STOP THE CRAMMING!
Many college students don’t dedicate the right
amount of time toward maximizing their studying. As we mentioned before, cramming and pulling “all-nighters” is
still a fact of life on most college campuses. These types of sessions increase stress levels and don’t always lead
to the best performances.
Learning how to study can be the best way to manage your time and leave a
little left over for some parties and/or relaxation. Here are some tips to consider:
1. Identify your "Best Time" for Studying: Everyone has high and low periods of
attention and concentration. Are you a "morning person" or a "night person"? Use your power times to study; use
the down times for routines such as laundry and errands.
Study Tips: MTTM video on Study
2. Study Difficult Subjects First: When you are fresh, you can process
information more quickly and save time as a result.
3. Use Distributed Learning and Practice: Study in shorter time blocks with
short breaks between. This keeps you from getting fatigued and "wasting time." This type of studying is
efficient because while you are taking a break, the brain is still processing the information.
4. Make Sure the Surroundings are Conducive to Studying: This will allow you to
reduce distractions which can "waste time." If there are times in the residence halls or your apartment when
you know there will be noise and commotion, use that time for mindless tasks.
5. Make Room for Entertainment and Relaxation: College is more than studying.
You need to have a social life, yet, you need to have a balance in your life.
6. Make Sure you Have Time to Sleep and Eat Properly: Sleep is often an
activity (or lack of activity) that students use as their time management "bank." When they need a few extra
hours for studying or socializing, they withdraw a few hours of sleep. Doing this makes the time they spend
studying less effective because they will need a couple hours of clock time to get an hour of productive time.
This is not a good way to manage yourself in relation to time.
Flashcards are a gift from above to all students who have those classes that seem
to revolve around definitions, dates, or memorizing equations. If you’re really smart, while reading material, you
will take the time to copy definitions or important acts onto a 3” x 5” index card. When you finish the chapter,
you should have a little stack of compact information that will prove to be invaluable.
Don’t try to copy everything down. Concentrate on the major points that you’ll need
to remember come test time. The simple act of writing down the information will make your brain start to think
about the new information and retain it easier.
When you look back over the cards, you might be surprised that you can remember
some of what you just wrote down before even studying it. Keep making cards for the new material you read and/or
get in class lecture. When test time comes, you won’t have to waste your time going back through notes and books
trying to sift the important information away from the filler. You’ve already assembled all of the material you
need to study, and in most cases, it will fit right into your pocket! Sure beats hauling around a