College isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. While certain social aspects of college are a lot of fun, obtaining a four-year degree (or more) will certainly require a lot of work. If you don’t become proficient at studying for exams, you may end up ultimately failing at your quest to become a college graduate. According to statistics, about 30 percent of college freshmen drop out of school.
Proper study habits do not come naturally to everyone, but there are some tips you can use to make sure you study the best way. While everyone learns differently, there are some techniques and tricks that apply to everyone. Below are several strategies you should consider implementing.
One bad habit of many students is a practice you known as “cramming.” This refers to the practice of jamming all of your studying into one single session, usually the night before an exam.
There are big downsides to this strategy. First, you may run out of time to study and memorize all the material. Second, you may study so much during that cramming session that you end up losing sleep as a result. Lack of sleep can affect your performance significantly. Studies show that students with less than seven hours of sleep exhibited worse academic performance than students that slept seven hours or more.
Instead of cramming, try to space out your study sessions over a longer period of time. Planning is key for proper study. If you schedule multiple study sessions, you won’t have to cram and you will be much more prepared for your exam.
Watch Your Diet
While you may not usually think of food as having a big impact on how successful your study sessions are, the human body is fueled by the vitamins and minerals obtained through a person’s diet. The term “brain food” has real meaning. Certain foods are better than others for the proper, healthy functioning of the human brain. Consider eating foods that can increase brain power such as olive oil, salmon, eggs, walnuts, asparagus, kimchi, kale, blueberries, coconut oil and avocado. If you like sweets, dark chocolate is a great choice for improving brain health.
You may also want to consider a supplement to help keep your brain in healthy shape so you can study properly. Big exams can lead to especially rigorous study sessions. It can be difficult to maintain focus in those instances, and many college students resort to drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to help them stay focused for long periods of time. Though they are effective, these drugs are dangerous and have many side-effects. A better solution is to take a natural supplement known as nootropics. Nootropics boost the brain’s ability through natural ways and are much safer than their prescription counterparts.
Study with Specific Goals
Another mistake many students make is studying material aimlessly. While you may learn material relevant to your classes, you may not end up focusing on the most important topics. If that is the case, you could come up short when taking the actual exam.
Instead, you should have specific goals with your study sessions. These goals should be in-line with what your instructor has suggested will be covered by the test. You may want to go more in-depth on certain topics, such as things that were discussed during class sessions. Make sure to take notes during class, as they will help you retain information better and longer. Also, they can become a study guide when you are preparing for an exam and give you a cheat-sheet for homework.
Overall, it’s probably a good idea to write down exactly what topics and kinds of problems you should study for. That way, you can check them off one-by-one until you’re finished. This method is much more likely to help you perform better when taking the test. Instead of studying aimlessly, you’ll be much more focused on studying the topics most likely to be covered in the exam. Your grades are certain to improve as a result.
Overall, if you want to obtain a college degree, you need to learn how to study properly. This means carefully scheduling study sessions, taking care of your body and having a plan to make sure you study the right material. Doing so can greatly increase your chances of doing well, which should lead to more job opportunities in the future.