Making the grade means getting the tough classes out of the way early in your college career while you have time to really focus on them and do well. And for many students who find themselves struggling with a C average, increasing their study skills might just be the answer that will get them over that hump and into the honors courses. Here are eight study skills colleges like San Francisco Bay University recommend that may help you do just that:
- Get organized. You can’t study efficiently if your stuff is all over the place! Take a few minutes to neatly arrange your desk and organize your books, notebooks, pens, and pencils so you can put them back when you’re done working.
This will save you time when looking for that highlighter you just saw lying there on the floor.
- Stick to a schedule. This is one of the best ways to increase your study efficiency. Going over the readings, taking notes, and reviewing them without any sense of urgency or organization can really drag things out. Try breaking it up into hour blocks separated by short breaks.
- Set study goals. What do you want to get accomplished? Outline the steps it will take to make this happen. The “five-minute rule” is the best way to stay on track and not waste time wandering around, surfing websites, or watching TV when you’re supposed to be studying for that math exam.
- Take notes wisely. Taking down all the notes you can is not always productive unless you know how to use them later on to study smarter, not harder! As you go over your materials for each class or subject area, highlight or mark the things that will help you remember what’s important when it comes time to review.
- Use “t” charts. This is a great way to prioritize the things you have to do so you don’t feel overwhelmed or forget about an assignment or project that’s due. On paper, draw two lines down the middle of the page and label them “to do” on one side and “done” on the other. Under the “to do” list, write down all the things you have to get done or need to remember. If it’s not that important or if there is some flexibility in the due date, then put this on your “done” list.
- Set up study buddies. Meeting with a classmate to go over homework assignments and review notes is an excellent way to improve your own knowledge and understanding while helping each other out. You can keep it all organized by listing topics or questions on index cards then taking turns picking one.
- Review your notes right after class. This will help you stay focused in class and not fall asleep half the time! Then, try reviewing your notes before bedtime, so they are fresh in your mind when you wake up.
- Do practice problems or assignments before class. You can’t expect to know how to do something unless you actually try to figure it out! That way, you know ahead of time if there is any need for clarification with the professor.