Strategies for More Efficient Studying

Now that you’re in college, you’re probably studying more than you ever have before in your life. Professors expect you to spend several hours a week studying outside of class, and the amount of reading, writing, and cramming you have to do can be absolutely overwhelming. But if you plan ahead and study smart, it’s possible to get all of your studies taken care of and still have time to visit a few of those frat parties you’ve been hearing about.

Take effective notes. When you first start note-taking, you may find yourself furiously trying to scribble down nearly every word your professor says. Save yourself the effort, and write smarter. Write your notes in an outline form, with major subjects as headings and short words or phrases written below to jog your memory. If your professor uses a projector or Powerpoint presentations, take cues from what’s written on there. Writing your notes in this manner won’t just save you time and frustration in class-you’ll have an easier time reading and recalling the information when you’re ready to go back and study your notes for essays, quizzes, and exams.

Tackle the hard stuff first. If you’ve got some serious studying ahead of you, just bite the bullet and take care of your most dreaded assignments first. It won’t be pleasant at first, but getting the difficult work out of the way can take a huge psychological load off, and give you the motivation to power through the rest of the work you’ve got to do. Saving the good stuff for last will help you to better see the light at the end of the tunnel and keep going.

Look for online resources. In this digital age, many professors are now putting notes, handouts, and other study aides online. You can be sure that if they took the time to share them with you online, they will be important enough to study. If you’re especially fortunate, your professor may share practice problems and exams that can be extremely useful when you’re preparing to be tested. Take advantage of these resources to their fullest extent.

These are just a few of the ways that you can study more efficiently, but they are among the most important. By taking good notes, working in a productive way, and paying attention to what your professor highlights, you’ll be well on your way to efficient studying.

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