Five Effective Study Habits for Returning Students

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Five Effective Study Habits for Returning Students

Modern Languages @ FLCC: Study Abroad in Costa Rica 2012 - 190

Whether you've recently graduated high school or will be returning for another year at college, it's important that you don't forget your good study habits over the summer. Studying effectively is not something that we are born with, but is a skill that we must learn. If you want to find success when you return to school this fall, you'll need to understand how to study. Here are five study habits that every student should have.

1. Take Good Notes


Your notes will be worthless if you look at them later and can't remember why you wrote what you did. Notebooks aren't for copying your lectures verbatim; they are for jotting down important information. Instead of writing lengthy sentences in your notebook, learn how to make cluster maps and mind maps. These memory aids can help you retain more of what you learn and study more efficiently.

2. Review Your Notes


While no one wants to spend the evening doing homework, reviewing your notes after each class is a great way to cut down on your overall study time. Reviewing your notes at the end of the day will help you remember more of the information that you've just learned, and reduce the necessity to cram the night before a big exam. Reviewing your notes will also give you a chance to organize them in a way that makes sense to you.

3. Keep Your Sessions Short


Never spend more than 20 minutes at a time studying. Studies show that after 20 minutes, most people lose interest in what they are studying, and their minds start to wander. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and when it goes off, put your books down and go outside. By giving your mind a break, you'll come back to your studies refreshed and better able to retain information.

4. Don't Study What You Know


While it may make you feel good, it is a waste of time to study what you already know. Instead of making this mistake, concentrate your time on reviewing the ideas and facts that you are having difficulty with. The easiest way to do this is to use note cards. Put one piece of information on each note card and review them.

If there is a card that contains information that you don't know, put it to the side. If you are able to immediately recall the information on a card, put it in a separate pile. Review the pile that contains information that you know no more than once a week. The pile of cards containing information that you don't know should be reviewed daily.

5. Study in a Group


Studying in a group allows students to share ideas and glean new information. By studying with fellow students, you may find that one can explain a concept that you don't understand. You may also find that you have an understanding of a topic that someone in your group needs help with. Studying in a group can be beneficial to all students involved.

The most successful students have study habits that are well-developed and effective. If you follow the five tips above, you're sure to find studying easier and more efficient than you have in the past. If you find that you need help with your study habits when you get to school, be sure to visit your school's counselling or academic service centre.

About the Author: 

Kathryn Coles is a full-time writer for educational blogs and journals. 

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