When you were in high school, chances are you didn’t have to study very much. High school curriculums are often far below that of college curriculums, and in general, you don’t have to work as hard for your grades. At least, that was my experience.
If you already know how to study, great for you! But I (and many others) had to overhaul my studying techniques when I got to college, because everything is SO different.
If you’re having problems as well, keep reading for some great tips on how to study for college classes. If you aren’t in college yet, take a peek anyway, so you can learn how to study for harder classes now; it’ll help you get prepared!
- Do extracurricular research. I find that in a lot of classes, professors will mention significant figures or icons that made a large impact on the material you’re studying…but they won’t give a lot of information about them, because they’re not on the test. While it’s not required to study these people, events, places, or other related material, go ahead and research them. It’ll broaden your understanding of the material that shows up on the test – and who knows, you might be able to garner some extra points somewhere for your hard work!
- Take advantage of any and ALL extra credit. Collegiate professors are very unlikely to offer any sort of second chance or extra credit option, so take it when you can. At the end of the semester, you’ll have a safety net to cover any absences or low grades.
- Write your notes by hand; don’t type them. Studies show that you’re far more likely to remember the material you’re copying down when you write it than when you punch it in on a keyboard. If you want to take shorthand notes and go back and type them so they’re neater, that’s fine. But initially, take notes the old fashioned way.
- Read your book. This is a no-brainer, but I’ve found that many new students seem to think that merely taking notes on what’s discussed in class is enough to pass the test. In most cases, it isn’t! Only rely on class notes alone if your professor says that it’s okay – otherwise, read in your book, take the quizzes, use the extra resources listed, etc. Trust me.
- Take advantages of any extra resources offered. Many universities offer academic excellence activities and help. For example, UNA has a “Focus Success Center” – a place to get help with homework and upperclassmen and a quiet place to study when roommates are being loud. If you university offers similar programs, take advantage of them! Chances are that your tuition costs helped fund those programs, so they’re yours. Tutoring, study groups, extra textbook assignments, etc., will help you succeed.
I hope these tips help you in your college courses. Have a great week – we’re almost over the hump!
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