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What is the best study habit to have for any class?

The reason why because I don't have a consistent study habit.#study-tips #studying #academic-advising #time-management #study-skills


Take good notes. That doesn’t just mean writing down whatever the teacher says and being done. Theres more to note taking than that. Try writing questions you have in the margins while taking notes. Go back after class and see if you can find the answers for the questions you noted. And above all, review your notes. Reread them, and even rewrite them if that helps. The more times you go over your notes, the more you will remember. Next make practice test questions. Hannah Culberson

I agree with Hannah, reviewing your notes is a great idea . I would suggest doing this every week (if not after each class). You can write a summary of what you learned for someone else. Explaining and teaching the subject is a great way to learn! Lynn Kim, PhD. Anthropologist Archaeologist

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29 answers


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Imelda’s Answer

Hello,
First of all- I want to congratulate you on reaching out for help, not everybody does. You have gotten lots of good advice so I will keep it easy for you to remember. Just remember C.U.B.S!as you read.

C- circle important information and concepts.
U- underline information or terms that you need clarification for
B- box important conclusions
S- write your reaction to each section on sticky notes (which can help you later to write summaries, organize essays, or answer prompts)
!- or highlight problems or issues

Make sure you write the page number on the sticky notes just in case they " unstick" from the page. You can use this method to any subject. I hope this helps and good luck to you.

I love this advice. Short, sweet and easy to remember. Cindy Dickerson, Ph.D., PMP

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Karen’s Answer

I would suggest first finding out what kind of learner you are.

There are plenty of quizzes like this one: https://arden.ac.uk/what-type-learner-are-you

but you can also just notice what helps you pay attention? what things are you interested in? what is easiest to remember? For instance, I know I am an audio-visual learner, so reading a textbook was really hard for me. I instead had audiobooks on while I played minecraft, thus implementing the Method of Loci:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci#:~:text=The%20method%20of%20loci%20(loci,palace%2C%20or%20mind%20palace%20technique.

This allowed me to remember information, and by going through the places I was in my minecraft world, I was reminded of what the textbook was saying while I was there.

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Amy’s Answer

In order to improve your study habits I would suggest reviewing notes and dates for assignments and upcoming quizzes, tests and presentations after every class. This way you can plan ahead.


Every day, I would review the material that was presented in class to make sure you have an understanding. If you don't understanding something, seek out assistance from the instructor, another student, tutor, etc.


It is great idea to organize study groups with fellow students. You might be able to add something that another student doesn't know and vice versa.


I think the best advice is to stay on top of your work, understanding of the concepts, upcoming tests, deadlines, etc. Make a conscious effort to be prepared and learn as you go. Good luck!

Amy recommends the following next steps:

Review notes and dates for assignments and upcoming quizzes, tests and presentations after every class.

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Lilith’s Answer

I'm currently a college sophomore and still struggle with this myself. But, when I find myself in a slump I try to keep my motivation high by reminding myself what I'm working towards - no matter how small the assignment or project. What also helps is to find a personal interest in what you're working on. Do you feel like you want to know more? Are you excited by the results of your work? If you have something you want to work towards it makes it easier to get through the mundane tasks you may have to do in order to get there.

On a day to day basis setting alarms for yourself and making a calendar has SAVED my grades countless times. If I have something due in a week or so I'll set reminders on my phone as the due date approaches, helping a lot with my time management. Study habits can vary from person to person (i.e. I can't get anything done if I'm not working alone) but hopefully some of this advice can help!

Lilith recommends the following next steps:

Relax, get your area set up to study in (the study beats radio on YouTube is great for this)
Try to find something that interests YOU about your work, try to make it a personal project if possible / something you care about
Always look over any of your work, if you budget your time you'll be able to ask questions and revise as you go along
Don't be afraid to reach out or show your work to a peer or professor (they're usually more than happy to help)
Forgive yourself for any mistakes or misunderstandings. We all miss due dates and deadlines, and sometimes we produce work we're less than proud of, but take these set-backs in stride. At the end of the day, the work you put in is worth it for the opportunities you'll have !

