I do enjoy having conversations with people and learning new perspectives.</p>