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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

7 Study Habits Every College Student Needs | Back to School

Studying can be one of the most tedious aspects of college, especially if you wait until test time to cram in all of your learning. It helps to think about studying even before classes start, as college is more fast paced than secondary school or high school even was.

1. Ask questions.

It's interesting how asking a question can open you up to new views on a topic or help you to understand it better ( even when you think you may already understand it). Write down your questions or ask them right away in class, no matter how embarrassing it may seem. It can not only aid your learning, but trust that someone else may have a similar question. If you're shy, you can always send an email to your professor, or visit their office.

2. Answer in class.

Just like asking questions, lecturers notice students who answer questions in their classes and are then able to aid your train of thought as it relates to the subject. Not only does it show that you are learning, but it reinforces what you have learnt, since you have to explain it to your fellow classmates. Although a bit challenging for someone shy like myself, it really does help to interact during class. 

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3. Use colour in your notes (but don't overkill)


The key to me remembering work was colour coding. My book was always bright, not one drab colour. In doing so I tried not too overdo it because this can end up being more complex than you need. Especially since highlighters, sticky tabs and coloured pens are absolutely addictive, especially for me. Try to narrow it down to 3 or 4 colours per subject. Underline your major headings, write important points in one colour, then when you're going through your notes or textbook highlight in one colour. Too many colours can distract you from the point.

4. Set a time to read over notes daily.


Although this seems a bit obsessive for your first few days of classes, it helps to get into the practice of reading through your notes and adding your thoughts.  If you also have questions that you may not have thought of during class you can write them down to ask your lecturer at you next class.

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5. Use flashcards or make posters of important information.

Again with Microbial, I had made a habit of putting together posters of the important cycles, including e names and structures of the molecules to be remembered. I stuck them up on my bedroom walls, mirror, even my closet so I would view it when I woke up, went to sleep or was getting ready. Flashcards are also helpful if you are on the go, you can keep them in your bag and take them out while waiting on the bus, or train. Don't mind that people may stare at you , you are constantly preparing yourself for assessment and learning your work. Just try not to miss your stop!

6. Schedule a day to read up/practise challenging topics.

For me, since Microbial Biochemistry was a bit of a challenge, I would study that first thing on Sundays. Go through the challenging metabolic pathways, and try to remember names and structures. I am pretty bad at putting the name with biological structures, so I spent a lot of time on that. If your challenge is equations, take the time to do practice questions where your write out the equation over and over, until it's glued to your memory.

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7. Start your studying early.

Most importantly, start EARLY! If you wait until too late in the semester, not only are  you bombarded with a number of assignments to be handed in, but your lecturer is a lot busier and you may not get the chance to go back to a more challenging topic and ask a question. Don't scramble at the last minute to study for a test as it also creates anxiety. Also in starting early, I find it's easier to complete assignments as you already understand the concepts of what has been taught.

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