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Kalin’s Answer

Hi Donovan! Even though each person studies better with certain techniques, I have personally found that repetition is key. When I was in college, if I knew I had an exam in the next week, I would study each and every day for the exam for around 2-3 hours per day. It may seem like a lot at first, but once you get in the routine of it, it becomes quite easy! Also re-wording your notes in class/paraphrasing what the teacher says is a good way to understand the material in a more clear sense.

Another great tool to utilize is Quizlet to make notecards/do review games. I also liked making study groups where me and friends would go and work on similar assignments or study guides together. Having friends explain things to you or even you teaching them helps to reinforce the knowledge you already have.

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Alycia’s Answer

In general, it is always a good rule of thumb to take organized, hand-written notes. It has been proven that writing down what ever you're learning will help with remembering that topic. Additionally, organized notes will be a life-saver whenever you need to go back and look at certain topics to study for a test. I suggest using the Cornell-style form of note-taking, or to just color-code your notes.
If the class you are studying for is based on memorizing topics or remembering formulas, I highly recommend making flashcards right after class. This will help with active recall, which is the most effective studying method you could use.

Alycia recommends the following next steps:

Don't be afraid to ask for help and visit local tutoring centers!
Make a study group with people in your class.
Hang in there! If you really want to pass this class, put the work in and do it!

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Terhan’s Answer

The three best study habits i can think of are: 1. Building a relationship with the professor. 2. Spend a few hours daily reviewing notes and preparing for you next lesson. 3. Challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone.

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Sophia’s Answer

Study will be a product of your time commitment, effort, and goal (grade).

I am a "precrastinator" (opposite of procrastinator). I like to look ahead, get assignments and reading done in advance (not too advance though, I have to manage retention). That way I feel less stress and a sense of control. I also have a positive attitude and try to connect with other students who are similar. If I am challenged by a subject, I face it head on. Corporate Finance was not my strongest business discipline. However, I knew that I had to master the material to get through the course. There was no way around it. I spent a lot of time studying problems and theories over and over. I created my own study spreadsheet and formulas. Time management: I made the extra time to study. I was committed. You are worth all of this effort. Don't spend too much time worrying, spend more time reading or writing. Dive in.




Sophia recommends the following next steps:

Before class begins, read the syllabus thoroughly as if it is something you will be tested on. Connect with your instructor by asking a question about the syllabus. Ask the instructor for tips as well.
Plan into your schedule a block of time dedicated to study every day or every week. Be consistent and be reasonable. Plan it as if it is a job and if you don't keep to that time you are stealing, stealing from yourself. So respect your schedule. Also remember to plan for "down time" or "self-care" time. Do something fun to let off the pressures of academia.
Make outlines of class readings. Via computer or hand written notes, document the most important facts of your learning. Some instructors do this for you via power points. Pay attention to the power points. Highlighting readings is also very helpful.
Search online for study tests, or test questions. Usually you can find sites that have old tests from similar or same courses. I scoured them for finance problems. It was a great help and study aid.
Finally, ask questions. If you are confused about a topic, theory, or formula, ask for help from instructors, fellow students. or even youtube.

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Jessica’s Answer

A general rule I have about a content review is going through it 3 times across several days. It's tedious but I retain information really well with this method.
I think plan study times 8 to 5 days before something big like an exam or project. I do as much studying while focusing 100% [between 40-1.5 hours] then I'll take a mental break or treat myself for 15-30 minutes.
As for actually studying, your methods may change depending on subjects. A general rule is to have the ability to explain the topics to another person. I talk aloud when I study and it helps with my learning.
like others said I like guidlines/summary sheets of information to make content concise.

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alexis’s Answer

Write down any important notes and put that into your own study guide or make a powerpoint & look over it until you remember everything.


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Erik’s Answer

I would review your notes before you go to bed every night. If something seems important and you think it will be on a test or you need to know it, I would put more energy around it. Putting the important details on index cards so you can quickly review it at a later time is invaluable.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Donavan, there are certainly different ways students can study but below I feel are a couple of foundational habits to make you a successful student and make studying more manageable.

-Be sure to go to class and interact with the material. When you go to class you allow yourself to commit and be responsible over your schoolwork. Sometimes missing class can make you not prioritize the assignments and you can fall behind. So try to attend every lecture!

-When attending lectures make sure to either record them or take good notes. I didn't record my lectures but my good friend did in Biochem and she would listen to them before exams. I liked taking notes though and highlighting which helped me a lot. However, sometimes my friend would tell me an important thing that our professor said from the lecture in her recordings and that would help me on exam day. So, it can go either way or both!

