Developing good study habits in college can be one of the most important skills that you pick up during your four years.
These habits will allow you to not only learn more effectively while in school, but they’ll also help you to set yourself up with an efficient routine once you graduate and enter the real world.
This chapter will introduce you to some of the best study habits that can help improve your performance in the classroom, so keep reading to find out what they are!
Developing Good Study Habits in College
What is a study Habit?
Study habits are simply a routine that you follow when studying. They include everything from what time of day you study, to how you set up your workspace, to what your process is for taking notes.
A study habit is something that helps you focus on learning instead of worrying about extraneous details like whether or not there’s food in your stomach or if it’s too hot or cold in your room.
In college, developing good study habits can help you learn more efficiently and effectively; in fact, many students find that they actually enjoy school more once they start developing effective study routines.
Why Develop Effective Study Habits?
The most important reason to develop good study habits is so that you can learn as much as possible while at school.
If you have effective learning routines, then you’ll be able to focus on what’s being taught and won’t be distracted by all of your other obligations. It will also help with time management, which is essential if you want to graduate in four years instead of five or six!
Here are other reasons why developing effective study habits is a smart idea:
- You’ll know exactly how to best prepare for upcoming exams
- You’ll be more likely to get involved in extracurricular activities
- You’ll know how to manage stress when it comes up
- You’ll be able to get more work done at home
- It will help you develop good study habits that you can use throughout your career
How to Develop Effective Study Habits in College
Developing good study habits is something that can take some time, but with some practice and patience, you’ll be able to set up routines that work for you.
Here are some tips on how to develop effective study habits in college :
The best way to get good at anything is to start early. If you want to develop effective study habits, then you should start as soon as possible!
By starting now, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. You can also practice your routines before classes even begin so that when it comes time for schoolwork, everything will be second nature.
Use the Right Mindset
Mindset is a huge part of developing good study habits. If you believe that it’s possible to develop effective study habits, then you’re more likely to do so than if you think it can’t be done.
In fact, believing that it can be done is half of what makes it possible!
A good mindset will also help keep you motivated when things get difficult and will encourage you to keep practicing even when things aren’t going your way.
Find What Works for You
The key to developing good study habits is finding out what works best for you.
No two people are alike; therefore, no two people are going to have exactly the same routine.
For example, some students find that studying early in the morning works best for them while others prefer late at night; some students like working alone while others prefer studying with friends or classmates; and some students need absolute silence while others work better with music playing softly in the background.
Practice Makes Perfect
The only way to get good at anything is through practice. If you want to develop effective study habits, then you’ll need to practice your routines so that they become second nature.
If your first attempt doesn’t go well (and it probably won’t), then try again! Keep practicing until you feel confident about your ability to develop effective study habits and stick with them even if things seem hard at first.
Make a Plan
One of the best ways to stay on track with developing good study habits is by making a plan for how you’re going to do it. This will help keep you organized and make sure that everything gets done on time.
Get Support from Others
It can be difficult to develop effective study habits when there are others pulling you away from your work or distracting you from what needs to be done. If you’re having trouble developing good study habits, then it might be helpful to get support from friends and family members who will help keep you on track.
The best way to get good at anything is through practice! So, if you want to develop effective study habits, then start practicing now!
Examples of Good Study Habits
There are many different study habits that you can develop. Some people like to study with music on, while others prefer silence.
Some people like to work early in the morning, while others prefer late at night.
Whatever your preferences are, it’s important to find what works best for you and then stick with it! Here are some examples of good study habits that you might want to incorporate into your routine:
1) Set a schedule
It’s easy to get distracted if you don’t have a set time for when you need to start studying. Find a schedule that works well for both your class schedule and your personal life, and then stick with it!
A schedule will help keep you on track and prevent you from procrastinating.
If done correctly, scheduling can also save you some time by helping you avoid last-minute cramming sessions.
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting a schedule. Follow these steps to make sure you have time for everything you need to do.
- Write down what your classes are and how many hours they meet each week.
- Write down how many hours you spend on homework each night, including studying and doing any work that is assigned to be completed outside of class (such as reading or lab reports).
- Write down any extracurricular activities that require your time, such as sports or clubs.
- Write down any other obligations that take up your time, such as volunteering or jobs.
- Divide all of these numbers by seven days. This will give you a general idea of how much time you have available for everything else in your life, like sleeping and eating.
Now that you know how much time you have per day, figure out which things are most important to do first (homework, then extracurriculars, then sleep) so that everything gets done before it’s due.
For example, if you have three hours of homework every night and two extracurricular, divide three by four (three divided by four equals 0.75) to get an average of 75 minutes per activity.
If one extracurricular meets twice a week and another once a week, divide 2 by 3 (2 divided by 3 equals 0.67), which means you can expect to spend 67 minutes at each meeting. Then divide 75 minutes by 67 minutes (0.929), which tells you that you should spend about 90 percent of your time on homework and 10 percent of your time on extracurricular. To make sure everything gets done, write down when you plan to complete each task and stick to it!
