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How to excel in studies?

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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Karen, great question! I have a few pieces of advice for you that I think will help you excel in your studies. I just recently graduated from college, so I can give you some tips based on what worked well for me!

First, I will say based on personal experience, and what I heard from friends at other schools, your studying habits from high school might not translate well into college. When I first got to college I noticed a total change in homework, exams, etc. and I needed to revamp everything I did that helped me succeed in high school in order to succeed in college. So don't be afraid to admit that what you're doing, or what worked in the past isn't working in the present and come up with a game plan to change it. Colleges even have academic tutors, and guides that can help you come up with plans to help you get better at school.

Second, time management will be one of your best friends. You have to make sure you can balance homework in all your classes, all your exams happening around the same time, and fitting in a social life. All of those things are as equally important. One thing that helped me a lot was to start doing homework/projects the day they were assigned. That way I can get a head start, and finish way before the due date and I don't find myself stuck in situations where I have to do everything the night before. You can also read over your lecture notes after class everyday so you remember the material better.

Third, establish relationships with all of your professors. For the most part, they are there to help you and will spend time during their office hours helping you understand material, going over incorrect homework/exam questions, and will realize how hard you are trying, which, if all else fails, boosts your grade itself.

Lastly, spend your time really learning your material inside and out. Professors will sometimes try to trick you with out of the box questions that you will only be able to understand if you really are able to understand all of the material. So spend the time doing extra problems, or meet up with friends to discuss what you're learning.

Hopefully this all helps!

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Padmapriya’s Answer

Hi Karen,

Great question. Here are the tips for you to excel in studies,

Get Organized. Making a plan for what you're going to do and when you're going to do it will make sure you're always ahead of the curve.
Don't multitask.
Divide it up.
Set a schedule.
Take notes.
Manage your study space.
Motivate yourself.
Take break.
Stay focused.
Stay positive.

All the Best!!

Padmapriya, your checklist of advice is on target. Great list! Sheila Jordan

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Mallory’s Answer

I find success by making short and long term goals. So each week look at your planner or get a blank piece of paper and write down what you need to accomplish each day. These are your short term goals. They might be homework for each class or how many pages you have to read each day. Then at the end of each week you should list out what you hope to have done - finish chapter one etc. I like to organize my week this way so you don't get overwhelmed.

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Angela D.’s Answer

Great question! Frankly, one of the best strategies is time management. You don't need to study harder, but smarter. By doing so, you will free up a little more time for: precious sleep (crucial for memory formation/retention/retrieval); some exercise (endorphins are hormones/chemicals released by the brain that can relieve pain and stress); and more opportunities to prepare nutritious meals (you need brain food!). Okay, what I mean about studying smarter is outlined in the website below. Edutopia is an organization primarily for K-12 teachers to teach smarter, but also has great resources for students. A brief summary of smarter studying is to eliminate multi-tasking and engage in high intensity habits (pre-testing, spaced practice, self-quizzing, interleaving practice, and paraphrasing/reflecting). Short term mastery can be attained with easier, less effective studying techniques...which may be enough to get you through a quiz/test, but not for long term memory/mastery. I hope this helps...best, Dr. B


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Cheryl’s Answer

To excel you must make the time to read and make sure you are comprehending the information. You should take notes as you read the information and highlight areas that seem to be important to the lessons. I would say try to recognize the pattern that is used in the questions to better understand what might be asked on a test while taking notes. The practice of color coding notes seems to be a great tool. Using Blue ink, Red ink, and highlighters to help with attention to the information. Re-read areas that you may have difficulty with understanding. If practice tests are available, always take them.

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AJ’s Answer

Hi Karen,

This is a question every student ponders from time to time. You should begin, by deciding what you would like your social and academic lives to look like.
Map out any groups, dreams, or activities you would like to participate in and find ways to connect it to your education. Once you align the goals you have you can create a plan that allows you to be consistent and form good habits. These habits will help to create a more pleasurable learning experience and build your confidence as a young professional.

I encourage you to have multiple groups of friends from different walks of life--but have at least one group of people to form a study group with. It could be a general study session or a course-specific group. Holding one another accountable will amplify your success and create tons of great memories.

Check out this link below for more support!


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Simeon’s Answer

Each person finds a different approach to studying from organized notes to those who are more social learners. I recommend checking out the studying app Quizlet. It's got a lot of free resources and flashcards. It's nice to be able to turn a moment being stuck in line or waiting in an office into a productive study session. Also, if your campus offers work-study programs, you can try to get a job working the dorm desk or in the library. This approach is likely to get focused study time into your calendar as well. Another thing, try to make studying into bite sized amounts that you repeat regularly. Try to go through all your notes for a class at least once every other week instead of trying to do cram sessions at the end of the semester.

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Jad’s Answer

There’s really quite a lot of ways to find better ways of studying:

-Check your class website to see if your professor includes any additional study references, examples, or other materials.

-Look up YouTube videos to explain some topics that you need a refresher on.

-Create study groups and connect with classmates afterwards.

-Keep study areas distraction free and make sure you are not cramming all nighters, study a bit throughout the entire week