Practical Study Tips
1. Have a study plan - a definite time and place for study each day.
2. Sit indoors in a straight back chair in a quiet place. Listening to music will slow you down as your attention is divided. You are not there to be entertained but to work. Turn the music off while you study. Learn to separate study time and down time.
3. Have one calendar on which you put your important exams, major assignments, due dates for papers, and other activities for the semester. Set this up the first week of classes and check it frequently.
4. Balance your classes each semester in terms of work load. Some courses have a lot of required reading while harder science classes require a lot of lab time. Don't take more than two time-intensive courses during the same semester. Make sure you have the needed prerequisites before taking a class!
5. Consider carefully before committing time to sports or other activities which require too much travel or would cause you to miss too many classes.
6. Make sure you have the needed prerequisites before you take a class. Otherwise your other courses will suffer when you put them on hold to do the catch up work for this class.
7. Always do the assigned reading BEFORE the class so you can ask intelligent questions. Attach your class syllabus to where you take class notes so you don't miss an assignment.
8. Observe whether a professor's exams questions are taken mostly from the content in the notes, the textbook, or from a mix of the two. They tend to be consistent about that.
9. Double check your assigned reading schedule before you start your work each day. Otherwise you might read the wrong chapters by mistake.
10. EMERGENCIES: If you get in a very bad position due to unusual personal circumstances, talk to the dean of students. The dean can approve exceptions for illness. If a parent is in the last stages of cancer, you will need time for this. Ask for a grade of incomplete in your 2 hardest classes which will be resolved within a specific and agreed upon time frame, i.e. 2 months. Family is more important.
More Study Time Tips
1. The less structured your weekly schedule is, the easier it is to waste time. You need both a class schedule and a schedule of when you are going to study. Add to your calendar all your term paper due dates. Then block in your own calculated due dates for that term paper's outline, research, notes rough draft and final draft.
You must learn to manage your time. Coordinate your classes and schedule your study time on your iPhone calendar.
2. Get out of your dorm room and into the library or an empty classroom so you can study in a quiet place. Staying in your dorm room when you need to work will just invite distractions.
3. Have a written schedule. At the beginning of each semester, you should draw up a weekly study plan. Each day of the week should be blocked out first with activities you can not change, like classes, work, team practices, meal time, and errand time (laundry, food shopping). Allow yourself one TV show a week on your schedule but no more! Then fill in the blocks of time in between the other activities when you can get in a good 45 minutes or more of study time.