Freshman year in colleges is also known as the academic baptism of fire; you find yourself thrust into a pool seemingly populated by nothing other than big fishes. Once you get into College – that is just the start – you will have to write many college exams in the course of your academic career. Here are some tips for improving college study skills.
When studying for college, it is important to note what’s important in readings and lectures.
• Scan the course syllabus, survey the textbook, preview each reading assignment, and review your notes before each lecture.
• Read your texts as if you are carrying a conversation. More on Reading Textbooks.
•Watch for signal words provide clues as to the direction the chapter or lecture is going.
• Highlight and/or note down key ideas in texts and lectures.
Master your material.
• Know the material inside and out; you should be able to communicate the key idea of your material in your own words; you should be able to ask probing questions about the material and come up with an answer.
• Summarize your texts and combine your text summary with your notes. More on how to study from your notes.
• Create or find an environment conducive for concentration, an area with good lighting and little or no noise and other distractions; make this area your regular study area.
• Stock up on supplies that aid in concentration such as a comfortable chair, book stand, brain food (an apple or peanuts), soothing music, and aroma therapy candles.
• Take breaks every once in a while if you feel your concentration is slipping; stretch a little, walk around the room, or find someone to chat with and share a joke or two to recharge.
The subject matters and available references are more extensive; being in a study group lessens the pressure of having to scour for all the necessary references and allows the opportunity to engage in intelligent discourses over course topics that can genuinely broaden your understanding of the topic. More on Study Groups
Discover what works for you; everyone is unique and only you can discover the ideal rhythm for studying in college. Here is a great overview of College Study Skills.
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