-Read! Basically for most if not all classes you will purchase some reading material, whether it's a textbook or pdf file so it's important to read whatever material you have. Lectures and exams are based off of readings for the most part and sometimes the textbook can help when a professor's explanations or lectures can seem confusing. I use to read before going to class and would take my own notes, then in class I would compare my notes with the lecture and make additions to them if needed.

-Set up a study group if you can! In Biochemistry a few of my friends would meet up and study together, we would go over notes, quiz each other and even offer different perspectives based on lectures. Sometimes one friend can understand a topic better and clarify it for exams.

-Make sure you have time to study, the main thing about forming good study habits is giving time to them. So it's important to give yourself time every day to study for class whether you read, take notes, listen to the lectures, or solve problems. Whatever it is, you need to commit a good number of hours per week to each class.

-Tutoring. There are tutoring services free of charge for students based on a number of subjects so be sure to use them. Also professors sometimes offer study hours before exam days where students meet up and go over topics and ask questions, if there is one be sure to attend.

-Office hours are also important because if you are confused by a topic or have a question you can see your professor and get extra help you didn't during class. Most professors love seeing their students during office hours because it shows that you care and are committed to the class. Also in the future you may need a reference/recommendation letter from one of the professors and office hours help the professor get to know you better and build a better relationship so they can vouch for your work ethics.
*** as a note if you can't make office hours because of time conflicting with work or another class professors can also set up different time appointments. You can always ask a professor if you can't make it to the original office hours.

-Make sure to have a planner! Every semester I always carried a planner with me because you want to write down what's due and what you need to do in order to complete everything in time. Also use the planner to space out your tasks and studying because you don't want to try to do everything at once. For example if you have a research paper you need to write there are certain things you need to complete before. So one day you can write to check out articles, get your topic approved and then draft a copy before submitting the original thing. The point is a planner helps keep you organized and in check because sometimes there will be a lot to handle at once. Don't worry though if you plan ahead and stay committed you will do fine!
***In addition to a planner make sure to keep the syllabus close by, because it outlines what topics are covered and important dates for exams and projects that make up a huge portion of your grade!
Best of luck!!

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Meighan’s Answer

Figure out how you learn-is it by watching supplementary video explanations on YouTube about the subject? Is it via the class readings? It it by making flashcards? Is it by doing practice sets and problems? This may vary depending on the class.

In general, the best study habits are to do all the required pre-reading and homework before class starts. Write down questions you have to ask during the lecture. Take notes in a way that makes sense to you (some like the Cornell note taking method, others prefer outlines).

After class, review your notes. If a science/math course, redo the practice problems or labs you did in class on your own to make sure you understand how to solve them.

Finally, set up time in your schedule to self study, group study, and one on one tutoring (either via office hours or with a tutor on campus). Many colleges also offer drop in rooms with graduate students to assist with any questions you have. Go to those but go prepared with specific questions and a solid foundational understanding-it can be difficult for a professor/teacher/TA to help you if you don't have specific areas you want to review or seek clarification on.

Outside of these study habits, a good time management/prioritization strategy may be helpful to tie this all together and not get overwhelmed. Best practices include a regular calendar system (either via Google Calendar or a planner). I suggest putting all key deadlines on your calendar at the beginning of the semester when the syllabus is handed out. Then, schedule your homework, class prep, and study time for each day in management chunks and take a step by step approach to completing all required tasks. In general, expect to work 3-4 hours outside of class for every 1 unit a college course is. For example, for a 3 unit course, expect to spend 9-12 hours a week outside of class preparing for class.

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Ivana’s Answer

One of the best tips I give to people is to try and be prepared for the upcoming lecture. Take a look at the notes before you come to class so you are familiar with the terminology. During the class always have a pencil in hand and paper in front of you. Make sure you are actively taking notes. Do not be afraid to ask questions even if you feel they are stupid because the truth is so many people may have the same question. And the answer to that one question could help you understand the whole concept. Cut out time later in the week to review your notes preferably with the textbook in hand so you can add any extra information that your instructor may have left out. Once you have written down those notes from the class, reading the chapter will seem way easier. I hope this helps!

