Studying Tips 101

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August 25, 2022 by

If you’re reading this article, good on you. It really pays to be intentional about your academic work, especially early in your college career when you’re still working on setting new habits. There are as many ways to study as there are people, and what works for one person might not work for another. Whether you’re going into your first semester or you want to brush up on your homework approach, feel free to experiment and test a lot of different techniques to find something that works for you, and don’t be afraid to stop using something that isn’t helpful to you personally. 

To get you started, here are a few of the options that have proved really helpful to the people I know. These are basic but reliable foundations that have helped me get the most out of my own time, and I hope they come in handy for you too! 

 

  • The Pomodoro Technique 

For the multitaskers (or the very distractible) among us, the Pomodoro technique can be a huge help. The Pomodoro technique involves setting a timer (it originated with an oven timer, but your phone timer will work just as well!) for a set amount of time, usually 25 minutes, and working undistracted until the timer goes off. This might mean putting your phone across the room, closing out extra browser windows, or silencing notifications so you can focus on your work.
 

What’s great about the Pomodoro technique is that you’ve got a built-in break at the end of each study time. You can raise or lower your focus time to suit your needs, and the feeling of racing the clock to get as much as you can done in that interval is actually fun! 

 

  • Group Studying 

Especially if you have friends in your classes, this is a big one. If you’re socially motivated, group studying might be just the way to help you focus on the material you’re learning. This might mean quizzing your friends with flash cards, splitting up the chapters you’re studying and writing a study guide for each section, or teaching each other the material. These kinds of group techniques can be useful just so long as you don’t get sidetracked hanging out with your friends!
 

If you don’t know the people in your classes, this could also be a great way to make some new friends. A lot of people really enjoy group studying and would probably love to join in. Some classes, like PAC, often have group reviews already scheduled during the semester. 

 

  • Learn to Schedule Work Types 

Are you a fast reader? Does writing an essay fill you with dread? What kinds of work are easy for you and what takes more time? Figuring out your preferences and the times you function best during the day can help you maximize your studying capabilities.
 

For example, if you know writing isn’t your strong suit, schedule it for the time you know you’re at your best. If you’re a morning person, wake up early and do it before classes. If you’re a night person, settle down with a cup of tea after dinner and do it then. On the other hand, if you find writing to be easy, schedule it for the times you aren’t at your best and save your best times for the harder assignments. Figuring out what work takes all of your focus and effort and what work you can do at any time will help you establish a good studying rhythm tailored just for you.
 

As you work on finding the study tips that help you, don’t be afraid to reach out for help! Campus resources like the Cove, the Writing Center, and your professors are always available and can really help. Your professors and the Cedarville staff want to see you succeed in their classes, and they’ll notice the effort you’re putting in if you ask them questions or ask for help. Good luck and happy studying! 

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