Make Studying More Effective

By: Kelly Solana

Let’s face it- studying isn’t exactly everyones favorite thing to do. Many college students blow off studying and reading time for other things that seem more important at the time. Whether that is shopping, playing sports, going to the gym, socializing, or grabbing a beer with a buddy, students seem to be studying less as time goes by. And an article posted on Boston.com proves that theory, as research in that article showed that the average student at a four-year college studied about 24 hours a week in 1961, compared to today’s average students that study for about 14 hours a week. Additionally, in surveys conduced year after year since 2000, students are not ashamed of the fact that they simply are not studying much at all.

Granted, studying may not be the funnest thing in the world to do and will definitely pail in comparison when your friends are out and about having fun, it may be the study habits that we develop that cause us to truly despise studying. Trying out new techniques and practices while you study can be just the switch up you need to be more effective when its time to study. According to an article posted on CollegeBoard, where you study is just as equally important as actually studying. The article suggests that where you study should depend on two factors: what you are planning on working on and what type of environment in which you are best able to concentrate in. The best areas to study in will have good lighting, plenty of desk space, and will be comfortable for you.

How and when you study is also an important factor in whether your study session will be effective or not. It is best to figure out how many hours of studying you will need to put in weekly and come up with a schedule that fits that criteria. Try to create your schedule knowing which parts of the day you are most alert and will be able to retain information and which blocks of time you have throughout the day or week that will be sufficient for studying. How you study should also be taken into consideration- if you need to do plenty of reading or work on a research paper, chances are you should probably work alone to minimize distractions. However, when working on problems or brainstorming ideas, it would be okay to study in a group because you may feel the need to ask for help and having fellow students around could help to complete a particular assignment.

Other habits for effective studying include reading all your material carefully and looking up words you do not understand, taking notes and highlighting important information, and studying when you are well rested so that you can concentrate properly and actually retain the information that you are reading. It’s also important to keep in mind that taking short breaks every couple of hours is perfectly fine to clear your mind for a bit. Using this time to go for a short walk, grab a bite to eat, or stretch will help refresh you.

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