Ivana recommends the following next steps:

Prepare for the upcoming lecture by reading the book, looking over PowerPoints before the class
During class actively take notes
After class, make time to go back and review the notes with the text book in hand to add more details to your notes

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Jamie’s Answer

Flash Cards have always been helpful. Take your notes and transfer them to flash cards and quiz yourself.. then have someone else quiz you. writing them out will help you remember and then reading them will help.. and lastly an audio connection when you read someone else the answers. It helps with visual, audio and kinesthetic learning styles.

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Porsha’s Answer

For me school did not come easy. So each day after school I would rewrite my class notes and study it while it is still fresh. I also put most of the information i used for test I wold put the question on note cards so i could quiz myself whenever I had free time.


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ranjan’s Answer

class and student friendly environment


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Terhan’s Answer

The three best study habits i can think of are: 1. Building a relationship with the professor. 2. Spend a few hours daily reviewing notes and preparing for you next lesson. 3. Challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone.

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Halimat’s Answer

Start your homework the moment you get it. Do it bit by bit, and when you get bored pick a different type of homework to use a different part of your brain. Make use of help, like TAs office hours

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Kristy’s Answer

One of my best study habits is forming a test out of the material you need to know. If you can form your own test to give to someone you would have to know the answers. This will require research and knowledge that will stick in the memory. Worked for me!


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Abby’s Answer

Hi Donovan! I think part of your question was answered here: https://www.careervillage.org/questions/24160/what-is-the-best-way-to-develop-good-study-habits

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Martha’s Answer

Be encouraged. Reliable Sources


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TERENCE’s Answer

Interact! Ask questions! Communicate!

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Ruth’s Answer

You need to get organized in a way that suits your unique style of learning. There is no one-size-fits-all method that works for every student, or every student I taught in my 30 years would speak fluent Spanish and would have made a grade of 100 on every single assignment and test! You need to have a place to record the information you need to know, whether it is an electronic format or a physical notebook. Personally, I find the physical act of writing it down makes me remember it better because other parts of my body were involved besides just my eyes. Also, don't use just a black pen or a gray pencil. Our brains process colors better than just black and white, but black ink is cheaper so our books are printed in primarily black ink. Write or type your information in colors, using different colors to organize different types of information to help your brain encode them as they relate to one another. I taught verb conjugation using this method and had great success with it. Then, as several others have suggested, review it at least three times, but I suggest that you read it aloud to add an additional what we called modality to the process. That way you have the reading, the writing and the hearing of it as well as your speaking it out loud. Doing all four of those things will help get it into your brain better and into your long-term memory rather than just cramming it last-minute into the short-term memory and hoping it sticks long enough and accurately enough to pass the test.
Knowing your vocabulary for any subject is key. If you don't know the basic terminology that the teacher is using, you are doomed to fail. If there is a word you don't know, write it down to the best of your ability and look it up later. Google has improved to the point that it will actually quite often come up with the correct word if you get close enough with your mistaken form. Also, ask questions in class if you don't know! If you can't understand a word, ask the teacher to write it out for you so you can copy it to look up later, at the very least. I know this isn't an option f you are working from a pre-recorded video in a digital learning situation, but you can send a message to the teacher asking something like, " What was the word that meant the thing that the line of the graph never touches?" or something like that, and s/he should send back "asymptote" so that you could write it down and learn it. Be actively involved in your learning process and it will help !
These are my best suggestions. I hope they will help you. They are the type of things I told my daughters when they needed help.

Ruth recommends the following next steps:

Depending on which subject you are studying, use the same color scheme to make notes about similar items during the next lesson and the next to show how they build on each other, adding in a new color when something that is absolutely new comes into play.
Use this color-coding method for vocabulary that relates to any subject, linking specific jargon to specific topics. Go ham with your choice of note-taking medium, choosing from the cool new 120 color crayon box to one of those super huge boxes of colored pencils to one of those really big packages of gel pens with lots of different colors. (I wouldn't advise using Sharpies as they bleed through paper. ) If you go the electronic route, you can choose from different font colors and styles and play with that, though that gets a bit tedious after a while and can distract from what you are trying to learn, I find. But Google docs and MSWord both have unlimited font color customization options if you have the patience and the time to fiddle with them. I do not.

