Help developing good study habits for college - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help developing good study habits for college

I've never really got the hang of studying, sounds silly, but I've always done well without studying. I'm at the point in my college career where if I don't study my butt off, I will fail. Does anyone here have any good ideas to help develop good study habits?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Set a schedule and stick to it. Be really consistent and even if there's 'nothing' to study, study anyways.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 02:41 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryancap77 View Post
I've never really got the hang of studying, sounds silly, but I've always done well without studying. I'm at the point in my college career where if I don't study my butt off, I will fail. Does anyone here have any good ideas to help develop good study habits?
I was a terrible student in high school, ranked about 200 out of 250 or so and did C work. I graduated college a B+ student. I didn't study harder per se, but more regular.

It's not the key of putting in six hours for a three unit college course, but when you do it. I will show up an hour and fifteen minutes early every day I go to class, put in an hour and a half as soon as possible after class so the info is fresh with me, and then do the balance later.

I used to do all work at last second and while I didn't put in fewer hours, they were all crammed at last part when my mind wasn't fresh and I got a C or C+. If you prep well and do about a third of the work before class or right after, your grades will go up a whole point.

The hardest part is to stick with your schedule but do it like working out.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Don't procrastinate. It is so easy to tell yourself an assignment is still x days/weeks away and you don't need to worry about it yet. WRONG. Even if you think you're a good "crammer" you don't retain crammed info, so when you get to the test you will have blank spots aon things you KNOW you've read. Be diligent and study a bit each day for at least a week leading up to a test and you will do MUCH better.

Also learn how to do active reading. Textbooks are dry. Just doing your assigned reading won't make the material stick. Take notes on your readings just as you should be doing on your lectures. And for that matter, just because your prof offers his/her lecture power points does NOT mean you shouldn't be taking notes. The action of taking notes makes things stick in your head better.

Btw what are you studying? I might be able to give more specific tips based on the subject material. I'm a grad student and tutor and TA.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 03:29 PM
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Everything that kfssdude says is true

The first is that you need to realise "this is on me", pass, fail, distinction, it's all on you. By posting this thread suggests you have this one down, so you're off to a good start

OK so, in my book "Don't procrastinate" is definitely the next most important thing. I'm a big procrastinator even now unless I have someone to kick my hiney.

As a result I learnt to break things down into manageable chunks of what to do (assignment wise) and also what I need to memorise.

Whilst it's term time I'd advise spending every day to learn what you've learned that day in class. Get your notes up to scratch EVERY day, if you don't look over your scribble at the end of the day when it's fresh in your mind, it won't make any sense in a month's time. If you learn it properly as you go, when you do have an exam, you are revising for that exam, not studying or learning for that exam. When you look over your notes at the end of the semester, you know what's on the page and nothing is new. If you do this, your life will be so much easier.

When it comes to revising for exams, I wrote out lists of each class I took, then wrote out the course content for that class, then broke it down into the different topics. i then assigned each topic the relevant amount of time in my revision period and wrote a timetable for each night's study. And then realise you need to look at everything twice, so you might end up doing revision study MONTHS in advance of finals.

I used to write out notes in my own handwriting like kfssdude says, that really helped things stick in my head. The other thing is practice writing out important "answers" to the questions that are likely to be asked. If you have to "pass exams" to get your degree, practice passing those exams you could even ask your professors to mark your mock answers.

The other thing I'd advise is concentrate on one assignment at a time. If you bit and bob between projects, you'll finish none of them, not well anyway. Get them out of the way in good time.

Basically getting a good degree is either about being the brightest guy in the world, or just working really methodically, and really hard.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Thanks for the quick responses so far, great ideas all around.

As far as what I'm studying, I'm double majoring in fire science technology and emt/paramedic. I'm done with most of the fire portion, I still have medic left which I will start next year. For this semester I need to study for some big fire 1 and 2 tests, and basic history classes. The other classes are strings and vocal, and weight training/health sciences so those will be fun.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Just saw you replied Jono, will read in a bit and respond soon!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 03:44 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Cool Bry!

