Learn how you learn
Each person learns differently. One of the most important things you can do to make your study time most effective is to discover what kind of learner you are. This web site can provide you with a quiz and more information about learning styles.
One of the keys to staying on top of your studies is to be organized. Make a plan for how you will complete each assignment or project and keep a to do list of items that you need to complete.
Make study time part of your schedule
Finding time to study can be especially difficult for adult students who may be juggling school, work, and a family. Try to find a consistent time that you know you will have to study and make it a habit to study at least a little bit every day. This help make studying a part of your schedule.
Find a quiet place to study with no distractions
Your study time will be most effective if you are comfortable and there are no distractions. Although it may be tempting to multitask while you study, to avoid that temptation. Turn off the television and try to ignore other distractions like email and the telephone. If you have a family, work with them to understand how important it is that you have time to study without distractions.
Ask questions and get help
Don’t be afraid to ask questions in and out of class. If you are embarrassed to ask a question in class, meet with your professor after class or email your professor with your question. Most colleges and universities have learning centers with tutorial resources that can be very helpful in learning difficult material or providing you with that little extra help that you need.
Don’t be afraid of those difficult subjects
For many of us it is natural to want to put off doing difficult things. When you are studying, though, consider tackling the difficult assignments and subjects first. If you do, your mind will be fresher and your study time will be more effective.
Study in chunks and take regular breaks
Research on attention spans and learning shows that most people learn best in chunks of time such as 15 to 20 minutes. Experiment with determining what your ideal “study chunk” is and then take frequent short breaks while you study. Get up and stretch, plan an activity to reward yourself for studying, or just spend a few minutes with your eyes closed. Not only will this help you learn more information, but it will keep you fresh and allow you to study for longer periods.
Make sure you have time to review
Reviewing your notes or readings should be done frequently and not just before an exam or quiz. By taking time to look over what you have learned, you will begin to embed the information in your memory and will need to study less before that big exam.
Study with others
Studying in a group or with a study partner can be a very effective way to learn material. Not only do you have the benefit of other people’s notes and knowledge, but you can quiz and tutor each other. Sometimes one of the best ways to learn material is to teach it to someone else.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you are trying to juggle school, a family, and a job. Although you may be tempted to stay up late every night to study, make sure that you get plenty of rest and take care of yourself. It’s more difficult to retain information and learn if you are tired or exhausted.