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Jerry’s Answer

study with certain songs to certain sections. the music brings to mind what the information was. so during a test and need to remember a section. remember the song and play it in your head.  that information will be easier to remember.


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T. LAURENTONY’s Answer

Realize your Dominant Learning Style
It's critical to realize that there is a wide range of styles of learning and every individual will hold data better in various manners.
Make your investigation propensity part of your morning schedule with the goal that it turns into an easy aspect of your day.
Get amped up for learning as opposed to fearing your investigation plan.

Make and Write Down Realistic Study Goals
On the off chance that your objective is too enormous to accomplish, at that point you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and this will likewise not help propel you to examine and achieve your objectives.
Here are a few inquiries to pose to yourself that will assist you with making reasonable objectives and concoct an arrangement for good examination propensities.

•When do you typically read and for how long?

•Do you find that it is compelling?

•Are you content with your evaluations?

•What subjects do you have to zero in on or are experiencing issues with?

•What grades do you have to have so as to pass?

•What are your own duties and needs?

In the wake of noting and considering these inquiries, you'll have the option to perceive what territories you have to put somewhat more spotlight on.

Audit Your Notes
When your examination meetings, you should consistently skim your notes from the ongoing exercise or subject you concentrated before beginning another one. Evaluating your notes once before heading to sleep will likewise assist with establishing new information into your mind.

In the event that you couple looking into your notes with a decent evenings rest, at that point you will altogether improve your capacity to hold more data.

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Anna’s Answer

While there is no one unique study habit that is more important or effective than others, I would suggest that you preview class material. Based on your syllabus, you will know what your next class will be about. If your course has any reading assigned/related to the topic of that lecture, reading/viewing that material before you attend the lecture will be time well spent. It will help you understand the material better, ask more informed questions in class, be able to focus on things you don't understand well and, ultimately, help you remember the material.

Generally working consciously to improve your study skills and habits is a commendable endeavor. I'd recommend the Learning How to Learn course offered by Coursera.org. You can learn more about this course from this New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/education/edlife/learning-how-to-learn-barbara-oakley.html

Anna recommends the following next steps:

preview class reading material BEFORE each lecture
read https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/education/edlife/learning-how-to-learn-barbara-oakley.html
enroll in https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

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Theodore’s Answer

Goal Setting, being able to set one thing as your goal for a study session and getting through it will make you far more efficient at studying rather than just sitting down and working away at something. Along with this, planning what you need to know can make studying more systematic and split it into smaller chunks rather than seeing an upcoming test as intimidating. Hope this helps!

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Ridwanulahi’s Answer

Effective study habits -- studying smarter -- can be learned to improve your ability to better retain reading material. These habits include approaching study with the right attitude, choosing the right environment, minimizing distractions, setting a realistic schedule, and employing memory games, among others.
Students grapple with many issues in their lives, and because of all of the competing things for your attention, it’s hard to concentrate on studying. And yet if you’re in school, you have to do at least a little studying in order to progress from year to year.
If you want better grades, you need more effective study habits. The key to effective studying isn’t cramming or studying longer, but studying smarter. You can begin studying smarter with these ten proven and effective study habits.
Too many people look at studying as a necessary task, not an enjoyment or opportunity to learn. That’s fine, but researchers have found that how you approach something matters almost as much as what you do. Being in the right mindset is important in order to study smarter.
Sometimes you can’t “force” yourself to be in the right mindset, and it is during such times you should simply avoid studying. If you’re distracted by a relationship issue, an upcoming game, or finishing an important project, then studying is just going to be an exercise in frustration. Come back to it when you’re not focused (or obsessed!) by something else going on in your life.
Ways to help improve your study mindset:
Aim to think positively when you study, and remind yourself of your skills and abilities.
Avoid catastrophic thinking. Instead of thinking, “I’m a mess, I’ll never have enough time to study for this exam,” look at it like, “I may be a little late to study as much as I’d like, but since I’m doing it now, I’ll get most of it done.”
Avoid absolute thinking. Instead of thinking “I always mess things up,” the more objective view is, “I didn’t do so well that time, what can I do to improve?”
Avoid comparing yourself with others, because you usually just end up feeling bad about yourself. Your skills and abilities are unique to you, and you alone.

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