10 Ways to Improve Your Study Habits As A University StudentPHCS
Do you want to study better?
What is your PLAN for attacking your studies deliberately?
How much time do you spend going over and over the material you learn in class?
Do you study every week? or, like most university students, wait and cram it all in your brain the night before that CA (Continuous Assessment) or Semester’s Exams?
Most students take a dead-on lazy attitude towards studying, simply revisiting material before an important test or exam and crossing their fingers and praying, hoping the right notes you read will stick in your brain? As a result, they get lazy results…….
The study isn’t just for the night before an assignment’s due or the night before an exam.
It’s never too early or too late to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve.
Below are 10 ways to improve your study habits at the University Level
1. Know Your Learning Style
Knowing your learning style is one way to help improve your study habits while at the university.
We all have our natural tendency for retaining new information, and there are four main learning styles:
Visual learners learn best by seeing. They respond well to diagrams, color-coding, video, and patterns.
Auditory learners learn best by listening. They respond well to audiotapes like speech, music, rhymes, and other sounds.
Reading and Writing learners learn best by reading and writing the material they have study.
Kinesthetic learners retain information best by doing. They enjoy role-playing, building models, drawing diagrams, and making flashcards. They need to put concepts into practice in the real world.
Identifying your learning style involves understanding how you tend to learn best. You can use this information to your advantage when you study by using learning approaches that work well for you, such as writing out notes, creating mind-maps, using models, or reciting out loud.
2. Study in a Variety of Environments
Studying in a variety of different Environmental settings helps improve your study habits while you are at the university.
The old school of thought often preach by an expert is that students should study in the same room all the time so that the brain could click into focus mode as soon as they sit down to study.
But in recent years, an alternative view has gained a lot of support. Research shows you can focus better by regularly changing your study environment.
The idea behind this new philosophy is that studying the material in a variety of places (environment) helps your brain build up different associations about the material you study.
You also might feel you need to find somewhere to study where you won’t be interrupted. This, too, depends on your learning style.
For example, music may enhance focused study for auditory learners when studying. These same auditory learners may easily be distracted by a television in the background while others may simply tune it out.
3. Set Regular Study Times and Stick with Them
Plan your study time instead of hoping it will “happen” somewhere in between your social life and classes.
By creating a set studying timetable and putting it into your daily calendar, you create a commitment and routine. This helps improve study habits while you are at the university.
Setting study time also helps ensure your study is organized and split intelligently between subjects as necessary.
4. Eliminate Potential Distractions Before Your Study Session Starts
Sure, working in a noisy nearby shop or productive library may help some people, but trying to watch a movie or carry on a conversation while studying is doubtful to help anyone.
Before you start, eliminate anything that might cause your mind to wander.
First, gather everything you need. Having to wander somewhere else to collect your notes or important textbooks is an easy way to get sidetracked.
And if other people are in the house watching television or music, you might want to move to a spot where you can’t hear.
The most common potential distraction for university students is Social media (Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, YouTube), etc. TV and unnecessary friendly visits will help improve you’re your comprehensive understanding of what you study.
Eliminating all these distractions is a great study habit every university student should practice in order to achieve high performance.
5. Maintain a Study Planner with Deadlines and Prioritized Assignments
Markdown deadlines for every assignment you know will come up throughout the week, month or semester, across all of your subjects, and set advance reminders so you don’t lose track.
Then sort out the best sequence for working on all assignments.
It is easy to procrastinate on work you find difficult or boring, so you might want to tackle those first and save your more “pleasurable” assignments for last. Even daily, it makes sense to tackle your harder subjects first, while your mind is still fresh.
Keep your planner with you at all times, and whenever you are given a new assignment or any work with a deadline, put it down. Record your deadlines and prioritize your work rather than making a mental note you’re bound to keep putting off.
Of course, things change, so be prepared to adapt your entire schedule as needed.
6. Break the Destructive “Cram Session” Cycles
Marathon cram sessions have almost become synonymous with the majority of university students in Cameroon.
You don’t need me to tell you how inefficient they are – nothing you keep in your brain that way ever sticks for long and the crash and burn doesn’t do you any good either.
Commit to spreading your study over a prolonged period and be one of the few university students who live a healthy balance and a normal life. You are far more likely to retain the information you study if you allow some time for daily exercise and socialization too.
Also, when it comes to studying, quality is far more important than quantity.
Long stretches are counter-productive – after a while, your mind fatigues and wander, and you start to feel sleepy. You get bored and easily distracted.
Instead, keep study sessions short (45minutes to 1hour). You’ll retain more information studying in short bursts, fitting those bursts around your other daily activities.
7. Review Notes While the Info is Still Fresh in Your Mind
Take time after class or before study sessions to review, edit and organize your notes.
Libraries are a perfect blend of dynamic activity and busy students, so the mood is just right. And this “university hack” allowed you to arrive home every night homework-free and still get straight A’s.
If you’re a kinesthetic learner look for practical opportunities to “practice” the material if possible.
8. Expand on Class Lessons with Videos
This one is especially for the visual learners out there.
Sometimes reading the same line over and over again just isn’t going to get you anywhere. Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of other resources at your disposal, and arguably the best one is videos which are freely available on YouTube.
No matter what field you’re studying, the chances of there being an online video resource that explains the concept are fairly high. Watching a video also mimics being in a classroom and will likely sink in faster than reading text.
Of course, it’s more challenging to find video resources for really specific subjects, but this works great for general stuff like accounting principles and historical facets.
9. Learn by Teaching Your Class Material
Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Putting yourself in the role of teacher, whether with a friend or in a study group, will force you to structure and clarify the subject not only in your student’s mind but in your own as well.
If your audience asks a question that you find difficult to answer, even better. This will help pinpoint weak areas that you need to brush upon.
If you haven’t got a classroom full of people to teach, just explain the subject to an imaginary friend. (The best way is by talking to yourself by looking at the mirror) 😉. 😉. 😉
10. Break the Horrible Habit of Multitasking
When studying, it’s very tempting to play around on social media houses such as replying to WhatsApp or Facebook messages and calls or watch TV while doing homework. The problem is that when attention is spread out, your brain does not fully engage in anything…
And the quality of work you produce starts to drop.
Even when it seems like you’re doing two things at the same time, what your brain does is shift from one to the other repeatedly. And this “context change” is a recipe for mental fatigue.
Stop the habits of multi-tasking and you’ll find yourself with much more energy to hit the books the right way.
You can always get back to your TV programs or social media memes later on.
These study habits are only some of the things you can do to get the most out of your studying while still at the university. You might already have other things that work better for you. Find out what your friends do when they’re studying.
Whatever it is, whatever strategy you come up with, when you find something that works for you, put it into practice and go for it!