'Study' Tips For College That Really Work
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'Study' Tips For College That Really Work

Real study tips for real results.

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'Study' Tips For College That Really Work
Brayley Payne

As the first rounds of tests have approached, it only seems fitting that I write on successful study tips I have found helpful. No one teaches studying until college, so getting thrown into insanely difficult classes and never learning how to study, is overwhelming, to say the least. But no need to fear, I’m full of wisdom and here to help. (I’m kidding — I don’t know nearly as much as I think I do.)

The first step to studying actually starts at the beginning of the semester, through organization of some kind. I prefer to use a planner, but there are online calendars as well. During syllabus week, mark when each test is for each class throughout the semester. I can’t stress this enough, mark tests in an obvious way — like bright yellow highlighter. This organization can help to know when to start studying for each test, which is best at least one week in advance.

During test weeks, I (the 18-year-old with absolutely no authority) give permission to put classes not testing on the back burner — for that week. However, stacking studying and homework can actually help to retain information better, but still prioritize. In college, there is always studying and homework and obligations pulling us in several different directions; learn to prioritize during times of high stress.

Find a good study spot, or better yet, multiple study spots. Grab a coffee, and everything needed for a successful study session and go, anywhere. Finding the perfect study spot can make all the difference in the outcome of testing success. Get to a comfortable place and make a plan of attack.

For many students, including myself, becoming overwhelmed is so easy, but don’t get too overwhelmed. What works best for me is making a “To-Do” list, then making a schedule. Spend 20-30 minutes on each activity, scheduling in breaks as well.

The mistake made during planned breaks is they are often wasted on social media or texting in general. My best advice (from my 18-year-old brain) is to delete social media apps during hectic weeks where studying needs to be a priority over social media. I’m not saying to delete every account and go completely off the grid, simply delete the app itself. Manually searching Instagram or Twitter and logging in is much harder than clicking on an app, and it quickly becomes clear how bad of a habit social media has become when the temptation is removed altogether.

Trust your studying. Ideally, we would like to spend several hours studying for a single test, but most of the time, there’s only a few hours available. Study as much as possible, or as much as you feel is needed, trust it, and take the test. Trust your studying and know being a little nervous before the exam is OK. Also, don’t talk about how many hours you spent studying or how nervous you are when getting into the test room. Especially don’t talk about the material or pull out notes. Relax and take the exam. If all else fails, Jesus still loves you. (Wow, sorry I’m SUCH a Baylor student.)

Another study tactic I have learned is to get a good night’s sleep. I can get on board with sleeping for success. Dreaming actually helps to process and store the previous day's memories, so getting a good night’s sleep helps to process everything studied.

My last study tip is a personal preference: read a book during busy weeks. Reading an easy-to-read novel can help as a distraction that is still productive. I ill-advise watching shows or movies, but use something as needed for a slight distraction.

I named this piece “Study” Tips That Really Work, because nothing mentioned is a quick and easy way to get an A. In fact, most of them aren’t even really about studying, more so how to control the world around you for optimal results. There is no quick and easy way to succeed in a difficult class, and if there is, I have not discovered it yet. However, I have learned how to control confounding variables, stay focused and motivated, and to remember this is only a test, or four.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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