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Once you reach college, you’ll find that getting good grades requires a different approach than it ever has before. You won’t have as many reminders, and in many ways, you’ll find that much more is expected of you. But don’t be intimidated by the warnings of high school teachers or your parents, college is not another world of impossible deadlines or monstrous piles of work. In fact, the key to success in college lies in adapting your study techniques to the circumstances, and not allowing the distractions of college life to encroach on your studying.
In many ways, college might fit your learning style even better than high school. In college, you won’t be forced to practice your homework, study, or review before tests. You’ll simply be expected to know the material, and be able to show what you know when it comes time to take a test or write a paper. There’s room for flexibility in this arrangement that you’ve never had in high school, which means that you can find a study plan that fits your unique learning style.
The trick is making a few simple commitments from the start.
You’ll definitely have to dedicate part of your time to studying every day, and you need to make choices that help you stay focused.
If you maintain concentration, you’ll be using your time as effectively as possible, which will allow you to move on to other fun activities in your day.
Here are some tips for focused study time:
Create a schedule for yourself. Not just a class schedule, but a personal schedule in which you can outline how to use time between classes effectively.
When you follow even a loosely drawn out schedule your chances for stress-free academics are much higher because you’ve established expectations and are more apt to live up to them.
Many people use an old-fashioned calender notebook, but there are also many online assistants available. Google accounts, for example, have a wonderful calendar feature that can be configured to send reminders of deadlines and appointments.
Here are two effective and quick study strategies:
When you sit down to study, make it a regular practice to get the hard stuff out of the way first. Your harder courses will take more of your brain-power, so dedicate your early study time to the intensive stuff.
Also, make sure you are fresh and ready to study by scheduling your study time early in the day, and at a time when you are not distracted.
Sometimes you can boost your chance at success by studying in groups with other students.
With other peers, you have the opportunity to clarify points you may not have understood in class as well as catch up on information you may have overlooked.
You can also motivate each other to study and keep up each other’s spirits through the most difficult parts.
One of easiest ways to ensure college success is to avoid procrastination.
People don’t realize that if you put off big projects, papers, and studying, you’re affecting yourself in more than one way.
And worse, procrastination ends in utter failure more often than not.
If you are severely unprepared for an exam, you might not even realize how unprepared you are until you start studying.
Students who are the most academically driven are destined to succeed, but they can sometimes place themselves under too much stress.
Unfortunately, stress works counter-productively against their goals.
Without a focused, calm, and collected perspective, it’s easy to expend more energy overcoming your stresses and anxieties than on the work itself.
Stick to your schedule, follow the simple study strategies above, and don’t forget to let yourself relax.
Rejuvenation time is almost as important as focused study time. Make a list of things you absolutely enjoy doing, that leave you refreshed, happy, and full of energy. The following are some typical examples, but you can also be creative. The most important part is that it is truly enjoyable, and that it adds to your overall energy levels.
College isn’t only about good grades. Develop balanced habits from the beginning and you can ensure that you earn the grades you want and that you squeeze the most out of your college experience.