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What's a good college study routine?

There are many different ways to study in college but i've heard that spending hours staring at material isn't very effective. What would be a good study plan to follow when studying for an important college exam/quiz? Should there be breaks, if so how many and of what duration?
#college-life #studying-tips #study-skills #time-management

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Kim’s Answer


Hi! Studying for an exam starts very early. Good study habits are essential to getting good grades! So, my advice is to do all readings prior to the class they will be discussed in. This way, the material will make more sense as the professor talks about it. Take notes during class. Before the next class, review the notes, rewrite them if necessary, and synthesize them with the readings. Look for inconsistencies, and work to resolve those points, making sure you understand them. Make timelines, diagrams, outlines, flashcards, etc. . . any study tools to help you. Then, before the next class, do the next reading assignment. Staying on track like this will make studying easier.

Okay, so now it is exam time. You need to know when your brain functions best. Studying in the evenings won't work if your brain is not engaged! You are correct, you can't binge study! Please take this free on-line course, Learning how to Learn, which is a top-rated course. It will help you understand the learning process, breaks, retention, etc. I wish you the best! Kim

Thank you so much for the response! Noelia R.

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Andrea’s Answer

Hello Noelia,
Excellent question. Success in college takes discipline and excellent time management skills. Obviously, some courses will require more time and effort than others. But you will cover a large amount of material, and possibly only have 2-3 tests or graded assignments, which means each test or assignment will cover a large amount of material, which means studying the night before the test will not be sufficient. It's very important to review material on a regular basis, rather than waiting to study right before a test. That was one of the biggest lessons I had to learn. You have to study as you go, and review the material as you go, otherwise it gets overwhelming. So, no procrastinating or waiting until the last minute. Also, my high school French teacher told me that the number 7 is key, in that if you look at something 7 times, there is a good chance you'll commit it to memory. That sounds like a lot; but actually it's much easier to study by briefly reviewing something multiple times, rather than trying to cram it into your brain over several hours the night before a test. I used this tactic in PA school. We would get tons of packets of medical information that we had to memorize. I tried to read each packet at least 7 times.....seemed to work for me.

Rule of seven? That's very interesting I'll definitely keep it in mind thank you! Noelia R.

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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>