(by R. Eric Landrum-Boise State University)
- Try not to schedule back-to-back classes. You will wear yourself out, and you’ll miss some of the best times to study (right before and after class)
- Be a student starting with the first day. Don’t take the first two weeks of the semester off– even if your classes are off to a slow start. If possible, try to get ahead on reading so you’ll be able to keep up later in the semester.
- Establish a place to study. Make your study place a place with minimal distractions.
- Do as much of your studying in the daytime as you can. Nighttime brings more distractions for adults.
- Schedule breaks. Take a brief break after every block of study time. Try to avoid long blocks of studying unless that is your optimum method of studying. Don’t be unrealistic in how long you can study–that is, don’t schedule an eight hour study session for Saturday afternoon and evening if that is something that you just won’t do when the time comes.
- Make use of study resources on campus. Find out about the opportunities for tutoring, study sessions, test review in class etc. Ask questions in class. Another benefit of asking questions: it slows down the lecture, and gives you a chance to catch up. Ask a question even if you know the answer.
- Find at least one or two students in each class with whom you can study. A fellow student might be able to explain a concept better than your professor, and in terms that you can understand. Also you might feel more comfortable asking questions of another student, and you’ll have an opportunity to observe another person’s study habits.
- Study the hardest subject first. Work on the hardest subjects when you are fresh. Putting those subjects off until you’re tired compounds their difficulty.
- Be good to yourself. Take care of your other needs– physical, emotional, social, financial, etc. If you can minimize other concerns in your life, you can use your efforts to study and understand the subject matter