How To Study Effectively in College

Most people agree that having a college education will definitely help them get ahead. Having a degree can help show that you are disciplined enough to complete a college curriculum and will help open doors of opportunity. Many young people waste their opportunity to go to College and years later are filled with regret. Don’t take that route. This is your opportunity to make the most of yourself and to get value from those high tuition costs. Even though it is difficult to decide on a major, or even if the major that you have chosen is actually right for you, having the goal of getting your degree and completing your education is a good idea. A college degree can help open doors, and earning your degree will help teach discipline and determination.

College Success and Your Degree

The definition of college success is actually completing your coursework and earning a degree. Completing your coursework depends a lot upon your state of mind. If you decide that you want to be successful and that you’re going to do whatever it takes to earn your degree, then you are going in the right direction. Mindset is a large portion of effectively completing any goal, and earning a college degree is a worthwhile goal. Once you have decided that you actually want to be successful in college, you have won the first part of the battle.

Attend Class

The next most important thing you can do to ensure your success is to attend class. Make attending every single class a priority and it will be almost impossible for you to fail. By making it a priority, you decide ahead of time that you will attend class, no matter what. If you wake up late and your hair looks crazy, put on a hat and go to class. If you’re hungry, grab a banana on the way out, and go to class. Once you are in the habit of making attending class a priority it will become natural to you.

Take and Rewrite Class Notes

While you are in class take notes. Listen to what the teacher is saying, and copy all of the material that your teacher puts on the chalkboard. Once you have your scribbly, unorganized notes; take the time after class to organize and rewrite them. I guarantee that if you take the time to rewrite your notes, while they are still fresh in your head, you will be miles ahead of the other students in class. Once you have all your notes rewritten and organized, take the time to go over any points that you may not understand. If something doesn’t make sense, take the time to reread that section in your textbook, or do a quick Google search to fill in any gaps in your knowledge.

Be Organized

Have the required textbooks and a notebook or binder for each course. A binder can be even better than a notebook because you can add and delete material. When you rewrite your notes go ahead and throw the old unorganized copies away and keep the new updated organized notes. You can also make sure that you have your syllabus and any other course materials in the binder. This method will also cost less, all you really need is binder paper, a binder, and a three-hole punch, which you can probably find in the school library. Also, put your syllabus and class schedule in the binder so you are aware of  any deadlines.

Stay On Top Of Things

The next best thing you can do is keep up on your coursework. Now that you always attend class, have all the proper materials, and have meticulous notes, keeping up with your coursework is actually pretty easy. Be aware of your required reading assignments and keep up with them or even stay a little bit ahead. You’ll be amazed at the amount of stress you can eliminate by staying ahead on your assignments. Make sure you have a highlighter and highlight important passages in your text. This will help you remember the key facts and also breaks up the monotony of reading long passages. Don’t dread your reading assignments. Instead, look forward to them as another opportunity to cement your base of the subject matter. As long as you’re not behind, you can fit in reading a chapter here and there whenever you have a chance. If you have a free hour in the afternoon use that to catch up on your assigned reading. If you have a few moments before bed, knock out a few pages before falling asleep. This will keep you caught up on assigned reading, and save you the cost of melatonin or other sleep supplements.

Review, Study, and Memorize

For most classes just attending the lectures and keeping up on assigned reading should be enough to pass. If there are facts that you are unclear of take the time to study and familiarize yourself with those facts. If you need to memorize terms use 3 x 5 cards and make flashcards. You will be surprised by how fast and easy you can retain information if you take the time to memorize it using flashcards. If you have writing assignments or other homework that you need to turn in, use your syllabus to complete these assignments well before they are due. Last-minute term papers and all night cram sessions are not fun and are best avoided.

Stay Focused and Have the Right Mind-Set

When you are studying, take the time to focus on what you are learning. It has been proven that multitasking doesn’t work. The key to real success is concentrated focus on one thing at a time. If you follow the above study habits: attend all your classes, rewrite your notes, stay on top of your required reading, and complete your assignments on time or even early, it will be almost impossible for you to get any grade other than an A. Also if you follow through, even when you are unsure about it, and just keep plugging away, you will have a degree before you know it. College does not guarantee you success in life, but success in college is a great start. Hard work and perseverance are skills that you can learn in college that will help you for the rest of your life.

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