5 Study Habits That Work for College Students
Last updated November 2, 2023
College can be a big adjustment, especially when it comes to staying organized, time-management, and asking for help - all vital aspects of learning how to study. Knowing how to study effectively is important to succeeding academically, and while there’s no “right” way to study, there are proven methods to help you recall and understand the material better. Here are 5 study habits to try that can boost your confidence and help you earn that A!
Whether it’s because of your busy schedule or the temptation to procrastinate, it’s easy to hold off on studying for a big exam until the last minute. However, research suggests that last-minute cramming is not effective for long-term learning and can lead to test anxiety. Instead, review a little bit of information each day. By reviewing the material in smaller chunks, you’ll likely remember it later and you’ll feel calm and prepared when it comes time to take the exam.
Make a plan and stick to it
Creating a schedule, such as a paper planner, a planning app, or a bullet journal, will help you feel more organized and improve your time management skills. You can schedule daily or weekly time blocks on your calendar for when you plan to review the topics discussed in each class, plan study sessions with friends, and stay on top of upcoming deadlines or exam dates.
Get Schooled student Malyka H. prefers to study during a specific time of day: “I've learned that studying in the morning right when I wake up really works.”
You can also incorporate different study strategies into your plan - for example using a study guide, creating flash cards, or taking practice tests on specific days of the week. Remember that study plans differ from student-to-student so don’t be afraid to try different styles until you find what works for you!
Ask for help
You don’t have to struggle through the course material on your own! Asking for help, whether it’s through tutoring, organizing a study group, or visiting office hours, is an important skill to develop in college. Reaching out to others and utilizing your campus resources can help you find the answers to more difficult questions and reduce the stress you may feel about falling behind in your courses.. College-level classes are challenging, but don’t feel like you have to face it alone.
Get Schooled student Anna Z. suggests, “Studying alone works, but group study can be a real help.”
Find your best study space
Finding and creating the right study space is key to reducing distractions. . Whether you study at home or on campus, you’ll want to find a location with the right atmosphere that’s both comfortable yet productive to your study time. Need to study in complete silence? Try the campus library. Do you find yourself more productive in a noisy environment? Your campus student center or the local cafe might be the place for you. Also, don’t be afraid to switch things! Try out a few locations to find what works best for you - the more places you’re able to study, the better!
Take meaningful breaks
Think of your brain like a muscle - similar to taking rest days when working out, it's important to take intentional breaks when studying. These breaks, especially during long study sessions, can actually help you maintain attention and feel less overwhelmed. The next time you study, try using the Pomodoro technique - using timed sessions and a timed break in between. During your timed breaks you can step away from your study space, have a light snack, or go outside for some fresh air.
Get Schooled student Clexy C. uses a similar method: “I turn my phone to “do not disturb” and I work for 50 minutes and take a 10 minute break.”
Your brain can only absorb so much information at a time, so having built-in breaks can prevent fatigue and keep you energized!
Finding studying habits that work for you is key to succeeding in college! Do you have any studying habits/tips not mentioned here? Let us know on Instagram @getschooled or text us at 33-55-77 so we can share it with other students.