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Studying Smart: Know How to Study

Know How to Study
There are many things you can do to improve your study habits. Explore the habits and techniques below to make the most out of your studying.


Turn Off Your Phone

Don't use texts, calls, and social media as an excuse for not studying or completing your work. Put your phone away to avoid the temptation of checking your device (even if you swear you'll be really quick).

Have a Plan

Create a plan for what you want to accomplish (and don't bite off more than you can chew). Decide what you want to study or work on, and stick to it. When you complete the tasks, reward yourself with a short break.

Be Realistic

Be realistic both with the amount of work you can finish in a set amount of time, and how much of a distraction/lost time will be accumulated if you procrastinate. When you procrastinate you add more stress and anxiety to your already hectic life.

Plan For You

Tailor your study plans to accommodate how you learn best. How your friends and roommates study might not be the best approach for you.

Remember Your Goals

Relate your studying to your future and life after college. How will this knowledge help you in the future? By tying your learning to how you will use it in the future will give you the motivation needed to learn the material with confidence.

Study Smarter, Not Harder

Reading Isn't Studying

Simply reading and re-reading your notes or the text book is not actively engaging the material. Ideas for active studying include: 

  • Create a study guide by topic
  • Become a teacher (by teaching someone else the material)
  • Find examples that relate to your own experience
  • Create a concept map

Understand (and use) the Study Cycle

The Study Cycle was developed by Frank Christ, and breaks down the various parts of studying. Each step might seem obvious, but follow the steps to ensure you are working through the cycle for each of your classes.

  1. Preview the Material
  2. Attend Class
  3. Review the Information from Class
  4. Study What You Learned
  5. Check Your Understanding 

Spread Out Your Studying

Space your studying out over a few days. Don't try to cram everything into a single day or a few hours. By spreading out your studying, you will learn the information more deeply and retain more in the long term. 

It's Good to be Intense 

Much like exercise, interval studying is a good thing. Intensive study sessions are short and allow you to get work done with minimal wasted effort. 

Silence Isn't Always Golden

Know where you study best. It is important to consider what noise environment works best for you. You might find that you concentrate better with some background noise.

If you like to listen to music, try listening to a video game soundtrack - the music is designed to keep players focused in the game without distractions coming from the music. 

Reconsider Multi-Tasking 

We aren't as good at multi-tasking as we would like to think. In order to study smarter, not harder, eliminate distractions during your study sessions. Social media, browsing the internet, playing games, and texting will severely affect the intensity of your study sessions. 

Switch Up Your Setting

Find several places to study in and around campus and change up your space if you find that it is no longer a working space for you. Also, know when you study best - you may find that 10:00 pm is when you are more focused, but 10:00 am is when you just aren't as sharp. 

Utilize Your Calendar

Control your schedule and use your calendar. Write out your goals and deadlines to help you complete your assignments and stay on top of coursework. 

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