Do you want to do better in school but feel that your study habits are not eliminating them? Do you find yourself overburdened by late assignments and upcoming exams?
These feelings are universal, but there are many ways to implement study habits that solve these problems. JC’s Department of Undergraduate Skills can help, through teaching centers at both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Among the faculty ready to help students is Amy Flores, the faculty leader at the Santa Rosa Center. According to Flores, the centers offer subject matter tutors and group study sessions as well as study how-to instruction.
Everyone learns differently, so what works for one student may not necessarily work for another. Apply these tips into your daily routine to discover what works best for you and help you achieve your academic goals
Tip 1: Plan ahead
Keep a planner with you at all times. If you find digital planners easy to access, there are a variety of mobile apps you can download. Some great suggestions are Planner Pro, Structured, and MinimaList. If you don’t find the apps you like, you can always use the basic calendar app.
For some students, writing due dates actually helps to remember them. Write down the due date for each assignment, project, and exam. At the beginning of the new semester, read the course outline and record the deadlines and exam dates.
Organizing and planning will help you stay on top of your coursework and prevent you from being left behind.
Tip 2: Attend class and pay attention
Sitting in long lectures can leave room for distraction. It’s easy to let our minds wander and tempt us to scroll through our phones.
Avoid any potential distractions by keeping your phone in your bag and practicing active listening. This means listening intently to the speaker and seeking to understand what he is saying by responding and reflecting. Active listening and sharing can help you retain information.
Skipping class can be tempting, but try to avoid it. While you might think that missing one session wouldn’t hurt, you’ll lose a lot of information.
Tip 3: Set goals and keep a study schedule
Make time every day to study. In fact, make it a habit to study regularly.
Set a goal for each study session to ensure its effectiveness. Focus on math one day and English another. Or study math for 15 minutes, then use another 15 minutes for physics.
“Take a cut, so maybe four pages, three weeks in advance. Then we move on to the next big piece,” said Flores. [it’s] The importance of planning.
If you reach your study goals, reward yourself. Spend time with friends, treat yourself to a meal or take a long nap.
Tip 4: Take notes
Taking notes helps you listen closely to the lecture, and engage your mind. According to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and their study, Effective Note-Taking in Class, taking notes and summarizing what you hear can lead to better information retention.
This does not mean writing down everything, just the main points.
Flores agrees with the study’s findings, and has another pointer, too: “I remember when I was in high school and I was taking notes using different colours, to emphasize and highlight things,” she said. “When I saw notes I wrote myself, it was easier for me to have a connection.”
Underline, type keywords in the margins and use multi-colored highlighters. Choose a color for key points and definitions and another for examples.
Tip 5: Join or create a study group
When students gather to study, they can learn better than if they were working alone. According to ScienceDirect, a 2017 study revealed that students who used a study companion significantly reduced their chances of failing in a pathology course compared to those who studied alone.
Set up an online study group, or if you’re feeling social, meet in person. When you work in groups, you not only gain team experience, but also weaken the desire to procrastinate
Tip 6: Ask for help
There is a stigma that asking for help is a sign of weakness; This is simply not true. Asking for help does not define your intelligence, and you should never be shy about reaching out to you.
Asking for help can provide both clarification and guidance. If your class has PALS, you can start from there. Or find your teacher’s opening hours and stop by for a visit.
Tip 7: Change environments
Where we choose to study can affect our learning. Try different environments and find the best one in which to study. Try your bedroom, school library, or maybe the new café down the road.
Both campuses at SRJC have an on-campus learning center that serves as a quiet space to work and a place to seek help with coursework. “Use the Tutorial Center, not just when you need help, but make it a habit. Flores said.
You will need a comfortable space that not only allows you to focus, but keeps you engaged. Sometimes it is better to move between places of study.
Tip 8: Maintain a positive attitude
While assignments, exams, and attendance aren’t always exciting, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. Optimism can go a long way. One degree does not determine your abilities or your future.
If you get a bad grade, move on and consider studying harder and doing better next time as a challenge.
Tip 9: Relax
Focusing on schoolwork and staying on top of tasks is important, but your health should always be your first priority.
Allow yourself to take breaks and relax. Go out with friends, take a walk or simply relax and breathe. By stepping away and giving your body and mind time to rest, you will prevent fatigue.