6 Study Tips To Help You Excel In College
To be successful in college, you are going to have to study. How you decide to study will be up to you. As you study, you want to make sure that your study methods are not only beneficial to your grades but will also be effective. Investing time and effort in your studying should result in better grades. Many students find that the more that they study the easier it is to get good grades and although studying is important, it is also important that you know how to take study breaks.
Why You Need Study Breaks
Breaks are very important when you are studying and there are times when not studying may actually be more beneficial than continuing to study. Throughout your time in college, you will want to find a way to establish a healthy balance between your studies and the rest of your life.
Here are some great examples of when it is important to take a break…
- When you feel that your stress levels are too high. Sometimes it is wise to step away from your studying for a few minutes. Meditate, go for a run, do some stretches or sing as loud as you can to your favorite song and you may find that you are refreshed and ready to face your studies again.
- When you are in bed. Let your bed be a place that is relaxing. By keeping your studying material out of your bed, you can ensure that your brain does not associate your bed with study time.
Benefits of Study Breaks
As you really assess your study time, you may find that taking more breaks will help you focus more intensely on your studies. When we focus on a task for a long period of time, our brain gradually begins to switch off, resulting in a decline in performance. However, after we take a break the brain resets and devotes a higher level of focus to the task at hand.
Science writer, Ferris Jabar explains why your brain needs more downtime:
“Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life…Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.”
Your study breaks can also help you break long study sessions up into segments. Reward yourself with a break if you are able to focus and study effectively for an hour, or whatever amount of time works for you.
6 Study Tips
Of course, more goes into a successful study session than simply taking breaks from studying. Give yourself the best chance with these six study tips:
- Take breaks. We already covered this pretty extensively, but taking study breaks is so vital to a successful study session. Give your brain the chance to rest, refresh, and come back stronger than ever, ready to absorb new information.
- Give yourself enough time to study. One of the easiest ways to start your study session off on the wrong foot is to wait until the last minute to start studying. Nothing will give you the confidence to take your exam like knowing you prepared adequately and didn’t wait until the last minute.
- Find a study space. If you like to study at your desk, make sure your space is organized and clear of distractions. Alternately, if you know you won’t be productive inside your apartment, head over to your campus library and find a place to hunker down for a little while.
- Get rid of distractions. Nothing will kill a good study session like a notification from your phone. Place distractions like phones across the room, in a drawer, or anywhere else they won’t be seen.
- Set timers. If you’ve decided to implement study breaks into your routine, try setting a timer for studying. Do 30 minutes of focused studying before taking a 5-10 minute break.
- Learn how you learn. Some students are great at memorization and utilize flash cards to help them study. Others learn best with a study partner to help them go over things. Boost your study time and retention efforts by studying the way that’s best for you.
Megan Wickes is a graduate of the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program. She currently works for California College San Diego, managing its online presence. In addition to her love of marketing, Megan enjoys wakeboarding, boating, and spending time with her husband and new baby boy.
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