Studying large chunks of material for college courses can become overwhelming. A few study skills can help you streamline the process and get more out of your study time.
1. Plan ahead; By creating a study plan you will know ahead of time what material to focus on or review. A lot of time can be wasted trying to organize and prioritize your studying. By trying to remember assignments, due dates and material you need to attend to you place a lot of stress on your mind. By writing this information down you can free up your thoughts and review your notes when needed to get the most out of your study time.
2. Set certain time frames for the completion of material you must learn or assignments you must do. These deadlines should be tight. By putting hard limits on how much time you will be spending on each task you will notice yourself accomplishing more in less time due to an increase in focus and concentration. Reward yourself when meeting deadlines and take a 15 minute break before your next task to allow your brain to rest.
3. Keep your body fueled. Eat when hungry and sleep when tired. Many times students will spend hours on end studying without taking a break to rest or eat. I used to skip whole meals in college and would often wake up after a long night of cramming feeling starved and remembering nothing. Your mind will be fatigued and will have difficulty remembering and concentrating on information making your time wasted. You can accomplish more by taking short breaks and eating than by staying up nights cramming.
4. Your study location should be in a quite area. People who study in noisy environments score significantly lower than those who study in silent surroundings. Your study spot should also be consistent to help train your mind to know when it needs to focus, concentrate and absorb information. I tend to create space to study in the corner of my room. This way there are no distractions in view and and my mind immediately knows to prepare for concentrated learning sessions when I sit down.
5. Turn off all your electronics. Chat messaging, TV, Radio, YouTube and text messaging are all distractions that will significantly increase your time spent studying. Studies shown that it can take up to 50 minutes for the brain to refocus after each interruption. That’s a lot of time to be wasting. I used to have all the above going when trying to study and I would be surprised when 3 hours later I noticed that I barely moved forward in the chapter I was supposed to be reading.