Studying Tips

By Raevyn Pritchett, Clark Atlanta University

Studying plays a huge role in the outcome of an assignment. The way in which a student decides to study serves as an even bigger factor. Many people try to study either too much or too little. Others may cram study sessions right before the test, which only overloads brain power making it more difficult to retain and transfer information. The transition from high school to college shows the value in focus, trial and error, and time management.

One of the most imperative studying methods is focus. As a student it is your job to show up to class ready to exceed your previous learning experience. For this to happen, full attendance and focus is necessary. Limiting the amount of times you check your phone or turning off the notifications on your device is a healthy approach to avoiding distractions. These types of strategies help both inside and outside the classroom. Other distractions such as parties, outside curriculums, or campus festivities should be avoided while studying. This is where independence meets fruition. Holding yourself accountable is the best way to ensure success. Balance is a necessity.

Discovering new studying techniques is always trial and era. Studying for one class may be completely different than studying for another. For example, unlike my other classes, my Fundamentals of Speech class is in-person. The lectures are very informative and we may cover an array of chapters in one class session. Highlighters serve as helpful organizational resources when transitioning to another chapter. On the other hand, my College Composition class is fairly discussion based. The information is more straightforward, which does not call for tools such as highlighters or heavy notetaking. Finding out your personal niche is important when developing studying methods.

Time management may be the most costly skill. Many people have great studying techniques, but fall short of their potential because of procrastination. Managing time is also the most delicate skill to develop because it requires planning. Having to schedule work for 6 or more classes along with social ventures can easily become overwhelming. To combat this issue I plan out my events for the week. I map out when I should finish my assignments according to my weekly schedule. I track my calendar everyday whether I have assignments or not. Being this productive assures balance and personal development outside the school environment. Doing assignments ahead of time also gives leeway to ask questions about the assignment through personal interaction with teachers or peers.

Though focus, experiments, and time management are catalysts for success, the most important studying tip is to have fun. I know studying can be stressful, draining, and sometimes just outright boring, but optimism is needed to persevere. Have fun while researching a topic, even if it is foreign or uninteresting to you. Find creative outlets that will aid in retaining the information. Try to actually gain knowledge you can apply to future circumstances. Because if you short yourself, you are only hurting yourself. Like American former professional boxer Mike Tyson once stated, “Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it.” 

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