You may be surprised to know that there is actually a right and wrong way to study. Knowing how to study can really save you some study time, and can help maximize the amount of material you can remember.
Setting aside a specific time to study greatly increases the chances you’re not going to procrastinate. The best times to study are after you are well rested, fed, and energized- so you don’t want to study too late or too early. Make sure you have at least 2 hours of uninterrupted study time.
Set up your study space.
Your bed is not a good place to study. Sometimes your dorm room isn’t either. Distractions like TV, internet, and your roommate can get in the way. Make sure you have a designated table and chair to study in, and sufficient lighting so you don’t strain your eyes. Being comfortable and upright are very important elements to sufficient studying. If you like to listen to music, make sure it’s not too distracting, and turn your cell phone off! The library is usually a great place to study because there are few distractions, and most people there are in the same mind-set, so there’s more motivation to concentrate.
Set your goals.
Think about what you want to get out of this study session. Is your goal to ace the mid-term exam you have in a week? Or are you simply reviewing the materials you went over in class today? Whatever your goals, be sure you they are reasonable- are you really going to study for 4 hours on a Friday night?
Mix it up a little.
Studying for hours at a time can be exhausting. Take regular breaks, about every hour, to walk around or grab a drink. Also, try switching your study activities. If you’ve been reading for an hour, quiz yourself on what you’ve just read, or make some flashcards.
If the material is boring, difficult, or doesn’t interest you…
Find a study partner in your class. Working with someone can make the material more interesting or clear, as you can discuss your difficulties, quiz each other, and help each other in your own areas of strength.
Go to your college’s tutoring center.
If all else fails, your college tutoring office can help you find someone who understands the subject well, and can help you study and understand the topic. Having someone help you through the process can be a great advantage, especially if your professor isn’t available at convenient times.