Success! How to study for an “A” is so much more than studying.
What about all the things that come up each semester to distract you including getting sick? How do you stay on top?
Last week I covered the habits of a successful college student and this week we are focusing on helping you achieve success through your study habits.
In college I had many obstacles to overcome each semester just like many of you do. I battled chronic medical conditions, transportation issues, time constraints, and sometimes I just took on more than I could do. Balance is key.
Here’s my top 10 Study tips:
1. Create a study schedule and stick to it. The discipline and management of time will help you succeed and go far in college, career and life.
2. Pay close attention to how you study for each class. Some things will come easier than other things. The harder the class the more senses you need to incorporate into your study time.
Check out this helpful interactive study checklist. You can get help in the area’s you are weak in:
For instance in law classes for my paralegal degree I had to not just read the material, take notes and listen to the lectures. I reviewed it all audibly before each test because I know my ear memory is stronger than my visual memory.
By the time you reach college and career age you probably have an idea where your brain’s strengths and weaknesses are so tap into what works the best for you.
3. Write it. Speak it. Draw it. Yep that’s right. Some classes like certain science classes may be good to do more than speaking it out loud and writing it out. Try drawing your chemical formulas and labeling them and doing the same with your Biology study. If you are studying or reviewing the anatomy of a cell for instance draw it out, color it and label it. Then review it out loud.
4. Ask. Ask for help from a tutor or college professor if you are really struggling with something. They may be able to show you the concept in a different way that helps it click in your head.
5. Math! I had a 5th grade math level when I started remedial classes and worked my way up to college math. I stuck with a very simple study pattern that helped me a lot. Write out your equation on the left side of your paper very neatly. On the right side write out the steps needed to solve the equation very simply not too wordy. Then solve it. If you do this each time you work a problem you’ll remember the steps and formulas needed for each one.
Also, I got a whiteboard to write out equations on because as they became more complex seeing it larger somehow helped me to focus on the main concepts and steps needed to solve the problem!
6. Concept. Focus on the concepts you need to know and don’t get lost in the million little details. I often see students struggling because they can’t see the big picture and are distracted with all the little things. You can overcome this simply focus on the overall concepts you need to learn.
7. Set a timer for 20-30 minutes and study without stopping. After the timer goes off take a small walk, drink some water. And go back and set the timer again. Frequent breaks help you not feel so overwhelmed and you retain the information better.
8. Try again. If you ever fail don’t fret. Simply try again and look for new study techniques that can help. Get creative. I failed a class or two because of ongoing medical complications that left my brain really foggy and spacy. I had to stop for awhile so my body could recover. But I haven’t stopped forever. I will succeed if I simply don’t give up on reaching my goals and so will you.
Before re-taking a course it is important to identify the cause of failure so you can succeed the next time!
Here’s a helpful blog on How to Study: The link function is not working. But here’s the URL
9. Work hard. Nothing really comes close to this one. Hard work is vital for success in anything and you can’t re-place it with wishful thinking. Work hard, don’t give up and you will succeed.
10. Stop Procrastinating. If your not the natural high goal oriented type person you may be more likely to put things off until later. However, we all struggle with this from time to time. Get up. Kick yourself in the butt and as long as you are able to finish and finish strong!
Bonus Tips: Surround yourself with other focused, hardworking students and cheer each other on! Create study parties with food if you need to! Just make sure you actually study and review.
What if you study for an “A” but don’t eat, hydrate and sleep? What are your chances of getting the “A” you worked so hard for? Taking care of your bodies needs will help you get the grades you’ve worked for.
What if anything is your obstacle to success in college, career and life?