With so many activities to participate in, it’s hard to make time for studying. And when you do start studying, it’s hard to concentrate. Here are some ideas to help you stay focused.
- Schedule time for studying. If you don’t put it on your calendar, chances are it won’t happen. Allot small segments (30 minutes to an hour) a day of study time to review materials and prepare for upcoming tests.
- Study during the week. Sunday night is too late to study for Monday’s test! Make time in your weekday to study, and leave the weekends free to play.
- Get lots of sleep. College students have been shown to do better academically when they get 8 or more hours of sleep a night. All-nighters are fun, but hard to recover from.
- Try to study without coffee or caffeine-filled drinks. The energizing and focusing effects of stimulants wear off quickly and leave you feeling drained. You may find you can’t remember as much after an energized study session because you’re too tired.
- Study with friends. You get social interaction and a memory boost. Classmates can add information you may have missed, and often you remember a subject better if you’ve discussed it with your friends.
- Take breaks. Not only does your body get stiff from studying, but your mind does. Schedule breaks every 30 minutes to do 25 jumping jacks or run a lap around the dorm. Get your blood flowing and get back to studying a little refreshed.
- Set goals. “I can play video games when I finish this chapter.” “I’ve got one hour to study, then it’s time for dinner.” Having a goal for after studying helps you get through the material efficiently.
- Use memory tools. Flash cards and study guides are old stand-bys. Mnemonics, or memory tricks, can help you memorize formulas, lists, or definitions. Use games like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and Trivial Pursuit to help you and your classmates test your knowledge.