A lot goes on in college. Aside from studies, you have newfound freedom, extra curriculum activities, entertainment options, and social life to attend to.
Still, even as you want to immerse yourself and enjoy the whole college experience, your studies are the main event. If you perform dismally or fail to graduate, everything else you did in college will not mean much.
This tells you that you have to maximize study time to study in the most intelligent, most effective ways. So how do you do that?
Here are some pointers.
Get A Tutor
As far as studying smart goes, nothing beats getting a tutor when needed. As much as colleges try to make their programs all-inclusive, they can only do so much.
Each class has different types of learning who thrive in other environs and learn best using different methodologies.
Unfortunately, the infrastructural, time and financial resources in institutions do not allow them to cater to each divergent group. This means that schools then opt for one method, and all students in a class are taught using it.
On the other hand, a tutor will seek to understand how you learn best and customize a study plan. They also move at a pace adapted to your learning pace.
When combined, these elements allow students to make the most of their learning from their private tutored sessions. So, where do you start with this? Follow this link to access excellent tutors.
Make a Study Schedule
A precise study plan is a must-have for college students. Yet, again, with so many competing activities, studies can be relegated to the backbench. Going to class is a small bit of this. After class is where the real work happens.
So have your school timetable with all your lectures slotted in. This will show you when you are available outside of class. For this time, you will need to allocate your study time alongside all other activities, including downtime.
There are no strict rules to this; however, ensure all your classes are covered in the study schedule. Similarly, they and allot more time to classes you find more challenging.
Creating a schedule is one part of the equation; the other part is sticking to it, which brings us to our next point.
Rely on Systems Not Motivation
Relying on motivation means waiting to feel inspired or motivated to study. Relying on systems means following a schedule and learning whether you feel like it or not.
Relying on motivation can be a pitfall because studying is not always considered a fun activity. This means you can go days and even weeks without feeling the inspiration to study. The longer you do not learn, the likelier you are to fall behind in your coursework.
Therefore, create a study schedule and stick to it unless you are unwell or something more urgent like a test comes up. This will not be the easiest thing to do initially, but it will become second nature when you follow your schedule strictly for a couple of weeks.
Break Up Your Study Sessions
Short study sessions are considered better than three-hour-long sessions. The premise of it is concentration span. While a three-hour study session starts excellent, you will get increasingly exhausted. As this happens, your concentration becomes gradually lower. Unfortunately, so does your ability to retain information or learn new concepts. At the end of it, you will be exhausted, without much to show for it.
Instead, commit short bursts of time to study and master a specific concept. Take a break, then come back to it and learn something else. This allows you to tackle different things when your mind is at its freshest.
Join A Study Group
Aside from sitting in your room studying, group study is another effective way to study in college. In a group, you get to discuss concepts in-depth, gain different perspectives and make your contribution in a more intimate setting than in a classroom. In addition, these discussions have an element of association that can increase your ability to recall learned material.
The other thing about group study is accountability. It’s much easier to forego a solo study session. A group session is more challenging because other members expect you to be there. Group study also provides a support system comprised of people in the same shoes as you. This gives you a platform and a social circle where you can discuss your school-related challenges with people that relate to them.
You might be a good listener, but even good listeners zone out from time to time. When this happens, you create information gaps when you miss what the lecturer said in those moments. Listening passively also leaves you at the mercy of your memory, which with everything else you learn in a given day, might fail you from time to time.
A better way to approach your studies is by being an active note taker in class and during private study sessions. If you have to miss a class for any reason, you can request a classmate to record the lecture for you. You can use this to transcribe your notes or fill in your hand-outs. This helps you take down information so you internalize it and in a way that you can recall it best.
This is a feature that often lacks when you copy other people’s notes. Another advantage of taking notes is that it keeps your mind active. When you are geared to listening because of note-taking, it helps you focus better. Better focus means better information absorption.
Take Care Of Yourself
The last thing to do to ensure you study well is ensuring you are in the best shape mentally and physically to give it your best.
This is nothing complicated. Simple things like getting good quality sleep, working out, socializing, and eating a balanced diet contribute to keeping you in good shape. The better you feel, the better you will be at your studies.