College students are busy these days. Seriously busy, balancing more extracurriculars, work, and family obligations than previous generations of students. And don’t forget — you still need to study for class! Get the most out of your study time by taking advantage of these research-proven learning strategies.
- Switch up your study spot. Break out of your dorm room or that cozy corner of the library! Studying in different locations allows your brain to make more random, deeper connections to the material that can trigger reminders during a test. If you don’t feel like taking a campus tour, you can introduce unfamiliar elements by spraying an exciting scent or chewing a crazy new flavor of gum.
- Space out your study time. You’ve probably heard (or learned the hard way) that cramming the night before an exam is not the most effective way to prepare for a final. But how should you optimize study time to absorb and truly learn information? Check out the chart below to plan your sessions:
- Pre-test yourself. Before you do anything else for a new class, give yourself a pre-test. It might sound intimidating for new material, but this exercise will give you an idea of how much you understand the objectives and put you on the look out when they arise in the text or your lecture. Flat World books have self-assessment quizzes you can take for each chapter. Another great idea is to Google “site:edu [insert subject name] exam” to find tests other professors have given their students in your course.
Try out some of these strategies for the new semester, and see how much more confident you are in class. Learn on!