Five Study Tips for Murray State Students
College is different from high school. There is so much more to absorb. The classes are larger. The teachers are less approachable. There are household chores to do, parties to go to, and friends to see. It can be overwhelming. Still, there are some ways to make the grade.
By following these suggestions, you’ll be sure to shine on test day.
"Don't expect to do on game day what you haven't already done a million times in practice"
This is a quote of an athletic coach, but it applies to test day too. If you’re studying for a math test, work out the problems not once, not twice, but as many times as it takes to make it feel like second nature. If you’re studying for a history test, reorganize the information. For example, instead of simply reviewing your notes or the textbook, create a timeline of events. The process of creating such a visual, and the visual itself, will help you better remember the information.
Study with someone else
When you explain a concept aloud to another person, it reinforces your comprehension of the material. On the flip side, hearing someone else explain a concept from their point of view serves to enhance your perception of it. The benefits of a study buddy cannot be overstated when it comes to memorizing and retaining information, as well as understanding the subject matter.
Leave your phone in your apartment
After finishing a particularly difficult math problem or reading a dense chapter, it is tempting to take a break and check your email or social media, or a news website. Don’t. Checking in usually leads to checking out, and now is not the time to check out. You need to remain focused. Take a break by stretching or going for a walk. Leave your device in your apartment; for centuries, students have studied without a smartphone nearby, and their parents and friends did not worry that they had fallen off the face of the earth. Give everyone a heads up that you’ll be in the library studying and will not have your phone with you.
Study what you don't know
Far too often, students end up focusing on what they already know. It feels comfortable, so they like reviewing it. The information they’re not as comfortable with is what they tend to gloss over. The opposite should be the case. Of course review what you know, but spend most of the time on the material that is difficult for you. If you’re struggling on a certain concept, spend time with it until you understand it. Study what you don’t know. That’s how you’ll learn the material and ace the test.
Take advantage of office hours
If your professor offers office hours, go. But don’t go because you need “brownie points” – he or she might not even remember your name or that you ever stopped by. Rather, go because you might be offered additional information that is particularly invaluable. If you are struggling with a concept or topic, your professors are available during their office hours to help you understand the material better. You can also email questions to your professors in order to gain helpful study tips on how to prepare for your exams or write a better essay. Developing a relationship with your instructor will also lead to a valuable mentorship.
It is worth your time to stop by with at least one or two questions.
Good study habits require a lot of hard work and motivation. Be sure to take breaks and reward yourself for your hard work with healthy snacks, nice walks outside, or even an episode of your favorite TV show.
It’s vital to learn as much as possible about effective study strategies. Finding the study tips that work for you will help you get the greatest results in less time.