So I thought I would do a post about good study habits for not only your benefit, but also as a nice reminder to myself about what I need to do to get the best possible grades this year!!
So here it goes:
1) Complete all assigned readings before each class. I know this seems daunting, especially if you have a full course load. But it is very important for several reasons.
A. When you have done the reading, you will have a clearer understanding of what the professor is discussing in class.
B. If you have questions about any of the material, you can bring it up during that class when it is relevant, as opposed to the next class, or during office hours when it may not be.
C. If the class is a seminar class, you will be expected to participate in the discussion regarding the reading, and the professor will be able to tell if you didn't do it. Trust me.
2) When doing your reading assignments, do them properly. Now I know what you're thinking, all you have to do is read, right? Wrong. You have to comprehend, analyse and interpret the information. So here is how to read properly:
A. Read the material all the way through without highlighting, flagging or taking notes on it. Just read it, slowly.
B. Once you have read it, now you want to go back and skim for the main points or thesis.
C. Once those have been identified, you can then start highlighting and flagging not only that material, but also the evidence, sources used, etc. and make sure that you are taking notes about the material, or what your opinions are of it.
D. Also make sure you make note of any questions or concerns you have, so that you can bring them up during class.
3) Schedule your time wisely. Make sure you are paying attention to everything that you have to do in a given week and budget your time accordingly. What will take the most time, the least, subjects you maybe need to focus on more. And don't forget about down time. Your brain can only do so much and it needs a break, so take sometime to take a walk, or watch your favourite t.v. show.
4) Be mindful of due dates!! I can not stress this enough!! You might be able to get an extension from a professor, but ask early, because unless you have the best reason out there, the day before simply won't cut it.
5) Triple check exam times and set two alarms. I have yet to meet a professor who will let you write an exam after the fact because you slept in, or forgot the date.
6) Remember why you are there. Even if a class isn't very exciting, or maybe not your main interest, it does serve a purpose, so stay focused.
7) And lastly, grades are important, but they are not the end all/be all of life. If you're not doing as well as you would like, find a study group, talk to the professor, or drop the class and try again later. And you can bounce back from bad grades, I've done it many times. I even failed a class, and look at me now!! It will be fine!!
Hopefully, you find these helpful and as always, please feel free to leave your tips and tricks in the comments below!