Assignments and exams are a fact of college life, but it can be overwhelming without a plan — especially when you have a lot to cover at the same time. Work smarter by applying these study tips from some of our Brightwood College faculty that will help you on the road to success.
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1. Ask for help.
If there’s material you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to get assistance from a knowledgeable classmate or an instructor. Because most information builds, it’s important to do this on the front end so you don’t fall behind. Take advantage of tutoring if your school offers it.
2. Get plenty of sleep.
A good night’s sleep will help you stay sharp. According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults need an average of 7-8 hours of sleep every night. When you have a job to go to, kids to care for, and an exam next week, fight the urge to sacrifice sleep to get it all done.
3. Take a break every 55 minutes.
Taking a 10-minute break from studying at the end of each hour helps prevent burnout. Get up — take a walk, stretch, or do a short workout routine to reenergize and refocus. Be sure to grab a healthy snack such as fruit, yogurt, or granola.
4. Rewrite your class notes.
This will help you remember and grasp “the big picture” as you review. Highlight important points and use your textbook to clarify anything you don’t understand.
5. Form a study group.
Bounce ideas off of your classmates, quiz each other, and compare notes — others may have a fresh perspective on a topic and teach you something new. You will cover more material quickly and avoid procrastination. A support system can boost everyone’s performance!
6. Break assignments into smaller pieces.
Don’t try to tackle your entire textbook at once. Instead, focus on one section at a time — it will help you remember more of what you’ve studied and make your work more manageable.
7. Review old assignments.
Looking back at older notes and lessons can refresh your understanding of past information. You’ll better understand new information that is related to the topic.
8. Study before bed.
Your brain processes information while you sleep, so reviewing materials close to bedtime will help you retain what you learn and wake up with a fresh perspective. Try to finish studying 30 minutes before bedtime to allow your body time to wind down.
9. Try peppermint to help with memory.
Studies suggest that mint helps keep your brain energized so you stay alert and focused. Try it during your next study session.
10. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Cramming will overwhelm your mind and leave you tired and frustrated. You’re likely to remember only half of what you study after a cram session. Give yourself plenty of time by allowing at least a week to study a little every day. Pacing yourself will help keep you calm, confident, and prepared to do your best!