Study Smarter Not Harder

Many students realize their high school study habits aren’t very effective in college. This is understandable as college is quite different. Often, professors are less personally involved, classes are bigger, exams are worth more, reading is more intense, and courses are much more rigorous. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you; it just means you need to learn some more effective study skills. Fortunately, many active study strategies are shown to be effective in college classes.

Active engagement

Active engagement is the process of constructing meaning from text that involves making connections to coursework and regulating your learning. For active studying, create a study guide by topic, quiz, and concept maps or diagrams that explain the material.

Spacing out is good

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods over days and weeks. The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day. The important thing is how you use your study time, not how long you study.

Silence isn’t golden

Know where you study best. The silence of a library may not be the best place for you. Therefore, it’s important to consider what noise environment works best for you.

Switch up your setting

Find several places to study in and around campus and change your space if you find that it is no longer a working space for you. Have a variety of areas in and around campus that are suitable study environments for you.

Use downtime to your advantage

Beware of ‘easy’ weeks. This is the calm before the storm. Lighter work weeks are a great time to get ahead on work or to start long projects.

Use all your resources

Remember that you can make an appointment with an academic coach to implement any of the strategies suggested!

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