Aiming to manage your time effectively becomes increasingly important as the semester progresses. Classes and exams pick up alone--extracurricular activities also start to pile on. Don’t let the semester slow you down. Make these simple changes to your study routine to help you learn and retain material faster. Learn the top study tips below.
1. Stay organized
Plan your semester by checking your syllabus for the dates of important assignments and exams. Consider class assignments, social events, work, etc., into your study schedule, and ensure you have plenty of time to get it all done rather than relying on a last-minute cram session.
2. Review new material
Each evening review your notes for 30 minutes. Reviewing new material within 24 hours of hearing increases retention significantly. Seeing your notes before the next class period allows you to identify points of confusion, so you will be ready to ask questions if necessary
3. Get enough rest
Sleep is essential to proper brain function. When fatigued, you think more slowly and are poor at retaining new material. Sleepiness can make it more difficult to concentrate and focus on tasks. Getting enough sleep can be hard when balancing, school life, relationships, and work. Make an effort to develop a sleep routine to get the most out of your study sessions.
4. Join a study group
Study groups can be an effective method for getting through a difficult problem set or assignment. Dividing the work amongst your peers can also reduce your workload and ensure that you are understanding the material.
5. Take a break
When it comes to retaining information, staying focused on one topic for an extended period of time is less effective. Taking time for yourself to decompress and re-energize will help keep you from getting overwhelmed or burned out. You'll probably return to study after a break feeling more alert and mentally rejuvenated than before.
6.. Don’t wait till the last minute
When studying the night before an exam, try to avoid cramming during the final hours. Cramming at the last minute can be overwhelming, possibly leading to feelings of test anxiety which makes it a less effective way to study.
7. Learn how to create a distraction-free zone.
Let’s face it, it can be hard to return to any task when a good distraction comes along. Try to minimize them by putting your phone on do not disturb or disabling phone notifications so you can focus on what’s important--studying!
8. Ask for help
Your professor has office hours: take advantage of them! If you're absent for a class, need clarification on a topic, think you missed an important point during the lecture, or really require any sort of help at all related to the course, make an appointment to meet with your instructor. They’re dedicated to your success and will help you find solutions.