Jono makes some excellent points as well. I don't know what your med portion will entail, but if its anything like the bio coursework I did early on you should plan on needing to do a lot of memorization. Flash cards are invaluable for this. Also bio/med coursework often has a lot of terminology that is Latin based, making memorization a little more difficult. Spelling is important. What I did was come up with imagery that sounded phonetically like the words I was memorizing, and then draw simple little pictures if those images. The idea is that the pics stick in your head and help you phonetically spell out the word which helps both memorization of the word itself AND the spelling.

If you need to learn processes (such as photosynthesis or the ATP cycle, for example), go to Staples and get yourself a whiteboard! Drawing processes on your white board is GREAT practice! It's also very useful for math/physics problem solving if you need to do any of that. additionally its great for helping with songwriting so even after school you'll get something out of it. I LOVE my whiteboards!

Best of luck man! Stay diligent and to will reach your goals. Just like with your guitar bro...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Well I've finished 3 post-high school degrees (BSc, MSc, BASc), and I'd say I've improved the whole way through. My helpful hints:

1. Start studying 4 days before each test (4-6 hrs total per day - any more and I find it's not productive)

2. Summarize all my notes once pretty thoroughly (usually takes 2-3 days), then do at least one session of "summary summary" before the test

3. Write all summary notes BY HAND - no typing

4. Make cue cards for anything that needs actually memorized (e.g lists)
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 08:23 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Switch off;
The t.v.
The phone(s)
The internet

Listen to;
Mellow music without lyrics

Don't be;
Thirsty
Hungry
In a hurry

Give yourself;
Time
A relaxed environment
A reward for studying so well!

and since this is Jemsite, and assuming you like Steve Vai, you can apply his advice from this vid;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atGBKuCJ-Jc


Good luck fella!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 09:53 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

the thing that helped me the most through college was to find a place to lock myself away. My college library had a basement floor that had a large room off to one corner that on one ever went in and so i started to go there. I didn't get cell service, but had great wi-fi.

everyone else got it right though.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Wow everyone, I think on the info provided I will be able to put together an excellent studying routine. You guys all rock
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 08:21 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

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Originally Posted by Bryancap77 View Post
Wow everyone, I think on the info provided I will be able to put together an excellent studying routine. You guys all rock
Not that this is a license to goof off, but unlike high school, a college four year curriculum does not have to be done in four years. I worked, got married, and started a business and it took me 14 years. I started a mediocre C-ish college student but finished closer to the A range. The work was not any easier or harder per se but my study habits matured with time.

If there's any regret it's that I didn't master a good study routine earlier. College, more than K-12, is about being more of a marathon. If a future employer cares about a degree, if it's relevant to the job or getting hired, he/she will never ask if you finished college in four years.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

Okay so with all the advice and some self examination, I have set some standards for studying.

I rearranged my bedroom to be more relaxing (there are only 3 guitars on the wall/in stands as opposed to 8 ) with a nice chair and night stand where I'll keep my studies. I have my iPad docking station there playing Mozart. I'm going to study before bed, or when my little girl naps. Havent decided yet. I'm going to set a specific amount of time I spend studying, not counting homework.

I feel like this semester will be the best yet because of this.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 09:44 PM
 
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Re: Help developing good study habits for college

The ONLY three rules I feel the need to follow: 1: Have a consistent routine, no matter what. Because you are used to some schedule, you will feel more in control so you can enjoy non-school related activities more and predict future behavior.

2. Get your work done, no matter what. If I have an exam the next day, I say "screw everything else" and start studying for the test first. Occasionally, it's fine to BS things or not do them, but for the most part, get it done fully and genuinely.

3. Be efficient. If you have time to do something, do it then!

Hope this helps!
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