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General Study Tips
As you develop your study schedule, keep the following study tips in mind:
1. Study Groups. Consider joining or starting a study group. Working with other students can not only be motivational it helps you stay up to speed with the content of the class. A study group encourages you to be prepared for your group meetings and it requires you to participate in content discussions. This is a great way to reinforce your learning. Keep in mind that study groups donít work for everyone. Also if you are studying with close friends be careful that play doesnít replace work.
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2. Study Chunks. Learning researchers know that long, marathon immersions into a single subject is not the most productive way of studying. After a moderate length of study time it is usually a good idea to switch to another topic. Pounding away on one topic hour after hour becomes increasingly counter-productive.
3. Study Breaks. Punctuate your study time with short breaks. Most successful students study hard for forty to forty-five minutes and then take a short five to ten minute break.
4. Frequency of Study. Avoid gaps in your study by making a commitment to study every day.
5. Study Planner. It is important to keep track of your assignments, test, papers, and project. Mark these things regularly in a handy planner so you donít get caught off guard or forget completely.
6. Notebooks. Have a different notebook for each class. This will help you keep track of each subject.
7. Stay on Top of Your Work. Keep up with your study and reading assignments. Donít try to cram a ton of work into a short period just before a test or due date.
8. Seek Help from Your Teacher. If you donít understand something consider checking in with your professor or teaching assistant to get clarification. Keep in mind that they want you to be successful. Find out your teacherís office hours or make an appointment. A visit will frequently help you sort things out and provide you with all kinds of insights into what the professor feels is important. Be careful, however, not to burden your professor with too many visits.
8. Study Advisors. If you donít feel your study is very productive you may want to seek help from a tutor, a successful student, an academic advisor, or your school's study skills center.
11. Prioritize. Know what you have to do and put your work in priority order. For example, if a test or assignment due date is approaching prioritize your efforts to meet the deadline. Focus your study on what is important and what is pressing.
12. Find Your Best Study Environment. Find spaces where you feel focused, comfortable, and productive. This may be in the library, a study hall, your dorm room, or some nook on campus that feels right to you.
13. Attack the Hardest Work First. There is a natural tendency to put aside the most difficult assignments, but this is usually where you should begin. Attack the hardest stuff when you are the freshest and then move on to the easier work.
14. Develop a study routine and stick to it.
15. Take Care of Your Brain. Eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.