Remember to include some time for relaxation, too. It’s okay if you don’t finish all of your work; just try to get as much done as possible.
When you start feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork or stressed out from not having enough time, ask yourself whether there is anything you could cut back on or eliminate completely—perhaps a club that isn’t really fulfilling your needs.
You might also consider delegating certain tasks to others who might be able to help lighten your load.
2) Take breaks
If you want to stay focused while studying, take regular breaks throughout your study session.
Breaks can keep you from getting bored and losing interest in what you’re working on. Breaks can also give your brain a chance to rest and recharge after focusing intently for long periods of time. This way, when you go back to studying, you’ll be able to focus better than if you had just kept going without taking any breaks at all.
Taking breaks is especially important if you have trouble concentrating or if it takes a lot of effort for you to stay focused. Even short breaks throughout your study session can help make studying easier and more enjoyable overall.
For example, try taking five minutes every half hour or so—or even every fifteen minutes—to get up and stretch or walk around a little bit.
You might also find that you do better if you take a longer break once or twice during your study session. If possible, schedule these longer breaks for times when you know there won’t be any distractions (like between classes).
You could even set an alarm to remind yourself that it’s time for a break!
3) Use different learning styles
Learning isn’t just about listening to teachers’ lectures and reading textbooks; there are lots of different ways to learn new material.
If you have trouble focusing, it can be helpful to try a variety of methods so that you can figure out which ones work best for you.
For example, if you like having someone talk through a concept with you, try taking notes during class or asking questions when something doesn’t make sense.
You could also try watching a video or reading an e-book on the topic.
Or, if you prefer hands-on learning, consider using flashcards, practicing problems on your own, or even doing experiments yourself!
Most Effective Learning Styles
Learning styles are a hot topic in education and for good reason.
Some students learn best by reading and writing, while others are more hands-on learners. It’s important to know what your learning style is so you can maximize your time and energy as you study.
Here are the best ways to study based on your learning style:
Auditory Learners: These students learn best when they hear something. If an auditory learner has a difficult concept to grasp, listening to recordings or lectures will help them retain information better than reading it from a book.
Visual Learners: These types of learners need visual aids—like diagrams or pictures—to fully understand a concept or idea. Writing things down helps these students remember concepts and ideas because they have written proof that they learned about it.
Kinesthetic Learners: These students are highly tactile learners who do their best work when there is some sort of physical activity involved. Taking notes with pen and paper, rather than typing them into a computer program, gives kinesthetic learners something to do with their hands that helps them absorb information better.
Interpersonal/Social Learners: This type of learner learns best through interaction with other people. Group projects or discussions are ideal for interpersonal learners, since they get to bounce ideas off of other people in order to better understand concepts.
Intrapersonal Learners: These types of learners learn best when they reflect on themselves and their own experiences. They usually enjoy journaling or keeping a personal notebook where they record thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to whatever subject matter they’re studying at any given moment.
Naturalist Learners: People who fall under this category tend to learn best when they can see how new information relates to things they already know. Naturalists love metaphors and analogies because they help them make connections between new knowledge and previous knowledge.
Pragmatic Learners: Pragmatists like working with real-world applications of their subjects; if possible, pragmatists would like to apply what they’re learning immediately instead of just taking notes in class.
Analytical Learners: Analytical learners break everything down into its component parts and then try to determine how those parts relate to each other. Math is great for analytical learners because it’s all about breaking problems down into smaller components.
Synthesizing Learners: These kinds of students love putting different pieces together to create something entirely new. Music composition is a favorite among synthesizers, but writers and artists also often fit within this category.
Holistic Learners: Holistic learners want to take everything they’ve learned and incorporate it into one big picture. Engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, scientists—all of these careers require holistic thinkers because they have to be able to put many different pieces together to form one cohesive unit.
Systematic Learners: Systematic learners like to follow a set of steps to complete a task. Cooking, baking, and following recipes are perfect activities for systematic learners. These learners are always looking for the right way to do things.
Creative Learners: Creatives learn best when they’re allowed to come up with their own solutions to problems. They don’t like having a strict set of rules or guidelines to follow because it stifles their creativity.
Each learner type is unique, and it’s important to know what your learning style is so you can maximize your time and energy as you study. If you don’t know what your learning style is, try taking an online quiz or consulting with a professor or teacher who knows you well.
Once you figure out what kind of learner you are, start using that information to help yourself learn better. For example, if you’re a holistic learner, think about how different subjects might be connected to each other; if you’re systematic, set up a schedule for how you want to spend your study time; if you’re an analytical learner, break down complex problems into smaller components and then put those pieces together again.
For example, if you’re a Pragmatic Learner, ask your teacher for real-world applications during class. Then go home and practice applying those concepts to something in your everyday life.
Or if you’re a Creative Learner, think about how you could create something based on what you learned in class today—and then do it!
4) Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for students.
When you’re tired, it can be hard to focus and remember what you’ve learned. And if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t work as well as it could during your study session. That means that even if you spend a lot of time studying, you might not learn as much as you would have if you were rested.